When it comes to the repurposed afterlife, rubber tires sure do get around thanks to a high — around 75 percent — recycling rate. You can find ‘em in playground mulch, flooring, door mats, the soles of shoes, flip-flops, highway sound barriers, asphalt, handbags, dog toys, garbage cans, backyard tire swings, and, umm, paddles for naughty adults. Pretty much everything but the kitchen sink … actually, now the kitchen sink, too. Well, not quite.
Conceived by Santa Monica via Iceland-based design house Minarc, RUBBiSH is an award-winning alternative to standard ceramic, glass, or metal sinks that’s made from a sheet of flexible recycled rubber that’s only 1/8 inch think. Here's the process behind it according to Architect magazine:
The rubber from the tires is melted down and cleansed of debris, and the tiny inherent metal fibers that give a tire its road resistance are then formed into a sheet. This sheet is stretched over a base frame—made of wood, metal, or any other material out of which bathroom furniture can be fashioned—and anchored down by the drain collar. This creates a shallow-sloped surface for water to be siphoned away, but not a clunky profile; in fact, the material used is so minimal that, the manufacturer claims, the sinks use less than one pound of rubber. Two options are available, the most basic being the 1/8-inch-thick sheet of rubber adhered directly to the cabinet underneath. The other is a framed option, in which the sheet of rubber is sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum around the edges. The firm is in the process of developing two standard sizes for commercial distribution: a single sink at 36 inches wide and a double basin measuring 5 feet across.