When tires are removed from a vehicle, they can still be used for a variety of purposes. Many times, used tires are given to scrap yards where they are kept or processed for a variety of uses. Scrap tires are widely considered one of the biggest solid waste problems in the world. Due to the materials used in tire manufacturing, including a variety of metals, sending scrap tires to landfills is highly discouraged. They also lead to inefficient landfill space. Therefore most tires are left in stacks and piles that cover acres and acres of scrap yards around the world. An smart alternative to discarding tires and letting them sit unused in scrap yards is recycling them. There's a distinct difference between scrapping tires and recycling tires. Recycled tires are purchased or donated from tire dealers, auto dealers, scrap yards, and service stations then put to use in a variety of ways that reduce the amount of scrap tires and the space that they waste.
The Importance of Recycled Tires
As mentioned, tires are one of the greatest international concerns in regard to increased solid waste. While many auto manufacturers are tapping into alternative fuels and designing cars that are supposed to last longer, tires can only last so long. As more people drive cars, ride motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles, scrap tires and tire waste are growing concerns. More tire recycling programs and improved recycling processes are a growing point of focus for the automotive industry and environmental organizations.
As you might imagine, tire waste can have an adverse effect on the environment. This is one reason they are discouraged from landfills and why dumping and stockpiling is an illegal activity without a proper scrapping license. Tire fires are a danger, and scrap tires can taint water sources when improperly disposed of. The various metals as well as chemical compounds used in the tire rubber can affect the runoff and ground water sources, especially in environments with a humid climate and moist soil.
Uses for Recycled Tires
The process of tire recycling can be simple, or it can be a rather complex refinement process that creates new products out of the materials that were formerly tires. Recycled tires can be reused for any number of things from barriers to tire swings. And while it would be wonderful if tire swings could help solve the problem of excess tire waste, in the grand scheme of things, this old time plaything won't make much of a dent. The good news is that there are many other uses for discarded tires that can help reduce their impact on the environment. Tires are often ground up into small used as tire granules that are used for a number of recreational purposes, such as sports fields and playgrounds. Many old tires are also recycled and used in a variety of road paving materials. Hot melt asphalt is one substance that tires can be ground and melted into. The kind of rubber used in this process is known as crumb rubber. Crumb rubber is the material left over after all of the metal and other materials have been removed from a discarded. Over 12 million recycled tires are used in this application each year. One of the most creative uses for recycled tires is that of Earthships. These off-the-grid homes are built from a variety of renewable or recycled materials, including reused tires. Referred to as earth-rammed tires, they are literally filled with earth and then essentially become the bricks used to construct Earthships. Once earth-rammed tires are used to construct the dwellings, they covered with concrete or a natural adobe. Some of the other uses for recycled tires are fill safety materials at children's playgrounds, boat bumpers, and tire art.