A reader wants to build entirely with recycled materials such as plastic bottles. She asked me for roofing ideas. There may be better information available. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for better websites/information.
“After several failed attempts with radial tires, I spoke with a local tire dealer and found that Racing tires only have Steel belts in the side walls, not in the tread. He happened to have an old tire so I took it home to see what I could do. I drilled a hole in the tread and used a key hole saw to start cutting. It went rather smoothly but it did take two people and still took about 45 minutes to make 12 – 14 shingles. I knew these were the type of tires I needed but I needed a lot of them, it turns out the the guy at the local tire dealer knew someone who had a ton of old Racing tires. Before I went to the store to buy brand new hole saws, I tried a utility blade (box cutter) (just for laughs actually) and found that it cut through the tire like a hot knife through butter.
In all, the design worked just as I thought it would. It was put through the Northern California rain test and there were not any visible leaks, although, water always finds a way. I was happy that I only spent $10 to make the shingles, the $10 was the purchase of several razor blades and utility knives. The structure itself was a bit more, but the main focus was the tire shingles themselves. This was a successful project, but that depends on your definition of appropriate technology. At the beginning of this class I thought the definition was that all other technology is inappropriate. I then formulated my definition to “our best effort in leaving the smallest environmental impact”. I now know that what is good for one person will not be good for another, so my definition has changed again, “our best effort in leaving the smallest environmental footprint within the ways that we choose to live”.”
More at the source: Appropedia