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More than 2,400 scrap tires collected from remote B.C. island

Tire marks on a remote coastal island are now removed, and the rubber is being recycled on the mainland.

The announcement from Ocean Legacy Foundation says the 2,409 tires were collected from the east coast of Nelson Island. As part of the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative, a 33-person team moved the tires onto a larger barge and took them to Powell River.

After the tires were relocated onto an 8.5-metre trailer and organized into eight bins, they were taken to Liberty Tire’s recycling facility in Delta.

The project opens up a mystery, according to Let’s Talk Trash co-founder Abby McLennan.

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“The mysterious origin of this tire dump site dates back to the 1990s. For over 20 years these tires have been abandoned and seemingly outside of any jurisdiction to clean up,” said McLennan.

Ocean Legacy Foundation co-founder Chloé Dubois says the removal opens a new opportunity for the island.

“This cleanup effort [ensured] that these old and abandoned tires didn’t end up in our ocean or landfills,” said Dubois. “Additionally, with the pollution gone from the island’s surface, new life can now grow in its place.”

The tires can be reused for many purposes including rubberized horse mats, running tracks, waterparks, walkways and gathering areas as well as playgrounds according to Tire Stewardship BC.

They add more than five million scrap vehicle tires are recycled into new products every year.

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