Sustainable Development | Safe For Nature

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?Tire Recycling: Trials and Triumph

Posted by on Jun 16th, 2009
Jun 16

If you have ever tried to get rid of an old set of tires, you know that tire recycling is a bleak subject. This very problematic topic has many environmentally conscious individuals very concerned. It is quite difficult to recycle tires.

Many problems stand in the way of the tire recycling process. These items are large and they have significant volume. Many landfills simply cannot hold a great number of tires. They just take up too much space.

Tires are also very durable. They are made to withstand tons of weight. They are supposed to carry a vehicle and its passengers over thousands of miles. Tires accomplish this in all kinds of weather.

The durability of the tires makes them poor candidates for landfill occupancy. They take an extremely long time to decompose. A tire in a landfill is going to be there for many years to come. An item that takes up so much room is just too overwhelming.

Landfills have liners that cover the disposed material. Tires have a lot of air in their composition. They can collect methane gas. The gas makes the tires rise to the surface.

The durable material can puncture the landfill liner. If the landfill liner is damaged, the nearby ground water supply can become contaminated.

Some people opt to stockpile the tires rather than trying to find tire recycling options. This can pose serious risks as well. Stockpiles of tires can catch fire. These fires can burn for months at a time.

The burning material sends pollutants into the air and into the ground in the surrounding area. Stockpiling sites are quite threatening to the people who live in close proximity to them. They are also very expensive to clean after a fire has occurred.

Burying the tires is not a great idea, either. This approach threatens to pollute the soil surrounding the buried items. The groundwater is at risk for contamination. These containments include dangerous heavy metals.

Tire recycling is a topic of great concern for many environmentalists. However, there is great hope. Tires are made of durable material and they can be reused in a number of ways.

Retreads are reinforcing materials used for trucks and cars. Creative uses for scrap tires are also in development. The waste material can be used in the production of new shoes. Tire recycling is also being considered for basketball courts.

You may have seen an old tire used in creative ways. It could have been used as a swing hanging from a tree. You might have seen one holding planted flowers in a person’s yard. Hopefully, tire recycling will begin to embrace new creative ways to reuse this challenging material.

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