The answer is yes! Every year approximately 290 million tires are discarded in the USA. What on earth do you do with 290 million tires?
Before tire recycling became popular, used tires were discarded in landfills by the millions. The effects of massive amounts of tires laying around is disastrous. It’s a problem that wasn’t going away any time soon either. Tires can sit around for literally thousands of years without decomposing.
Here are a few of the problems caused by piles of tires discarded in landfills.
- Tires hold pools of still water which is a prime breading ground for mosquitos.
- The steel belts in tires tear the protective lining at the bottom of landfills allowing harmful substances to seep into the soil.
- Piles of tires can ignite into an inferno that burns for months. We’re talking a black smoke blaze releasing toxic stuff into the surrounding area for weeks.
Luckily, some smart people somewhere discovered that old tires can be recycled into tremendously useful products all while using less energy and reducing costs. Now recycled tires can be found in all kids of things like shoes, car parts, buckets, bicycle pedals, water containers, and crash barriers to name a few. This revolution has made recycling tires very popular kept millions and millions of tires out of landfills.
One of the most popular methods of recycling tires is removing the steel bands and shredding the rubber into granules. These granules are used for asphalt, sports field infill, athletic tracks, and … you guessed it… rubber mulch!