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Five Amazing Uses for Recycled Tires

November 20, 2015

Having to get snow tires on this time of year makes me think of a couple of things: 1) ugh, winter is around the corner; and, 2) snow tires are a wonderful thing. So, in honor of the underappreciated but highly valuable tire, I offer this Guest Blog courtesy of Paul Arellano, Sales & Marketing Manager at Lakin Tire.

Recycled tire material is now being used in everything from garden pavers to playground flooring.

Improper tire disposal is not only harmful to the environment; it is also an incredible waste of a highly useful resource.

A better solution to the abandonment of worn tires is to have them properly recycled. Many states now require that tire dealers charge an environmental fee that is used to cover the costs of properly recycling waste tires.  These fees are paid to waste tire recycling operations, which can begin the process of giving new life to old tires.

Here are just a handful of the amazing uses for recycled tire material:

Gravel Substitute

Anywhere gravel is used, chances are that tire chips can be used instead. Applications include: sub-layers for roadways, aggregate for drainage ditches, and highway embankment backfill. Tire chips can limit frost penetration, when used under roads in cold climates.  They are nearly three times as light as gravel, which on its own can produce incredible savings in labor, equipment costs and time. Tire chips are used under light rail tracks that run adjacent to homes and businesses, to reduce vibration and noise mitigation from passing trains.

Crumb Rubber

Crumb rubber is finely ground rubber produced from waste tires.  Steel and tire cords are removed from discarded tires, and the remaining rubber is reduced to a granular consistency.  Some applications for crumb rubber include:  rubberized asphalt, playground flooring, welcome mats, anti-fatigue mats and vehicle mud guards.

Landfill Medium

Shredded or chipped tires can be used as both a liner and/or a cover for landfills. Tire chips can be used as a thermal insulation between primary and secondary landfill liners to reduce temperatures. They also provide a great alternative to coal or incinerator ash, since both are permeable. Finally, tire chips can be used as an efficient and cost-effective landscaping medium for landfills.

Wastewater Treatment Filters

Tire chips can be shredded into a specific and uniform size, making them useful in a variety of ways. Another innovative use is filters in wastewater treatment and constructed wetlands. Because tires can be chipped to be more or less porous than organic compounds, rocks and other material, they often serve as a much better filter media.

Garden Mulch

Yet another innovative use for recycled tires is rubber mulch.  Not only does it retain its appearance over time, it doesn’t float away during rainstorms, nor will it rot the way wood mulch will.  Unlike wood mulch, tire chips don’t attract termites and other wood-boring pests.

Many folks try to save money by taking their old tires with them, after installing a new set on their car.  These tires often end up stacked in garages or backyards, collecting dust, insects, water or even mosquitos.  Attempts to save a few dollars may actually end up costing our environment, in the long term.  Do the right thing, for your community and the future of our planet, and see to it that your tires are properly recycled!

See this great video of tire recycling in action.

Lakin Tire_2

Paul Arellano is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Lakin Tire, a tire recycling company that was founded in 1918—its motto—giving new life to old tires through creative thinking, innovative recycling processes and optimized scrap-tire management.

NERC welcomes Guest Blog submissions. To inquire about submitting articles contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager. Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.


Comments (5)

  1. ruoaa:
    Aug 07, 2022 at 06:27 PM

    Some solutions are not exactly enviromental friendly but it's better than making huge biles of tires

  2. Ample Truck & Car Wash:
    Mar 18, 2021 at 05:43 AM

    Thanks for having this article, it helps a lot. It’s a well-written blog and it is very informative. Keep on blogging, looking forward to see more of your posts!

  3. Tyre Tech Wheels & Auto Service:
    Sep 30, 2019 at 09:37 AM

    Thanks for having this article, it helps a lot. It’s a well-written blog and it is very informative. Keep on blogging, looking forward to see more of your posts!

  4. Newcastle Skip Bins:
    Jul 25, 2019 at 07:15 AM

    Thank you for this post, I’m sure we can all brush up on our recycling habit

  5. ken:
    Aug 06, 2017 at 02:50 PM

    Good work,,ambassadors of environment,how much for such a plant

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