We have all seen the pictures of old car tires stacked up at the landfill or seen the scrapes left littering the sides of the highway. It’s a hard thing to look and not wonder if there isn’t something better that could be done with them or some other purpose they could serve. Fortunately, there is! Recycling. While the practice of recycling rubber has been in existence for more than one hundred years, it has only been since the early 1990’s that a real effort has been made toward recycling tires . It is a practice that really benefits everyone; it is a great way to bring new life to those old tires and help the environment at the same time.
There are many uses for old recycled tires. Some that aren’t as worn can be retread into new tires . Most often this is done on large semi or tractor-trailer tires because the expense of new tires is much higher; however this is an option for passenger vehicles as well. It is something to look into if you are shopping for new tires but are looking for a more affordable way to get those BF Goodrich tires. Unfortunately, retread tires generally only last about half as long as new tires and sometimes have a lower speed rating.
For tires that are worn beyond repair there are many uses as well, some that you may come into contact with everyday and not even know it. Some tires are recycled into hot melt asphalt and are used to help pave roads and highways. There is also a process called pyrolsis that thermo chemically breaks the tires down to become gas, oil, and rubber for new tires.
You can also use recycled tires around your house; shredded rubber tires can become rubber mulch in a children’s play area, an old tire can make a perfect tire swing, or an old tire flipped on it’s side and filled with dirt could become a nice planter in the backyard.
The possibilities for old tires are endless and we benefit the environment as well. For one they take up a considerable amount of space in landfills because of their size and the shear number of tires used each year. Secondly, due to the heavy materials and pollutants used to create tires, they are hazard to the ground water and surrounding soil when they begin to break down.
Recycled tires provide us with new material that we need to improve our communities and homes and they reduce waste in landfills and toxins in the soil and groundwater; it’s a winning situation for everyone.