Watch any film from over 30 years ago that featured a junkyard, and you’d, at one point, probably see a gigantic pile of old tires. These days, these used tire stockpiles are quite rare, or at least they never really reach the sizes they once did. Why is that?
Simply put, tires are much easier to recycle these days thanks to a combination of new technologies and new uses that have been identified for them. Back in the day, you might have seen them used as a swing over an old swimming hole and not much else. This is was because that even when they’re past their prime for use on your car, tires are incredibly resilient and durable, making them difficult to recycle in bulk.
Today, things are different. Very few of the old tire stockpiles remain as old tires are now seen as a valuable resource. Today they’re used for a wide variety of functions you may have never expected. Here are just some uses that have been found for recycled tires.
1.) Garden mulch
Chips made from recycled tires offer several advantages to traditional wood chips. First off, groups up tires do not attract or harbor termites. Second, it stays put during floods and storms. Third, it reduces our consumption of valuable wood. Lastly, you don’t have to replace it nearly as often as wood mulch.
This is literally where the rubber meets the road. As a component of asphalt, ground-up tires offer weather resistance, reduced construction and maintenance costs, and lower noise levels compared to traditional asphalt. Also importantly, they provide a smooth surface that makes it less likely vehicles will slip on the surface.
3.) Yoga mats
Those yoga mats that you have in your home may be partly made from ground rubber derived from tires. Yoga mat makers can control the sponginess and firmness of mats by controlling the amount and type of recycled tire rubber added to the mixture. Tire rubber also improves the durability of mats, allowing them to keep saving your joints from avoidable wear and tear for years to come.
Old #tires are used for a wide variety of functions you may have never expected. Here are some valuable uses that have been found for #recycled tires.Click To Tweet
4.) Wastewater treatment filters
With the quality of our freshwater sources becoming more and more of a major concern today, wastewater treatment is starting to finally receive the attention it deserves. Discarded tires can be processed into different–sized chips that are uniquely suited for wastewater filtration. The porosity of these chips can be easily controlled to fit a variety of systems. A big plus is that these chips themselves can be recycled as well.
You may be surprised to know that fuels derived from recycled tires is the single biggest use for scrap tires today. They can produce a similar amount of energy as oil and are actual 25% more efficient than coal as an energy source. However, don’t expect to find tires at the local gas pump soon, as tire-derived fuel is normally used for industrial applications.
Check out Western Tire Recyclers to learn more about the many possible uses for recycled tires.
What are your favorite tips for using recycled tires?
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