What is the Importance of Tire recycling?

The study estimates that 1.76 billion new tires are made each year, a large number because the average tire only lasts three to six years before it needs to be replaced. Disposing of the discarded tyres on these trucks will soon create a host of environmental problems.

The hazards of used tires

The biggest problem with throwing away old tires is that they contain chemicals and heavy metals that leach into the environment as the tires decompose. If toxins get into any water in the soil, the water can transport them somewhere else, potentially causing harm to any animals that come into contact with the toxic water.

If the tire is just left out in the open, the hole in the tire can easily be filled with rain. If the tires are left undisturbed, water stays in them and becomes a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes. These mosquitoes then go on to spread the disease to humans and animals.

Even if tires are not sent to a tire burning facility, they still pose a fire threat. Fires fuelled by tyre materials are more difficult to control and extinguish than ordinary fires. If tires are discarded rather than recycled, they can burn, releasing their carcinogens into the air and starting a devastating fire.

Another negative effect of throwing away tires is that, simply put, they take up valuable landfill space. As long as we can keep any kind of material out of our landfills, we’ll be doing the environment a favor.

Final destinations of EOL tires

About 15 percent of discarded tires end up in landfills, causing the soil to deteriorate and leaving less room for further dumping.

Another 23 percent are disposed of or reused in ways that attempt to embrace sustainability, such as covering and laying with shredded tires, grinding into rubber for applications such as playgrounds and road paving, and other well-intentioned efforts, but these methods pollute soil and groundwater.

About 11 percent of scrap tires are shredded for civil engineering, such as road and landfill construction, but these applications can also cause problems with soil and water pollution.

Most worrisome, however, is that 46% of discarded tyres are incinerated. When burned, a passenger car tyre emits 22kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) and a truck tyre 110kg, which means up to 18m tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2020 — equivalent to the emissions of 3.9m cars.

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