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by Michael Jafari / Buffalo Sabres
Tires are mostly used as traction for vehicle wheels, but now they can be used for building.

Re-Tread Products (RTP) is a business from Great Valley, NY that “up-cycles” used tire treads into a tire log, an alternate form of building material. 

“We use the term ‘up-cycling’ instead of ‘recycling’ because we’re increasing the value of the original product, which is a used, worn out tire tread” said the company’s president, Shane Hansen. 

The tire log can have a tremendous impact on saving the environment.  Hansen’s Web site states that the average passenger car tire is estimated to produce over two gallons of oil and other toxins when burnt.

Hansen started the company from his basement when he invented the first tire log with used bicycle tires.

“The original invention was supposed to be a utility pole, but continued testing and research led to the idea that this can be something much more useful,” said Hansen. “Our product bends but doesn’t break.”

According to the company’s Web site, the tire has proven superior to conventional building materials for many construction applications, and it may have its most profound value in areas that are prone to earthquakes or other extreme forces such as wave action, explosions, or vehicle impacts.

Hansen was able to put his invention to the test in August of 2009, when a natural disaster hit his town.

“After the flood in Cattaraugus County, we built a check dam in the ditches to control erosion, and it worked out great,” recalls Hansen.

Ever since the flood, Hansen has used his tire log to build a small house, a backstop at the Cattaraugus firing range and a sea wall at the Onoville Marina. 

Although the tire log has proven it can hold up in the toughest weather conditions, the issue is manufacturing the product in a rapid and cost-effective way.  However, the tire log’s durability has not gone unnoticed.

“Our engineering tests and demonstrations impressed the state government so much that they awarded us a grant to develop a prototype machinery to make production of the tire log cost-effective” said Hansen.

If the prototype is successfully built, than Hansen’s mission to help the world go green will be that much closer to fruition.

“Our goal is to build a pilot factory so we can expand into other markets.  We would love to franchise our brand because cars are everywhere and we can up-cycle tires to reduce the air toxins and save on transportation costs, ” he said.

To learn more about the tire log, you can visit the company’s website at
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