A Consumer’s Guide to Disposing of Old Tires
As consumers, we may not see the environmental impact of our daily activities. We consider driving a non-electric vehicle unsustainable because of the fuel we’re burning, but we never pause to consider the environmental impact of the tires used on both electric and gas-powered cars. Society uses rubber tires for transporting people and goods worldwide, and they have a significant impact on the environment. Millions of used tires end up in landfills or are illegally dumped every year, causing pollution and health hazards. They don’t biodegrade and can cause fires that are extremely difficult to extinguish.
Fortunately, some people have dedicated their working lives to solving this problem. Now tire recycling facilities and tire waste management services are available almost everywhere. Never heard of tire recycling before? Well then, it’s time to understand how to best dispose of tires as a consumer and the difference it makes.
Why Should You Recycle Old Tires?
- Environmental Impact: Tires that are left to rot in landfills can take up to decades and decades to break down. During this time, they release toxic chemicals and gases that pollute the environment. Recycling old tires can reduce pollution and save valuable resources. Recycling doesn’t just reduce the trash in landfills. It limits the amount of raw material we need to extract from the earth in the first instance.
- Health Hazards: Old tires can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests, like rodents. They can also release toxic chemicals and gases that can pose a threat to human health, especially when they leach into drinking water.
- Energy Savings: Recycling old tires can save a significant amount of energy. Many tires are used as TDF (Tire Derived Fuel). TDF creates energy in a more sustainable way than burning coal or other fossil fuels since we have already used the tires for years during our life on the road.
How Do You Recycle Old Tires?
- Find a Recycling Facility: Many cities have tire recycling facilities that will accept old tires. You can also search online for “tire recycling near me.” If you have lots of tires, search “trash service near me” or “small dumpster rental near me” to find waste tire transport options.
- Donate to Charity: Some charitable organizations accept old tires, which they use to make playgrounds, parks, and other recreational areas.
- Use in Landscaping: Old tires can be used in landscaping as planters, retaining walls, or even as a base for a patio. Tires stacked on top of each other can also make a great composting bin.
- Create Art Projects: Get creative and turn old tires into art. Paint them and use them as sculptures, or cut them up and use them for a unique garden pathway. Fun projects include tire swings, hanging planter boxes, and teeter-totters.
- Contact Waste Disposal in your region: If you are unsure of how to recycle your old tires or want more information, contact local authorities for guidance on how to properly dispose of them. For example, companies specializing in waste management for Salt Lake City can tell you where to deliver tires for recycling if you live in that area.
What Happens at a Tire Recycling Facility?
Firstly, the tires are sorted according to their size and type. This is essential because different types of tires have different properties and may need to be put through different machinery. Once sorted, the tires are shredded into small pieces using powerful shredders, making it easier to separate the various components of the tire. The resulting pieces are then subject to a steel removal process using magnets and other techniques. Steel wires and other metal components are removed and sold for scrapping metal dealers.
The next step is granulation. Granulators grind the remaining rubber into smaller pieces, like crumbs. These granules are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of applications, such as playground surfaces, athletic tracks, and even new roads. Finally, the granules are then screened to remove any remaining metal or fiber material. In this way, tire recycling facilities aim to reduce waste and recover valuable materials to create new products from old tires, contributing to a more sustainable future.
How Can You Encourage Others to Recycle Tires?
Imagine you have a pile of old tires in your backyard that you don’t know what to do with. You contemplate throwing them away but decide to research other options. After finding a local recycling facility, you are able to drop off the tires and contribute to a better environment. You even learn that the recycling facility uses the rubber from the tires to make playground mulch. That makes you even more excited about your decision to recycle the tires, and you share the idea with friends who influence others to do the same. That’s how consumers end up making a difference.
Recycling old tires is a simple yet effective way to reduce environmental pollution and save valuable resources. You can give tires to a local recycling facility, donate to charity, use them in landscaping, create art projects, or contact waste disposal services.