In the past, scrap tires always went into landfill. In the year of 2003 alone, 290 million tires were disposed of this way, taking up an enormous amount of resources and causing the U.S. government great concern. Thankfully, markets now exist for over 80% of these scrap tires, therefore taking a lot of the pressure off the landfill sites.
Can they be recycled?
Most definitely, and should always be done so. When tires end up being dumped or going to landfill they proved a wonderful breeding ground for insects such as mosquitoes. The shape of them is perfect; holding a small amount of water inside which is shaded from the sun to prevent too much evaporation. They also provide perfect homes for rodents. So along with being unsightly, scrap tires can present a significant risk to human health as well if not disposed of in the correct manner.
What are the possibilities for the recycled material?
Tires can be recycled into a multitude of different things. Very many tires are re-treaded and put back into use. Others are used as fuel, or can be converted into rubber and rubber used in asphalt. Still more are used in the agricultural industry and engineering projects, and a lot are exported to other countries.
48 states have laws and regulations in regards to the scrapping of tires. Some encourage members of the public to dispose of tires in the correct manner by having free of charge drop off points, or even tire amnesty days. But it is very likely that when you recycle a tire that you may have to pay a small amount towards the cost.
When you take your car or vehicle to have its tires changed, it is very common that the cost of the new tires will include a charge for disposing of the old ones. This is not an optional charge and is something that everyone has to pay.
One of the big markets for recycled tires is rubberized asphalt which is found in many childrenâ€™s play areas. This surface helps take the impact out of falls, which are inevitable as children play on playground items.
But what about the resources used in the recycling process?
Recycling tires is essential if we are not to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount used every year. Because practically every aspect of a tire can be recycled, this outweighs the resources used in the recycling process. Although it is expensive in monetary terms to recycle tires, in environmental terms the recycling of tires is priceless.
If you are unsure of a tire recycling facility close to where you live, visit www.earth911.com and enter your zip code to find options close to your address.