Many residents are not aware of tire recycling programs in their own communities yet getting tires out of landfills is crucial. Both from an environmental and economic perspective; recycling used scrap tires makes good sense. What proportion can actually be recycled, though? You might be surprised that virtually 100% of tires can be recycled utilizing innovative techniques, and many new products are born out of recycled tires. Further, processes can be emissions free. That means creating new products minus a negative impact on your carbon footprint.
New Products from Scrap Rubber Tires
Core components of tires include fibres (including polyester or nylon), steel, and of course, rubber. In fact, a typical 24 pound tire yields about 12 pounds of rubber, 6 pounds of steel and 4 pounds of fibre. You know these materials to be in thousands of products and yes, they can be extracted from the tires in a feasible, environmentally responsible way. These raw materials, in turn, can be used as main inputs to produce entirely new products.
The main extracted component – high quality rubber – can be used to produce such things as rubber mulch for landscaping/gardens; rubber surfaces for playgrounds; engine components; sub-flooring and road bed additive. Recycled steel from can be used in countless ways, as can fibre materials.
Individuals and Businesses can Recycle Used Tires for “Zero Waste”
Throughout Canada and the US, programs exist for the easy collection and diversion of used or scrap rubber tires. Residents should seek out tire collection facilities and often can be referred by their municipality to a depot or tire recycling partner within the city.
Often, service stations and garages are collectors. When replacing tires for customers they coordinate their secure collection for the purpose of recycling. By partnering with tire recyclers, these “collectors” of tires can often earn revenue for passing them along to recycling companies who in turn sell the extracted material for the creation of new, marketable products.
Besides the economic benefit, the environmental benefit of diverting every single scrap tire is immense. In a landfill, it would take “an eternity” for the tires to decompose. Any community with a goal towards diverting as much waste from landfill as possible likely has a formal tire recycling program in place, if not at the state or provincial level.
When thinking about what to do with those old tires in the shed, consider the value and benefit of disposing of them properly (to a qualified tire recycler or collection centre). You’ll be glad you did and mother earth will be pleased, too! Thankfully, today there is such a thing as “zero waste” when it comes to tire recycling and residents in communities everywhere can contribute.