Solutions: Repurposed Tire Bench
SHOP: George Witt Service LOCATION: Lincoln, Neb. INNOVATOR: Becky Witt/Champlin Tire Recycling Incorporated SIZE: 6,000 square feet; STAFF SIZE: 3 (service writer, technician and owner); AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 90 ANNUAL REVENUE: $480,000
What It Is:
A bench made out of recycled tires. The bench sits right outside the shop.
Becky Witt, the co-owner and founder of George Witt Service, has been in the industry close to 50 years. She’s always been a proponent for protecting the environment. When she opened her own shop in 1994, she knew she wanted to integrate that into her business model. She looked for ways to green her shop and opted for tire recycling, loaner bikes and using extended-service motor oil.
She also looked into tire recyclers and found Champlin Tire Recycling Incorporated. They recycle her shop’s tires and also offered the option of creating a bench out of them. In 2012, Witt acquired a bench.
What It Does:
The 220-pound bench, aside from providing a comfortable place for people to sit, demonstrates the shop’s attention to environmentally safe practices. For Witt and her shop’s focus on being green, the bench is just the tip of the iceberg. The unique bench helps customers get into the shop.
It enhances the look of the front of the shop and it compliments the color combination outside. During warmer weather, the bench is frequently used.
Before Witt purchased the bench, at least one customer per day would park too close to the front door of the shop. It could have led to a collision with the door or a customer. Now with the bench and a few planters, customers don’t pull up as close.
Although there is no signage on the bench now, Witt will add that in the near future.
How It’s Made:
Witt connected with Champlin Tire Recycling. They picked up the shop’s tires and took about 4 weeks to produce the 8-foot-long bench.
The upcycled bench cost Witt $480.
Customers like the bench and when they inquire about it, Witt tells them the story behind it and ties it back to her shop’s mission. Witt believes that the bench is one of the best investments she and her business partner have made for the shop.
Witt’s return on the bench is the fact that it’s a physical testament to her shop’s attention to environmentally sound practices. The bench serves as a decoration, but also introduces customers from the get-go to the kind of brand Witt strives George Witt Service to be. It highlights the shop’s appearance and the customers it attracts.
Additionally, the bench serves as a marker that safeguards customers and the front of the shop.
Even though the bench is five years old, it doesn’t show age or wear, she notes. She doesn’t need to replace it any time soon.