Once you have made the environmentally friendly decision to recycle your tires, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to properly prepare your tires for recycling. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find answers to that question from a few of our readers.
Remove Rim and Clean Tire
The first step in preparing a tire for recycling is to remove it from the rim if it hasn’t [been] already. The easiest way to do this is to take it to a tire shop, as they will have a machine for removing the tire from the rim without damaging it.
If the rim is damaged beyond repair or you are not too bothered about damaging the rim, the tire can also be removed with a tire iron or by cutting the tire loose. Always ensure that the tire is deflated before attempting to cut into the tire. If it is a bicycle tire, make sure to also remove the inner tube.
If you are going to send the tires to a recycling center, they will need to be cleaned of any excess rubber or dirt. This can be done by spraying them with a hose and scrubbing them with a brush.
The tire can be recycled in several ways, including shredding and chipping. Shredding a tire produces strips approximately two inches in length. Chipping machines cut the tire into smaller pieces and then sort the different pieces by size. This process can be completed with a whole tire or after a tire has undergone shredding.
Remove Tire From Rim, Inspect, and Clean
It’s estimated that less than 40% of tires are recycled properly in Washington state. This is because properly recycling tires is expensive. Since the tire recycling industry is heavily regulated, not many recyclers exist. Those that do [exist] typically charge heavy fees for recycling services, which encourages illegal dumping and burning.
The best tire candidates for recycling are relatively clean and are under ten years old. This is because the rubber breaks down over time and the oils and other chemicals seep out, leaving a ‘dry rot’ rubber with limited use.
First, to prepare a tire for recycling, remove it from the metal rim or wheel. Some tire recyclers can do this for you for an additional fee. [Then], make sure there are no foreign objects in the tire, such as nails or screws. [Finally], if the tire was sitting outside for a long period, spray it down with a hose to flush out any mosquitoes or bugs.
Based on the condition and type of tire, the tire recycling company will determine if it can be recycled, and if so, to what extent. The highest quality tires, typically truck, can often be sent out to be retreaded. This is the best form of recycling because the tires get a second life.
When tires are lower quality or can’t be retreaded, they are typically broken down for a variety of other purposes. Construction and building products use old tires in numerous applications, including traffic cones, highway fill, structural fill, snow plow blades, silage cover weights, and more. Rubber mulch is environmentally sustainable and doesn’t break down over time. It’s often mixed with black paint to improve aesthetics and lasts up to 12 years.
Inspect, Clean, and Cut
Before recycling tires, it is important to take certain steps to prepare them. First, the tire must be inspected to make sure that it is not damaged beyond repair. If the tire is severely worn or has large cracks, it will need to be disposed of as waste instead of being recycled.
Second, the tire must be cleaned to remove any dirt, debris, or other contaminants. This step is important to ensure that the recycled tire can be used safely and effectively.
Finally, the tire must be cut into smaller pieces so that it can be more easily processed. Once these steps have been taken, the tires are ready to be recycled and reused in a variety of ways.
Remove Wheel Weights and Rims
If you’re serious about keeping your tires out of a landfill, the first thing you should do is talk to an auto shop about re-treading or repairing them. This can be much less expensive than getting entirely new tires and will also keep them out of a landfill.
If your tires can’t be saved using this method, consider reusing them for something else like a swing or garden planters.
If you have to dispose of them, start by removing the rim and wheel weights. After that, the trick is going to be finding a facility to accept them. Private companies and some municipal waste management services will handle them for you, often for a small fee.
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