Tire recycling may not be at the forefront of many people’s minds, but that makes it no less important. The problem is that the very thing we like in tires—tough, durable construction—makes them a challenge to recycle. However, they can still be very much recycled; in fact, millions a year are recycled!
It’s simply a matter of finding uses for old tires, and getting them to a tire recycler. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point that tires can now be profitably recycled into many useful products. But the sheer volume of tires discarded each year—almost 300 million tires in the United States alone—makes safe disposal difficult.
Landfills: A No-Go For Tires
The pile-up of tires in landfills is one of the main repercussions that comes from the challenge of tire recycling. Their hollow, rounded shape takes up valuable shape in landfills. Additionally, tires often don’t stay buried. They have the unfortunate habit of trapping gases like methane and then “bubbling up” through landfills, ripping through landfill liners in the process.
Therefore, the importance and necessity of tire recycling grows as quickly as the amount of tires piling up in landfills.
So How Are Tires Recycled?
Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which tires can be recycled nowadays. The most straightforward way for most people is to find a local tire recycling plant and simply dropping off their old, unused tires. In addition, many companies offer the service of coming and picking up your old tires—sometimes even paying you for them!
Most car owners recycle their old tires at a service station or other facility that accepts old tires when the owner buys new tires. Additionally, some local governments sponsor tire collection programs, accepting old tires with “no questions asked.”
The most environmentally aware way to recycle tires is, of course, to keep your tires in good operating condition for as long as possible. Follow smart, green car-maintenance practices like keeping tires properly inflated, rotating your tires, balancing your wheels, and aligning your wheels when necessary.
The best part of recycled tires is their diversity; TDS (Tire Derived Shreds), wire free chips, rubber mulch, crumb rubber, and fine rubber powder, and more can all be used in a variety of applications worldwide.