Over 2000 end-of-life tires were found on a remote island in British Columbia

British Columbia’s ocean cleanup workers, as they’re deconstructing what they are calling “tire island”, are trying to determine how more than 2,000 end-of-life tires ended up on a remote Nelson Island (the Sunshine Coast in Canada) and why they were kept there for decades.

They were discovered by an environmental project that was looking for areas that needed to be cleaned up, yet no one knows how they got to the island.

The Ocean Legacy Foundation with Let’s Talk Trash, Tire Stewardship BC, and Liberty Tire Recycling joined together to remove the tires from the island. Over the course of two days, 33 workers removed the rubber mountain. With financing provided by the province all the volunteers were compensated for their time as part of the province’s “Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative”. The final count showed 2,409 scrap tires.

Liberty Tire Recycling will now take them apart, take out the fibre and turn them into one-inch chunks of rubber. Some will be coloured and made into garden mulch. They may even end up as rubberized horse mats, running tracks or playgrounds.

Joe Pitre from Liberty Tire Recycling said he wasn’t surprised by the discovery but said that this was a complicated operation, citing the fact that workers removed the tires by hand and without the use of any machinery.

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