The story of De-tread began about 6.5 years ago, when its founder Audra D Carson was deeply impacted by the trend of illegally dumped tires in the neighborhood that she grew up in. Her parents still lived there and were thriving yet something ugly was happening in their proverbial backyard. Although the vision for a tire processing facility has not come to fruition, in the interim a model for community empowerment and collaboration has emerged. The Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, Repair the World, The Skillman Foundation, SDEV and the Brightmoor Woodworkers are just some of the organizations that De-tread has partnered with to remove illegally dumped tires from neighborhoods. Dumped tires toxic composition makes them highly flammable they also house mosquitoes and rodents which carry the West Nile Virus. This poses an enormous threat to the health and safety of neighborhoods. De-tread is the project manager that coordinates approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, mapping & estimation of the number of tires, volunteer training and transportation for the collected tires through the proper waste stream. To date De-tread is responsible for removing just under 9,000 tires from the streets of Detroit. For reference, 9,000 tires stacked would be 7,500 feet high, or 13 Penobscot buildings stacked on top of each other. The tower of tires could be seen from Lansing.
Funded by Detroit, MI (September 2015)