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Used tyres
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By Kimani Wiseman

Susan: John, the cooking gas is finished, can you buy one for me please?

John: Bring the gas bottle, I would buy the gas after I am finish changing these tyres.

Susan: I have a question to ask you, what do you do with these old tyres?

John: If you take a look to the back of my house, I usually dump some to the back of my house and I burn some.

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Susan: My god, it is like a grave yard of tyres to the back of your house. These tyres are a habitat for rats, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. I do not think you would want that dreadful aedes aegypti mosquito breeding up around your house. This mosquito is responsible for spreading chikungunya and dengue fever. I remember couple years ago when there was an outbreak of chikungunya, a lot of young and old people were having a lot of pain in their joints and could not reach to the bathroom on time to do number one and number two.

Rats spread leptospirosis and cockroaches as they crawl around, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants cling to their legs and body which can cause cholera, diarrhoea, and typhoid. Burning tyres releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which contributes to global warming and climate change. You can also develop respiratory problems due to the fumes emitted by the burning process. Burning tyres produce thick black smoke that contains high levels of pollutants like cyanide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene, and styrene.

John: I cannot store the tyres around my house and if I burn them, it is harmful to me and the environment. What am I supposed to do with my old vehicle tyres?

Susan: You can fill some of the tyres with soil and plant vegetables in them. This would save you some money on vegetables. Vegetables in the market is $5 or more. You can also plant flowers in some of the tyres and beautify around your house. The government can implement shredding tyres for making stronger concrete. Have a look at this video to see how it is done.

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

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  1. nancysauldemers says:

    While I agree with “Susan” that tyres can be shredded to make stronger concrete and even used to plant flowers to beautify your environment, if that matches your aesthetic, I certainly wouldn’t be interested in eating any vegetables or any other produce grown in tyres. I would be concerned about the various pollutants that can leach into the soil and then be taken up by roots. We can surely do better than that.


  2. “The government can implement shredding tyres for making stronger concrete,” is an accurate statement given that such tyres are recycled around the world, a process unheard of in SVG where even the composting of household and agricultural waste is rare.

    As I never tire of repeating, countries like ours, even if we are adding little to overall climate and other global degradation, are very poor stewards of the natural environments, yet our leaders keep begging day and night for international help for problems of our very own creation.


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