Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby designerben on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:13am

Hi everyone. I've just signed up to this forum as I would like your help. I'm an Industrial Design Masters student at Massey in Wellington and am in the midst of a project looking at sustainability issues. I am designing a product with as many renewable or re-usable materials as possible, and one of the materials I'd like to investigate using is old bicycle inner tubes.

I am wondering, what do you do with your inner tubes when they have finally got one too many holes/ patches and are no longer fit for their original purpose? Is there a recycling facility available and active in your town for old inner tubes?
If not, would you be interested in seeing one established? It could be as simple as provision of a receptacle for old tubes at various mountain bike parks around the country, and possibly something at the various bike shops in your area. These would be set-up as a free service, and cleared regularly, depending upon rate of deposits.

Id love to know your thoughts.

Cheers
Ben
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby ThingOne on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:19am

Thats an excellant idea, as I suspect most people chunk them in the wheelie bin, who would fund this though?
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Tama on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:20am

Hi Ben, welcome to Vorb.

Inner tubes come in useful for a few of things - strapping bikes onto car racks, using them to protect parts of your bike and using them as workstands (I hang my bike by the saddle from the roof of my verandah) spring to mind. but even then you often end up with a pile of tubes.

The more pressing problem for me is old bike tyres - I'd love to have a way to easily recycle those :)
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby designerben on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:25am

Cheers for the rapid response! I think there is huge potential for both the inner tube and the tread, but my current project is focussed on the inner tube. The sale of the product that incorporates recycled inner tubes would cover the costs of recovery for the manufacturer, which is a standard business model. One of the many benefits of using recycled material is that it is already partially processed and is not as expensive to re-fabricate.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Trail on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:30am

I run tubeless tyres... so my problem is disposing of used tyres too... but I dont have a problem with inner tubes.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Chickenman on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:33am

Trail wrote:I run tubeless tyres... so my problem is disposing of used tyres too... but I dont have a problem with inner tubes.


Ditto.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Wobbler on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:48am

Yeah disposing of inner tubes isn't a problem for me, they get used on the bike rack/chainstays all sorts of carry on. The foot high stack of old screwed tires on the other hand.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby designerben on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:56am

i'm detecting a theme already... maybe i should consider potential for incorporation of the tyres... Would the idea of a receptacle for collection of these (as mentioned above for inner tubes) be useful?
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Oli on Wed 22/Apr/09 10:58am

Much more useful. :thumbsup:
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby JohnDH on Wed 22/Apr/09 11:09am

Yeah, I dumped some old tyres at the landfill on Sat, would have preferred to recycle.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby thelongwalk on Wed 22/Apr/09 8:23pm

I cut mine up into short lengths and use them to light the fire.
? if thats recycling but they act like little lucifers and means I use bugger all paper.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby swtchbckr on Thu 23/Apr/09 10:18am

yep, fire starters when you're tramping, tho you get a million of them from each tube.

yep, tying bikes to racks.

i use one on my gate, as a child security device.

cut them across and make a shitload of rubber bands (called Snoopy Loops, apparently), that i tie together to hold various things like lights onto helmets and handlebars and seat stems etc...
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby dicks-naughty-account on Thu 23/Apr/09 3:35pm

Lol i used a tube as grip tape for my hockey stick once, looked maori as and i got alotta shit but it worked well, and was very comfy to hold.

Hope this helps
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Henry Dorset Case on Thu 23/Apr/09 4:57pm

I tie a knot in the end and use them for condoms. they're great: you can turn them inside out if you want some love bumps for her pleasure (but why would you?) and they're nice and thick so re-usable. Some I can't use because they're too small: I tend to have to use motorcycle tubes, but apart from that, all good.
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Re: Recycling Old Inner Tubes

Postby Nick_K on Thu 23/Apr/09 4:58pm

Running tubeless so not an issue for me. Do have a graveyard of at least 20 tyres under the house though.
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