In Yellowstone, the rubber doesn’t meet the road, it is the road. The pathways around Old Faithful, one of the park’s star attractions, aren’t made from asphalt or cement, but from old tires.
Michelin, the tire company that helped build the project, says that the benefit of the new surface is that unlike asphalt, it won’t leach oil into the ground, and it will help prevent erosion.
The 900 tires that were cut up and used to create the new, 6,400-square-foot path once adorned some of the 452 park vehicles that patrol Yellowstone. Rubber trails like this are already popular options on playgrounds and in parks as they tend to last longer, and provide more protection from falls than other, harder surfaces.
Despite the park’s tendency to swallow technology whole, the park does have a great reputation for recycling. Last year, the park re-used 208 car batteries donated by Toyota to power remote buildings in the Yellowstone wilderness.