Published Apr 23, 2014
Road maintenance is one of the most costly things the government does. The higher the costs for repair, the higher your taxes are raised. So, in effect the amount of money going into maintaining the roads affects everyone. Fortunately, a new, cheaper method may be the answer to saving money on these repairs. Using recycled tires is cheaper, eco-friendly, more long term solution to road maintenance.
This type of road maintenance is cheaper for a number of reasons, most obviously because the material itself is recycled. The tires used in repairs are used, so no purchasing or manufacturing is involved. They are using something that would otherwise fill up landfills so the product itself is very cheap to acquire. Second, the longevity of the roads repaired with tires will save money in the long-run because repairs will be needed less often. Even when repairs are needed, workers use less of the asphalt mixture than other mixtures because less is needed to have the same effect. Third, a road that lasts longer will need less workers to maintain it when repairs are needed, saving on paid employees. These reasons alone are enough to seriously consider this method for road repair in any city.
Every year, millions of tires are disposed in landfills. Along with filling up already overcrowded landfills, tires can be hazardous. Discarded tires often catch fire, which releases chemicals into the air that contaminate the air, groundwater and soil. For this reason, many states have banned discarding whole tires in landfills. Those with a need to get rid of such tires no longer have an obvious option, so the tires are left all over the place. In contrast, using recycled tires to repair roads takes up to 6,800 tires just to replace three miles of road. It’s a great alternative to a growing problem.
Along with being a cheaper method than traditional road repair, using recycled tires also extends the life of the road. The mixture they use is a combination of recycled tires and liquid asphalt. The rubber of the tires makes the road more elastic, making it bend more. This extra elasticity creates a stronger bond and makes less pot holes than traditional mixtures. It also prevents cracks and potholes caused by water seeping into the road. Less pot holes means less need to repair the roads as often.
Road maintenance can cost over a billion dollars a year for one state just to keep them in fair condition. Using recycled tires is a great option because it’s cheap, longer lasting and more ecofriendly.