Tire is one of the greatest inventions of all time as it revolutionized transportation. More than 100 years after its discovery, tire is creating an environmental problem related to its disposal. Tire is made up of rubber which is non biodegradable and takes hundreds of years to disintegrate. A large percentage of over one billion tires produced annually is disposed in landfills. Since tires don't decompose, they consume landfill space, reducing the capacity of a landfill to accommodate more wastes. Tires also contain elements or compounds that contaminate the environment, affecting the well-being of living organisms. Due to biological hazards contained in worn tires, many landfills around the world ban worn tires in any form including shredded ones. With increasing number of automobile owners worldwide especially in developing countries, worldwide generation of worn tires is also increasing in an unprecedented rate. Without recycling, worn tires will become a major environmental problem through the years.

There are various ways to recycle tires. Tires can be transformed into useful items or construction materials. Continue reading to learn more about tire recycling.

tire(56993)Credit: Wikimedia CommonsCredit: Wikimedia Commons

Retreaded Tires

To extend the life of your tire, make it retreaded in a retreading center. You can also buy retreaded tires for your vehicle. Don't believe on myths that retreaded tires are less safe than new tires and have a higher failure rate than new tires. These myths have been greatly abused that is why there is a public stigma on retreaded tires. Although retreaded tires present environmental advantage, they do not provided sufficient economic advantage compared to the cost of new tires. This explains the decreasing market share of retreaded tires through the years.  One of the environmental benefits of retreaded tires is that they consume less oil than new tires during production. A new truck tire require 22 gallons of oil worth of energy to be manufactured. Compare this to only 7 gallons of oil worth of energy needed to retread a truck tire; 15 gallons of oil are conserved. Retreaded tires will have the same longevity as new tires. 

Tire Recycling at Home

You can use your worn tires to make excellent raised beds for your garden. Fill up the tire with soil and plant vegetables, herbs, and ornamental plants on it. So instead of buying new garden pots, why not use your old tires.

You can use an old tire to make a tire swing in your backyard. You just need to find a low horizontal tree limb where you will attach the tire swing. Make sure that the tree limb is strong enough to support the weight of those who will use the tire swing. Test the tire swing for weight and safety before you allow kids to use it.

Tires can be used as training equipment for various sports like football.

Tires can be used to build an eco-friendly house or any useful building. To build the outside walls of the building, tires are being filled with soil and laid on top of each other. After the walls are completed, wooden boards are fixed to the inside and outside walls to prevent movement and improve the appearance of the building. You choose what material you will use for the roof.

Tire Recycling in Public Works

Many U.S. states shred scrap tires and utilize them in road-building and other civil engineering projects. The scrap tire rubbers are used to fill underneath roads to prevent road-building headaches caused by bogs, weak soils or clay. The shredded scrap tire rubbers are also used in sound walls, bridge foundations, and landfill construction.

There are companies that grind tires into tiny pebbles that are used in construction projects.

Rubberized asphalt made from the mixture of asphalt concrete and ground tire rubber is a good pavement material as it is durable and effectively reduce road noise by 7-9 decibels.

Where To Recycle Tires

Contact a tire store and ask if they are accepting old tires for recycling. Also ask if they have drop offs for the tires or you need to deliver the tires to their store yourself. Look at recycling centers in your area that accept old tires. You can use a yellow pages or the internet to find them. Contact your local waste division and ask them on how you can dispose your old tires through their help. There could be a weekly schedule for old tire pickup or a specific drop off location.