DETROIT (WXYZ) - At a warehouse in Northwest Detroit, innovation is at work. Tires picked up from the streets of Detroit are being re-purposed.
First mud mats, now sandals.
"From start to finish, it's quite a process." says Ed Hingelberg with Cass Community Social Services.
The idea came when people who noticed the sandals made out of tires being worn in other countries, such as Kenya and Mexico.
The people at Cass Community Social Services turned to the University of Michigan and the College of Creative Services to make it happen. After a lot of tinkering, they had a product they could sell, a product that is creating jobs.
"We have 80 people working here, soon to be 100." said Executive Director Rev. Faith Fowler. "We employ people for whom employment has been hard to get. Maybe they don't have a high school diploma, they can't read, or perhaps homeless."
So far, the program has been a success. Detroit gets rid of illegally dumped tires adding to the city's blight and the employees get a fresh start.
Detroit tread scandals sell for $25.00/pair. Mud mats start at $25.00 and coasters made from recycled wood and glass sell for $25.00/set.
To find out more about the products or to place an order: http://casscommunity.org/store/