Blue planet, green ideas | Rubber to wear

When they are too worn to allow cyclists to ride, bicycle tires and inner tubes often end up in the trash. However, all it takes is a little paint and a few marbles to transform the rubber into a jewel.

Posted at 6:00 a.m.

Florence Morin Martel

Florence Morin Martel
The Press

A necklace made from a tire painted purple and pink. An inner tube transformed into a tie. These are some of the creations that emerged from the jewelry-making workshops organized by the citizen action organization Solon Collectif and the Yéléma Art Hive last fall. “I was really in my element,” says Amarande Rivière, visual artist and workshop facilitator for the Yéléma Art Hive. “I hadn’t touched that yet, but I thought it was a great challenge. »

After having mastered the materials (tires and inner tubes) by cutting, gluing and painting, Amarande Rivière was ready to guide two groups (composed in particular of single mothers) in their creative process, during the workshops. Seeing the few models prepared by the artist, the mothers participating in one of the workshops were impressed. “They were like, ‘Will I be able to do this? tells Mme River. But of course yes! »

Ecological transition

In addition to giving a second life to irreparable tires and inner tubes, the workshops were a pretext to address the issue of cycling with the families present, says Maude Ménard-Chicoine, mobilization officer in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie. at Solon Collective. “We wanted to do something pleasant, but which has a link with mobility and which allows us to talk about cycling with the children or winter cycling”, she says.

There are many people who are already interested in the ecological transition. The goal was to go to people who are not necessarily interested in it and to create workshops that allow them to be reached, without arriving with our big clogs.

Maude Ménard-Chicoine, mobilization officer in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie at Solon Collectif

The implementation of a new economic and social model to combat the climate crisis must leave no one behind, underlines Maude Ménard-Chicoine. “We have to put people at the heart of this ecological transition,” she says.


Bike tires and inner tubes become colorful bracelets and necklaces.

And to do that, ties need to be forged within communities, she says. “It was nice to see the children who made connections during the workshop,” says Menard-Chicoine. They would spontaneously say, “I just made a piece of jewelry, will you be my friend?” »

Still too many tires in the trash

When they don’t become colorful jewels, end-of-life tires and inner tubes can be taken to certain centers that collect truck, car and bicycle tires. The rubber is then transformed into powder and remodeled to create new objects, explains Marc Olivier, professor-researcher at the Center for Technology Transfer in Industrial Ecology in Sorel-Tracy.

Athletics tracks, speed bumps to slow down cars and carpets to make cows more comfortable in the barn are some of the objects made from this rubber powder, lists Mr. Olivier. Only tires that are too soiled by mud cannot be recovered and are then burned.

The centers that collect the tires are still unknown, maintains Marc Olivier. Other than the bike repair shops who know about it, many riders are unaware of these take-back programs. ” The majority [des pneus] ends up in the black bins and then in the landfills”, laments the professor-researcher.

Some numbers

240 171

Number of bicycle tires or inner tubes recovered by Recyc-Québec in 2020

Source: Recyc-Quebec

2,1 millions

Number of cyclists who used the bicycle as a means of transportation in Quebec in 2020

Source: Vélo Québec

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *