Group creating mud mats, jobs in Detroit - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Cass Community Social Services creating mud mats, jobs in Detroit

Posted: Updated:
A worker adds the finishing touches to the mud mats made from old tires A worker adds the finishing touches to the mud mats made from old tires
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Cass Community Social Services in Detroit is turning a city eyesore into an eco-friendly, job-training opportunity by turning old, dumped tires into mud mats.

VIDEO: Watch the FOXe video report from Fox 2's Robin Schwartz or read the transcript below

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A MUD MAT OR CONTACT CASS COMMUNITY SOCIAL SERVICES

Cass Community Social Services: (313) 883-2277

It's amazing what can you create with junkie old tires.

The art of making mud mats is a process that folks at Cass Community Social Services in Detroit have perfected, and they showed us how it's done.

Step one: a road trip to pick up raw materials. And sadly there's no shortage of tossed aside tires to reclaim.

"We picked up 20 tires. Yesterday we picked up 80. There's a couple different spots in the city of Detroit where we picked up thousands of tires at a time," says Geneal Martin, a forklift operator.

Next stop: back to Cass Green Industries inside an old warehouse, where the tires are unloaded and rolled in to get a whole new life.

As you can see in the video, the rubber is sliced thin, cut into strips and punctured. Then it's woven with colorful beads to make eco-friendly mud mats. It's a project that gives these fires a lot more mileage and creates jobs. This effort started in 2007 with five workers. Now 12 people who used to be homeless have steady paychecks and full-time jobs.

"If somebody hasn't worked for a while, if their education's been limited or if they don't have a reference or address or phone number, this is a great way for them to get back into the workplace," says Faith Fowler of Cass Community Social Services.

Over the last five years workers and volunteers have picked up thirty thousand tires at no charge to the city. New products are being planned with the tires for the future.

For example, the video shows an exclusive first look at a prototype for sandals that will soon be produced here using tire treads and seat belts. The University of Michigan helped design them, complete with the iconic "D" logo on the sole.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to see the sandal prototype

"It's not the Tiger's "D" but it's a "D" that sends the message it's from Detroit, made by people in Detroit, and the tag line will be "Leave Your Mark," Fowler says.

'Leave Your Mark,' a poignant message from an organization leaving its mark in so many ways: cleaning up our city, creating jobs and changing lives - and making our planet a better place.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:39:04 GMT
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
  • DPD's 6th precinct struck by bullets in drive-by shooting

    DPD's 6th precinct struck by bullets in drive-by shooting

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:06:31 GMT
    Detroit police say bullets struck the 6th Precinct building during a drive-by shooting. This was the same precinct where four officers were shot back in 2011.
    Detroit police say bullets struck the 6th Precinct building during a drive-by shooting. This was the same precinct where four officers were shot back in 2011.
  • City turns down Vinsetta Garage's new parking proposal

    City turns down Vinsetta Garage's new parking proposal

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:31:49 GMT
    Vinsetta Garage, a popular restaurant in Berkley, proposed to tear down several homes and build a parking lot to solve the parking issue in the neighborhood, but the proposal was turned down Monday at city hall.
    Vinsetta Garage, a popular restaurant in Berkley, proposed to tear down several homes and build a parking lot to solve the parking issue in the neighborhood, but the proposal was turned down Monday at city hall.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices