A Simple Overview of Tyre Recycling

Basically, tyre recycling involves taking old or unused tyres and converting them into other useful products. In the past, scrap tyres used to be a huge problem but now, thanks to progress in recycling technology and efforts, the situation has become much more manageable.

Back in 1991, the amount of tyre scraps used to number over a billion in the US alone. In 2017, this has dwindled down to 60 million. By getting more people involved in tyre recycling, we can reduce the number of unused tyre scraps that are filling up landfills all over the globe.

A Little Bit Of History

Here’s an interesting fact: around a century or so back, industrial tyre recycling was actually seeing as a priority in the USA. This was because back then tyres were made of high quality material and in fact, their process per ounce rivalled that of silver. Hence, people were more motivated to sell their unused or worn out tyres. Afterwards, manufacturers started making tyres out of cheap imported synthetic rubber which caused the price of tyres to fall sharply. In addition, these synthetic tyres were more difficult to recycle as well.

As a result, the amount of people recycling tyres fell sharply.

The Need for Immediate Action

Make no mistake, recycling tyres isn’t something that’s just nice to do; it’s urgent. The majority of old and unused tyres end up in landfills. When it rains, water collects on these tyres, providing ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In South Asian countries in particular, rainwater collected on tyres is one of the biggest causes of dengue outbreaks.

In addition to this, tyres have been known to trap methane gas. This causes them to rise to the surface, rupturing landfill liners.

The Biggest Markets for Recycled Tyres

Living in Australia, you might be wondering what the biggest markets for recycled tyres here are. Well the truth is that it’s pretty much the exact markets that are dominating the rest of the developed world, which are:

  • Tire Derived Fuel
  • Civil Engineering
  • Ground Rubber

Ground Rubber

Ground rubber, as the name implies, is rubber that’s used for the production of floors for the most part. This includes products like asphalt rubber and the underlay that’s used in artificial sports fields – the sort that you find indoors.

By far the largest output of the ground rubber industry is asphalt rubber, using up around 12 million tyres each year in the US alone. So the next time you’re thinking of what to do with your old tyre, why not send it off to an asphalt rubber company?

Tyre Derived Fuel (TDF)

This is exactly what it sounds like – fuel made from tyres. Here’s why TDF is preferable to oil and coal: they produce about the same quantity of energy as while polluting the environment significantly less. TDF are currently used to power kilns, paper manufacturing machines and boilers. Hopefully in the future we’ll see more applications of it.

Civil Engineering

Recycled tyres can be used for many civil engineering applications but mostly it is used as filling material, for instance as embankment fill.

As you can see recycling tyres is a very worthwhile endeavour. It can reduce landfill pollution while helping an entire industry grow.

 

 

 

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