Top 4 Reasons for Tire Recycling

tire recycling

What Would Happen If We Didn’t Recycle Old Tires?

Recycling old tires has become a widely recognized practical solution to address the problems discarded rubber tires bring with them. The Tire Recycling Act was passed in 1989. It paved the way for a dramatic improvement in the amount of scrap tires being dumped, as people found ways to repurpose them. What would happen if we didn’t have the Tire Recycling Act, or if people didn’t follow it?

Landfills will reach choking capacity

Old tires can fill up landfills in a short amount of time. Around 300 million scrap tires are discarded yearly in the USA alone. Since whole tires take up as much as 75% void space in a landfill, there would soon be not enough landfills to accommodate old tires.  If left unchecked, serious spatial and environmental issues can spread very quickly.

Spread of disease and pests

Tires that are exposed to the elements can get filled up with rainwater, allowing mosquitoes and other insects to breed in them. Rodents can live in tires that have piled up in ravines, creeks, and other sites where they are practically undisturbed.

Contaminated soil, water, and air

Landfills often rely on liners to keep contaminants from spilling over to soil, air, and water. Since tires are made to be durable and last virtually forever, they can trap methane gas which will bubble to the surface and make its way to water supplies, vegetation, and the very air we breathe.

Lack of a sustainable (and creative) lifestyle

Repurposing can spark creativity and innovation. So many practical solutions have sprung from the need to recycle old tires. Rubber mulch as infill is one of these great ideas. Rubberized asphalt concrete has so far been a successful civil engineering application. As for DIY tire repurposing projects, many unique suggestions can be found online: from rubber planters, rubber tire “ottoman” and other furniture, rubber tire playgrounds, and other crafty ideas that will keep creative juices flowing.

California and many other states have formed tire recycling programs with zero-waste goals for discarded tires. With cooperation from their local government, constituents, and industry leaders, other practical solutions can be found to keep tire waste to a manageable level.

 

Resources:

http://www.earth911.com/recycling-guide/how-to-recycle-tires/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_recycling

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/recycle-tires.html

http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/tires/Recycling/

http://www.rubberecycle.com/tire-recycling.php

Winter Uses for Rubber Mulch

snowy house and landscape

While others might find a blanket of snow on their gardens invigorating and fresh, many will likely associate it with back-breaking shoveling, allergies, and overall despair at the thought of slipping and sliding on snow – or of their precious plants dying in that icy onslaught. The good news is that rubber mulch has winter-time benefits, too.

Brighten up your landscape

Brightly colored rubber mulch can jazz up your winter landscaping with a myriad of colors you associate with your favorite season. Feel like extending summer or spring indefinitely? The cheery reds and yellows mixed with the vibrant greens of a rubber mulch pallet can recall a blooming, sunny garden even in the midst of a blizzard. Rustic browns and orange accents can summon autumn. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination and creativity allow them to be.

Slip-proof your walkways

Rubber mulch offers the kind of traction that is beneficial if you have outdoor walkways and footpaths you frequently use. If you have bare, slippery walkways that will likely get rained or snowed on, you can introduce rubber mulch to them as early as fall. Doing this will make walking outdoors practically accident-free.

Battle garden molds and mildew

Unlike organic mulches, shredded rubber will discourage molds and mildew from wreaking havoc in your winter garden. Because it doesn’t decay or decompose, you won’t have to spend your winter holidays worrying how your garden will look after all that snow has melted. Also, rubber actually discourages weed germination.

Keep your plants disease-free

One unpleasant activity which winter can inherit from a careless autumn season is raking leaves. While the russets, golden-browns,and reddish-orange hues of fall are alluring, the leaves and foliage making up this palette can mean a soaked mat of potential diseases for your precious winter plants. If you’ve been a tad neglectful about raking fallen leaves, rubber mulch can be your friend. Occasional raking is all it needs to avoid contaminating your plants with fungi and diseases, or suffocating your lawn grass (something un-raked organic mulches tend to do).

The moody greys and off-whites of winter can make any garden or landscape (and anyone gazing at it) sad. Seasonal affective disorder is real, and a lot of it has to do with the mood-influencing sights, sounds, and sensations of cold weather. Fret not, because rubber mulch can save the (wintry) days in its own simple ways!

Does Rubber Mulch Crack and Freeze in Cold Weather?

cracked rubber

 

As the temperature steadily drops, apprehension about how to keep plants properly insulated rises. Those who invested in rubber mulch for their gardens, landscaping, and other infill needs have been wondering if shredded rubber will crack and freeze in cold weather.

This seasonal concern is perfectly understandable – who wants to welcome spring with soggy roots and wilted leaves?

The thing is, since rubber mulch does not absorb water, these fears are unfounded. Rubber does not freeze in the same manner as other objects – ice crystals won’t form on it. In fact, one of the best wintertime benefits of rubber mulch is that it is slip-proof, making it safe to walk on outdoor pathways covered with them.

Rubber mulch is made of shredded old tires. It’s true that new rubber tires stand up better to cold weather compared to old ones, but as long as no excessive force is used on them, they can still perform satisfactorily. Also, rubber that comes in nuggets already go through an extremely low-temperature treatment when their steel parts are removed. The fact that they come out resilient and sturdy means they’re pretty hardy little things.

And because it doesn’t retain water, you won’t have to worry about fungi, mold, and other harmful things growing on rubber mulch and affecting your plants during cold weather. It also doesn’t decay, so it won’t contribute to the soggy post-winter mess most organic gardeners have to deal with yearly.

As rubber mulch is beneficial in warmer weather, so it is during the cold. Think of it as an all-season mulch that only wants the best for your garden, landscaping, and other outdoor cover needs.