You use them every day. Whether you drive a car, take a bus, ride your bike, or fly in a plane, all of these methods of transportation rely on rubber tires. This applies to billions of other people across the world each day, too. It might surprise you to know just how many scrap tires are produced each year around the world, and how those previously used tires are effectively being put to use in other applications.

Here are some stats:

In 2008 alone, one billion new scrap tires were produced across the world, and another four billion were estimated to already exist in landfills and stockpiles (according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).

The U.S., not surprisingly, is the world’s largest producer of used tires with approximately 290 million produced in 2009

What happens to all of these tires?

Tires that are illegally dumped can become a breeding ground for disease. Pests like rodents are known to inhabit piles of scrap tires, and the stagnant water they collect are a prime location for mosquitoes.

Diseases like dengue fever and encephalitis can result from illegal tire piles.

Illegal tire dumping can also result in tire fires that are extremely harmful because of the thick, black smoke produced that is full of air pollutants.

Despite illegal dumping, about 90 percent of all scrap tires produced each year are recycled and put to use in another application. In fact, the vice president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association said that “scrap tire management in the U.S. is a huge environmental success story.” The percentage of scrap tire recycling has been constantly increasing over the past two decades.

How are old tires put to use?

Thanks to today’s technology, new uses are being discovered for scrap tires each year. Currently, there are countless ways that scrap tires are being recycled and put to use in a variety of industries. Some of these uses include:

Tire-derived fuel applications consume about 45% of all recycled scrap tires.

About 20% of recycled scrap tires go to civil engineering projects like embankments, subgrade road insulation, landfill construction, and septic drain fields.

Another 12% of recycled scrap tires are used in ground rubber applications like asphalt rubber for roads and highways.

Millions of tires are also re-treaded each year to be used again on cars, buses, airplanes, etc.

Because of all of these new uses for recycled scrap tires, the stockpiles of scrap tires in the U.S. have been reduced over 90% since 1990.

Eco Green Equipment is helping further the cause of scrap tire recycling by creating equipment and machinery that easily and economically turns scrap tires into material that can be effectively used in thousands of applications.