Published April 8, 2017
Modern recycling isn’t as inefficient and costly as it was in the past. In fact, with the right equipment, it can be incredibly lucrative. One vital tool for turning a profit through recycling is a tire shredder. EcoGreen equipment is high-powered and efficient, with the Green Monster single-shaft shredder capable of processing up to 12 metric tons of tires per hour and the Green Giant two-shaft shredder capable of processing up to 30 metric tons per hour (Source: Environmental XPRT).
These machines can handle all the tires your company can feed into them, but what if you don’t have enough tires to keep them busy? In that case, there are plenty of other ways you can get your money’s worth out of a tire shredder. These powerful pieces of equipment can easily be put to work shredding materials other than tire rubber, which will provide your company with more diverse opportunities for profitable recycling.
Construction and demolition projects produce enormous amounts of waste, most of which ends up in landfills. Much of it can be recycled, however. Around 10% of the waste from construction and demolition, weighing up to 11 million tons each year, comes from asphalt shingles (Source: Apollo Equipment). Like tires, asphalt shingles are far too valuable to be relegated to a landfill. Recycled shingles reduce the need for mining new asphalt and other types of aggregate for pavement, as they can be used in place of it, often resulting in higher-quality material (Source: ARMA).
Demand is increasing as more road companies realize how useful and cost-effective asphalt shingles are. Many state Departments of Transportation have also recognized asphalt shingles as excellent road material, making the industry expand and the demand grow even more. Other uses for recycled asphalt shingles include making new roofing materials, products for road maintenance, or even using them as fuel, like recycled tires. Your company can join in by using EcoGreen tire shredders to shred asphalt shingles.
Construction and Demolition Wood Waste
If construction and demolition projects produce a lot of waste in the form of asphalt shingles, that’s still less than a quarter of the waste that comes in the form of wood. Over 40 million tons of wood gets sent from these sites to landfills each year, even though it is still a valuable resource. Just as tire shredders can reduce tough rubber into small shreds, they can serve a similar function to a wood chipper. From there, the possibilities are numerous. Wood chips can be sold as mulch for flower beds, compost material to build up gardening soil, fuel for anything from small fires to biomass reactors, surface material for playgrounds, temporary erosion control to prevent soil loss during heavy rains, and more (Source: Networx).
Another all-too-common useful material in landfills is plastic. In the US alone, over 110 million tons of plastic is thrown away each year, and only a small fraction of that makes it to recycling facilities (Source: Columbia University). Another 100 million tons have ended up in the oceans. In the past, there weren’t many ways to recycle plastic, because different types have different chemical compositions and separating them proved costly in both money and labor.
Fortunately, modern innovations and technology are constantly finding better ways to make these materials useful again. Some plastics can be converted into a component of solid fuel briquettes, which requires them to be shredded first. Shredded plastic can also be used to make products such as new containers, plastic lumber for outdoor furniture and playground equipment, clothing, carpeting, insulation, and, fittingly, recycling bins. The possibilities are vast and will only increase in the years to come.
Paper and Cardboard
Even though we’ve gone digital in a lot of important ways over the last few decades, nearly half of the garbage produced in the US is still paper and cardboard (Source: The World Counts). We’re better at recycling paper than plastic, but it still accounts for a quarter of the waste in landfills. Improved recycling of paper products could significantly reduce deforestation and pollution. Just about everything made out of paper or cardboard can be made with at least some recycled material, and that cycle can repeat several times before new material needs to be added in. The uses for shredded paper are virtually endless, from packing material to animal bedding to mulch.
E-scrap recycling is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US. Many electronics can be refurbished and sold to new consumers, but with technology advancing at such a rapid pace, individual products quickly become too obsolete to be useful anymore. At that point, recycling requires them to be reduced to their basic materials so they can be made into new products (Source: ISRI). It can be difficult to extract valuable metals from end-of-life electronics, so one of the best ways to harvest them is to shred them.
Yet another type of waste that can be more easily recycled once shredded is organic waste, or biodegradable waste. Tire shredders are certainly powerful enough to handle organic material, although, while the resulting compost will be highly valuable, the process is also going to be much messier than many of these other types of recycling, so it will be essential to have proper cleaning measures in place for the equipment.
Ultimately, the number of waste items that end up in landfills despite their value is enormous and varied in type, and your company could use tire shredders to help move society, the environment, and the market in a much more efficient direction, while making great profits.
Though EcoGreen’s original goal was to improve the process of recycling tires, our tire shredders can help you recycle so much more. We can answer all your questions about how to effectively use tire shredders on materials other than tires to get the most out of the equipment and give the most back to your customers. Learn more by contacting our experts today.