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Pete, lifter of heavy things, Employee of the Month

Earlier in the year, our friend Pete decided that the time was right to haul the last clump of tyres from Zephyr Creek. It was about 8 o’clock at night, and after a cursory glance, he predicted that there “couldn’t be more than 30 or 40 in there.” Almost 200 tyres later, Pete had earnt his “Employee of the Month” status, and with assistance from Will, had built a respectable tyre mound on the edge of the creek. Thanks. I think.

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The elegant, sinuous form of a tyre sheep shelter, modelled by tyrechitects Abi and Shane.

The patch buried under tyres is slated for revegetation this winter, so we couldn’t leave the tyres there indefinitely, nor could we afford their disposal fees, nor could we find any earthship or go-kart track builders interested in taking them off our hands. So after pondering them for a while, we settled on Option E: using them to construct sheep shelters.

With a wind farm only a few kilometres down the road from our property, and our famous lack of trees, surely future livestock will be delighted to have a cosy tyre wall to huddle behind. From above, they look like elongated ‘S’ shapes, creating two alcoves facing opposite directions. Positioned perpendicular to the prevailing winds, the sheep will always have an option to get out of the weather. We built them at higher elevations and off-contour to ensure decent drainage, and pegged them in place with star-droppers. Each one took about 20-30 minutes to build and can be disassembled in less than that. Even if the sheep aren’t interested, I’m sure new trees won’t mind a bit of wind protection. I’m reluctant to use ‘elegant’ and ‘tyre’ in the same sentence, but I reckon these structures are a reasonable, low-energy strategy for a persistent waste problem. At least until we think of something better!

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