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The DeTread World


Seed Analysis Chart

Utilizing the Business Seed Development chart to the left, a group of people are working through the business of De-tread, an existing rubber recycling company working to solve the problem of vehicle tires waste in the Detroit communities.

  • Observe: Reflection on the current business and it's environment.
  • Natural Strengths and Stresses: Analysis of the current business and its environment.
  • Grow . . .Ideas. . .Awareness: Created from sessions held to generate ideas that apply to De-Tread or new directions to be considered.
  • EcoSystem: identifies all entities that play a role in the tire recycling industry.
  • 3D Margin Maps: Identifies the economic, community, and environment impact of De-Tread actions and opportunities.
  • Risks and Deep Roots: Identified during planning to better mitigate the risks within the core business.

Working through these steps naturally identified the DNA of the business.

  • Kernal. . . DNA . . . Identity: Identifies the core of the business.


Observations (1)
Observations (2)
  • One tire/person/year into the waste stream ~ 3 million
  • Haulers must be licensed by the state
    • Haulers can take the tires to a certified end user (ex. Cass Community) or a certified processor (ex. Silverling)
    • Both charge the hauler $1/tire
  • Silverlining, Wyandotte, is a licensed tire processor
  • TDF = Tire Derived Fuel
  • Tire clean up is a very labor intensive process
    • Hazardous because flammable
  • 85% of the tires in U.S. are recycled
  • Communities are "crying out" for help
  • Charge of $1.75/tire pickup is too low. Includes labor, fuel, and drop at the end user or certified processor
  • EPA found rubber to be safe for children
  • DEQ enforces rules - enforcement is low
  • City of Detroit picks up 4 tires/household at quarterly bulk pickups.
    • Where do the go?
  • Processes
    • rough chop
    • crumb rubber
    • black powder (carbon black) ink
  • DEQ grants - innovation grants
    • Who got the grants?

Natural Strengths and Weaknesses

Natural Strengths

Natural Strengths

Energy (1)
Energy (2)

Energy sources

  • Products
    • Detroit designed and manufactures
    • Ford Motor Car
      • Making a difference in Detroit
      • Recycling commitment
  • Information
    • Map of dumped tires with text and picture
    • Total cost of abandoned tires
    • Street level, real time, intelligence
      • report
      • log real time
    • Reporting gives energy
    • Interest in tires - everyone needs tires
    • App on smartphone, get points, rewards
  • City of Detroit
    • High fine: $10,000
    • Enforcement: community?
  • Tire deposit policy/legislation
  • Learn

Grow . . .Ideas. . .Awareness

Tire Materials
Product Ideas
European Example

Processed tires create:

  • Raw Material
    • Chop --> floor mats
    • Crumb --> athletic fields
    • Powder --> inks, toners

Product ideas:

  • Peat moss replacement in greenhouse soils
  • Sealant for paint, fence/roofing coating
  • Roof shingles . . . use treads
  • Rubber tiles + YUGO machine
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Furniture
  • Playground equipment
  • Recycling containers
  • Collision barriers, bumpers
  • Reuse into tires/solid tires
  • Retaining walls, road construction, railway ties
  • Concrete industry as fuel
    • Steel --> tire --> carbon --> steel
  • Home foundations
  •  ? for seismic shocks
  • Alleys coverings
  • Lock washer
  • Permeable pavers
  • Bullet target

European Example of tire recycling


Tire Recycling Ecosystem

Tire Retailers

Tire Retailers
  • Educate consumer on proper inflation and alignment
    • Reduce scrap tires
  • One retail store sells 3,000 tires/month
  • $0.87/tire to haul away
  • Use legitimate haulers (with proper disposal site)
  • Company division level? **
  • Four service bays/25% of store is for scrap tires
  • Charge consumer $1.75/tire

Tire Processors/End Users

Tire Processors
  • In Michigan
    • 9 processors
    • 29 sites
  • In Detroit
    • 1 processor
    • 2 sites, 7 in Detroit area
  • $1/tire from processor to site
  • All the same?
  • ENTECH asking for tires
    • processor for multiple uses
    • hauls to White Pigeon

Metal Processors

Metal Processors
  • 14-15% of tire is steel
  • Pay $0.45/tire
  • 2 types of metal
    • Rim
    • Mesh
  • Reuse
  • Kevlar?

Tire Manufacturers

Tire Manufacturers
  • Goodyear/Bridgestone
  • Environmental improvement, fuel efficiency, longer life
  • Rubber manufacturers into associations
  • They are not dealing with scrap
  • Own retailers
  • Own tire cradle-to-cradle
    •  ? Like bottle return deposit ?

Illegal Dumpers

Illegal Dumpers

Dumpers could be individuals or businesses

  • City Airport dumping
  • Tires in houses
  • Tire jockeys
  • "Tired" Channel 2

Car/Truck Owners

Car/Truck Owners
  • $1-$3/tire off rim
  • $6 with rim
  • Do they know where their tires go? NO!


  • 2004 banned tires from landills
  • Scrap tire program
    • $1.50/vehicle grant

Tire Haulers

Tire Haulers


  • Licensed annually
  • Exception is farmers
  • 158 haulers in Michigan
  • tight relationships w/processor


  • Regulation
  • Manifest
  • List designated sites and processors
  • Tiers based on volume/No cost
  • Fill out a form


  • Call 311, case number
  • Clean up efforts
    • Tire amnesty days
  • Pickup $2/tire
  • Few examples in the city
  • SW Detroit
    • Kathy Milberg
    • Tire roundups
      • $0.25/tire
  • Schools - ??
  • Philadelphia: $0.50/tire, community groups

Product Designers

Product Designers
  • Scott hocking artist
  • Landscape
  • Shoes
  • Art
  • Belts
  • Other
  • Retain identity
  • Local artists

City of Detroit

City of Detroit
  • Call 311
  • DPW
  • Nate Ford
  • City Council (Pugh/Gary Brown)
  • Community Access Center (SW Detroit)
  • Enforcement
    • $10,000 fine/improved vehicle
  • Kathy ??
    • 12,000/5 years

3D Margin Analysis

Illegal Dumpers

Illegal Dumpers

City of Detroit

City of Detroit


DeTread Process

DNA Part 1

DNA Part 2

DNA Part 3

Meeting Notes

Community Relationships

Neighborhood Groups:

  • Creating relationships with key community groups
    • 9 Leading Community Groups (Francis Grunow)
    • Skillman’s 5 Target Neighborhoods (Chris Uhl)
  • Understanding their needs:
    • Clean-up priorities
    • Communication needs with the City and other community groups
    • Corporate volunteer program coordination
    • Reporting of clean-up status, scheduling and progress


  • Communication enhancement with community groups/neighborhood?
  • Data collection/reporting (Reporting of clean-up prioritization, scheduling and progress)
  • Clean-up prioritization based upon: fire, safety, neighborhood priorities, etc.


  • Entech*:
    • Confirm truck load capacity in weight and volume
    • How many shredded tires can you put into a cubic yard?
    • Who at GM wanted to get their own rubber back from Entech? Why?
    • What is the cost of processing a tire at Entech (if we deliver the tires to you versus us paying $2/tire to a hauler)? Is the processing cost less if we bring to you shred?
    • What haulers would Entech suggest we speak with to learn if they will leave a bin/dumpster/truck at the neighborhood pick-up sites.
  • CCSS*:
    • What is the processing capabilities and capacities?
    • Have/Would they consider creating a tire storage facility?

Design Community

DeTread Story

  • Identify our audiences:
    • Design Communities (e.g. CCS)
    • Foundations (e.g. Skillman)
    • Corporate Customers (e.g. Ford)
    • Corporate Volunteer Groups (e.g. Ford)
    • Material Science Community* (e.g. WSU, U of M)
    • Neighborhoods (e.g. Francis’s 9 Community Groups)
    • City (e.g. neighborhood safety, neighborhood cleanliness/pride, property value, reduced insurance costs (Auto Owners?)*, etc.)
    • DEQ

Bob will check on items with an asterisk.