Recycling waste helps save our planet from the overwhelming amount of non-biodegradable waste generated by humans that is toxic to the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75% of the waste generated by Americans is recyclable but only 30% reaches the recycling destination. Why do we have such a big gap? One major reason is that most of us don’t know what all items are recyclable. One such item is tires. Each year the United States alone produces over 300 million used tire waste. Let's talk about tire recycling in detail.
What is Tire Recycling?
Much like any consumer product, tires have a lifespan. When they have worn out all of the usable tread, they are usually dumped in landfills. Tire recycling is an environmentally friendly way of disposing of used tires. Recycling the tire rubber provides a new lease of life. Knowing when it is time to change tires is critical and Cerebrum Intelligent Tire Sensors keep you updated on the healthy tread life of your tires. Our convenient application provides notification on your mobile application for when the time has come to put on new tires and recycle the old ones.
Why is Tire Recycling Important?
Tires in landfills act as a breeding ground for rodents and mosquitoes which can spread diseases. Tires are made up of synthetic rubber and therefore are non-biodegradable. It is estimated that a tire could take hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose. Disposed tires trap methane gas and could create a notorious fire that is difficult to extinguish. With the already increasing summer bush fires throughout the world, disposed of tires act as fuel.
Speaking of tires as fuel, there is one positive point to this. Used tires can be used as Tire-Derived-Fuels (TDF) as an alternative to fossil fuels. With the increasing scarcity of coal, used tires are a great alternative. A single tire contains approx 5 gallons of oil, produces over 25% more energy than coal, and therefore is more energy efficient.
How to Recycle Tires?
The easiest way to recycle tires is to search online for the tire drop-off depots in your neighborhood. In some cities, you can also find household waste recycling centers. Wherever you plan to drop off your tires they are going to end at the same final destination, which is the processing plant. Here they are cut into smaller pieces for ease of handling. The shreds are processed to remove tire wires and other contaminants. The rubber is cleaned with water and specialty agents. The end product is distributed to other factories for various purposes such as Tire-Derived-Fuels (TDF), manufacturing rubber shoes, animal beddings, sports field mats, and asphalt rubber.
Extracted fiber and nylon (which make up 15% of the tire) can be used for the manufacturing of fiberglass, cleanup materials, concrete, and caret. Rubber from used tires can also be shaved and used in creating sealing products and plastics.
DIY Ways to Recycle Tires
Tires are very durable even after they are worn out. One common use of old tires is by using them as a tire swing. Tires can also be bolted together to make a tire ladder. This is a cost-effective way of leveling up the play area for your kids.
Some other creative uses: Old tires can be used as a garden hose caddy to protect from damage, large old tractor tires can be used as a sandbox for kids to play, and also as garden planters, outdoor furniture, and decorative ornaments. Research shows that tires release toxic chemicals into the surrounding area in the long term when exposed to other elements. Due to this, It is recommended edible plants are not grown in tire planters.
Hundreds of years of industrialization, consumption of fossil fuels, and disposal of toxic waste into the rivers, ocean, and landfills have intoxicated the environment at an alarming level. Don’t forget that it is each of our responsibility to protect the environment. We should pass on the Earth in a healthier condition for our future generations to enjoy its beauty.