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Big Tire Bales Have Many Uses
If cold winter winds are common in your area, you might want to check out using tire bales for windbreaks. A group of ranchers within 300 miles of Denver have been piling the one-ton bales 2 to 3-high in a row. Best of all, for most of 2020, the bales were free for the hauling.
“We’ve given away around 15,000 bales this year,” says Greg Mort, Colorado Tire Recyclers. “Some farmers and ranchers would get a load of 24 on a flatbed, which is enough for a 40-ft. wall. Then after they saw how well they worked, they come back for a second and third load. Some have taken 150 to 200 bales.”
The bales are 4 by 5 by 2 1/2 ft. and contain about 100 car tires each. Each bale is held together by five, 9-gauge steel wires.
People come up with lots of different uses for them, according to Mort. “They are used for corrals, to separate feed supplies, and for snow fences,” he says. “People have even used them in lieu of a foundation for earth homes. Put them in the ground and they don’t move.”
In years past the company, which recycles tires from local tire shops throughout Colorado and surrounding states, has sold the tire bales. End users would get a rebate covering the cost of the bales. Earlier this year the rebate dropped to $12.50 and then to nothing. The bales piled up.
“We were continuing to make new bales, so we had a big backlog,” says Mort. “We knew farmers and ranchers were having a tough year, so we decided to give them away.”
With the backlog gone and a new tire chipping process in place, free tire bales are likely a thing of the past. The company has begun marketing 2-in. tire chips as an alternative fuel for power plants. They also sell 6-in. chunks for landfill cover in the Denver area, as well as marketing semi-truck and trailer sidewalls for silage pit covers.
“We will continue making bales, but for sale and, with the chipping in place, a more reasonable amount of bales,” says Mort. “If we are successful in negotiations with Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, we may begin distributing them a lot farther by rail. It’s all a matter of logistics, how far can they be hauled.”
Mort suggests readers outside his region who are interested in tire bales contact their states’ pollution control offices. Ask for the names of tire recyclers in the state.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Colorado Tire Recyclers, 5101 Columbine St., Denver, Colo. 80216 (ph 303 853-0789)

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1