Why You Should Recycle Your Tires

Almost 300 million scrap tires are discarded in the United States every year. Like fuel emissions, discarded tires negatively impact the environment. However, the rubber and plastic components in tires are recyclable and can be repurposed.

Protect the Environment

Whole and scrap tires take up landfill space due to their shape. Stockpiled tires also pose combustion risks due to heat retention, surface exposure and airflow. Tire-fueled fires can burn for long periods, releasing toxic fumes into the atmosphere.

Buried tires also trap gases like methane. The pressure can break through a landfill’s underground liner as the gases build and force their way to the surface. Decomposing tires release chemicals into the ground and contaminate soil and water. Improperly recycled tires may also end up discarded in streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.

Reduce the Spread of Disease

Tires provide nesting spots for rodents, insects and other pests. Those animals may carry bacteria and germs, turning landfills into breeding grounds for disease. Tires also collect rainwater, allowing mosquitoes to lay eggs. One tire can hold enough water to hatch more than 10,000 mosquitoes in a single breeding season.

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Repurpose Rubber

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 110 different products that can be made from recycled tires, including:

  • Rubber asphalt
  • Sports fields and running tracks
  • Automotive parts
  • Mulch
  • Erosion control barriers
  • Playground surfaces

Some materials in scrap tires can be repurposed for fuel, too. In fact, 43% of scrap tires are used to create fuel for marine vessels, vehicles and heating.

How are Tires Recycled?

They are broken down into basic materials at commercial reprocessing or recycling plants. The steel bands are removed from the tire and melted down. Tires are then cut into small pieces and treated with chemicals to dissolve the rubber into granules.

The rubber is separated based on piece size and use. The pieces are thoroughly cleaned, packaged and sold to companies and organizations that use reclaimed rubber.

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Tips for Reducing Tire Scrap

Optimizing the life of your tires can reduce the amount of tire waste you produce.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated to avoid uneven tread wear and flat tires.
  • Regularly inspect your tires for punctures, cracks, excess wear, low tread and embedded objects.
  • Check your valve stems and caps to ensure they have a tight seal and are free of damage.
  • Be mindful of your driving habits and avoid potholes and excessive braking.
  • Consider retreading instead of buying new tires.

Where to Recycle Your Tires

In the United States, 38 states have banned whole tires in landfills, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Take your used tires to a scrap recycling plant or contact a disposal service to collect them. Some tire dealers include a recycling fee with a new tire purchase, which covers the disposal cost. Bauer Built is committed to doing our part to decrease the amount of scrap in landfills by repurposing scrap rubber for commercial retread tires. Find a tire service center near you and schedule your appointment.

Categories: Bauer Built Blog