Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Tire Gathering Continues

On Tuesday, November 25th, Chris and I hooked up the trailer and headed into Kamloops specifically for a tire "run". I had five tire shops lined up to set aside 235 tires so we decided to make a day of it and try to cultivate a few relationships while we were at it.

Our first stop was the Movie Gallery; we had forgotten to return "Iron Man" when we were in Kamloops a few days before. I was glad to see the end of it; Stephen watched it too many times lounging on the couch recovering from a stomach bug. Then, a few errands and we drove up to our first tire shop; a well known big box store.

Darren, the manager of the tire shop, had seemed interested in our house when I spoke to him on the phone. In the week since speaking to him, he had gathered six 235/75 R15 tires. Feeling our tire count increase exponentially, I backed the trailer out of the loading bay and we continued on our way.

An aside: I insisted on driving the car and trailer. It had been years since I'd driven our company 5 tonne delivery truck and I'd had little practice maneuvering a trailer, so I was game to practice.
On we went.

Before we turned onto the highway that would take us to the industrial parks across Kamloops, we realized we were minutes away from another big box tire shop. I pulled a successful "U"ey and we sauntered in. We had let our memberships lapse, but the card-checker lady let us in to the tire shop.

After several minutes of discourse we were told that due to liability issues that came from "regional" office, the tire shop could not give us any tires. Apparently if I took the tires and put them on a car and there was an accident, this big box store/tire shop would be liable. The manager was even asked if they slashed the sidewalls, if we could have them (we are considering cutting one sidewall out to ease the job of pounding dirt). That wasn't going to fly either. The manager was sticking to his guns on the liability concern.

Fair enough. But I felt it my responsibility to point out that my recycling effort was less wasteful than trucking all those tires 6 hours south, and then to spend more resources grinding them up and producing another product. Given all the tire piles we had seen over the last few weeks, I didn't try very hard, but I did leave with the number of the "regional" office.
On our way to the highway to get to the industrial parks, we almost passed another big box store with a tire shop. I make a point not to shop at this one, but since I was looking to receive and not buy, I made a hard right and pulled up to the door. This shop was agreeable to letting us have tires (and coming back for more at a later date) but the manager did say he wanted to be a "silent partner" as he wasn't sure the company policy meshed with what he was doing.

Ahhh.. a pattern was emerging.

Next stop: Back to the original tire shop in Kamloops to pick up the tires we could not fit in the CRV on Saturday. This time Terry was there and we had a good chat about tire houses. By this time we were up to a paltry 12 tires and Chris was seeing his dreams of a full trailer load disappearing in the dust.

We had a quick discussion outside another Kamloops tire shop and decided that we would ask for ANY tire with 235 on it. We figure as long as we stay consistent on size for each course, we would still have square walls, and we would reach our goal of 1,000 tires just a little faster.

Clayton, the shop foreman, was incredibly helpful, interested and offered to set aside all the 235 tires in the scrap area. He even told us that we could bring our trailer in on Saturday, park it at the shop and come back in the afternoon to load it, after our children's swimming lessons and our errands were complete.

By accepting all 235 tires (235/85 R16, 235/80 R17, etc), we now had a full trailer load and headed home. This brought our count to 43 tires.

Today we went back to our local tire shop and dug through the scrap piles for 235 tires and found 50 more tires. We almost starting pulling from its "used" pile (the ones they actually do re-sell) in our excitement, but luckily an employee stopped us!

Tomorrow we will go north to a tire shop in Clearwater and clean them out of tires.
I am going to stop mentioning tire shops by name because I don't want to get anyone in trouble for helping us out. It seems a really stupid thing to have to do because everything we are doing makes sense in terms of recycling these tires, but I guess that is the litigious society we now live in!

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