Bridgestone Tyre company announced on Friday the closure of their Tyre Manufacturing plant in Christchurch with the loss of 275 jobs (and Adelaide with the loss of 600 jobs). The former Firestone plant has been a landmark in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui since its construction in 1947.
In a surprise move, the Australian Board of Bridgestone announced their intention to
“work with local government authorities in Adelaide and Christchurch to gift some land currently owned by the Company to recognise the enormous contributions of the communities”.
This is a fantastic opportunity to gift to the local community a sustainable site for a nest of residential rammed-earth-tyre Earthships or an Earthship community centre.
Will Bridgestone be the first tyre manufacturer in the world to get behind Earthships as the most sustainable solution for post-consumer tyre waste? The development of an Earthship building on a brown field site, a former tyre manufacturing plant no less, would demonstrate a positive commitment to the Waste Minimisation Act and show New Zealand and the rest of the world what corporate social responsibility is really all about.
Potential uses for a Community Centre could include a Centre for Alternate Technology, modelled on CAT in Wales or a showcase of Environmentally Sustainable buildings like the BRE Innovation Park in England.
Earthship NZ intends to canvas stakeholders to gauge support for an Earthship submission. Any interested parties should make contact via the website firstname.lastname@example.org