Tires are big, bulky, and awkward which means it can be a lot of work to get them recycled, but it is worth the extra effort. Un-recycled tires are an environmental hazard, and there are many ways recycling old tires benefits the environment and society. Here are a few of the biggest advantages of recycling tires.

Conserves Landfill Space

Tire take up lots of space in landfills due to their round, hollow shape. Landfill space is a finite resource, so eliminating big bulky items that take up more space than necessary leaves space for other things that can’t be easily recycled.

Creates Beneficial New Products

Recycled tires are turned into many useful products. One common product of recycled tires is tire-derived fuel. This fuel is more energy-efficient than normal fuel from coal, and it releases fewer harmful emissions. Other products made from recycled tires include rubberized asphalt, flooring, railroad ties, and playground turf.  These products aren’t just a good way to reuse old tires; most of them are better than their normal alternatives. Rubberized asphalt, for example is more durable and provides more skid resistance than normal paving materials.

Many ingenious crafters have also made their own useful products out of recycled tires. They’ve used tires for garden planters, home playground equipment, and outdoor furniture.

Even when recycling tires doesn’t produce new products, it is a good way to extract useful materials. Many tires contain steel, fiber, and nylon that are needed in other industries.

Prevents the spread of disease

Discarded old tires provide homes for disease-carrying rodents. They also collect stagnant water that provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes which also carry deadly diseases. Eliminate the tire waste and help prevent the spread of disease. Prevents fires and pollution Another problem with discarded old tires is fires. Tire fires are more problematic than other fires because they are especially difficult to put out and they result in thick, black smoke. The pollution from tire fires can contaminate water and soil in surrounding areas, so the damage lasts for years to come. Recycle your old tires so they don’t become fire hazards.

Next time you need to replace your old tires, make a point to recycle them. If you don’t have plans for using them at home or turning them into something new, take them somewhere to be recycled. A few common options include taking them to a local tire retailer, calling your city’s waste management agency, or checking to see if your city sets aside days for tire recycling.

If none of these options work, you may be able to find a company in your area that specializes in recycling old tires. Over 290 million scrap tires are generated every year in the United States. Do your part to protect the environment and your community by recycling.