RENEW IOWA: A Lucas County man is building a house out of recycled tires

Renew Iowa
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Have you ever wondered what happens to your old tires when you have new ones put on your car? A Southern Iowa man is putting them to use. They’re helping him build his dream home.

It is called an Earthship, and it is a completely off the grid sustainable home, made out of primarily recyclable material, says Earthship homebuilder Jim Curtis.

The Earthship home idea started 40 years ago in New Mexico. Builders like Curtis use recycled materials, even wine bottles, for the walls. Eventually the rows of tires will be covered in dirt.

When it’s finished, the house will heat and cool itself, get its power through the wind and sun, and the running water will come from a system that recycles rain. Jim will even grow his own food in the house.

Jim is the first person in the state to build a home like this. He gets the tires free from a tire store in Chariton.

His hope is to have the home completed next fall.


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