Most of us don't think "recycling" when we think of old scrap tires but they can actually be reused in many ways instead of going into landfills.
In fact, one of the worst things we can do with old car and truck tires is to "dump" them. But most of us would be hard-pressed to know where to take them for recycling. So, what do you do?
When It Comes to Hard-to-Recycle Items, Tires Rank High on the List
That's not to say that scrap tires can't be recycled. They most certainly can! But they are complex and bulky items that can require a labor-intensive recycling process. Not to mention all the work it takes just to load and transport them somewhere for processing!
And, once the scrap tires have been collected and brought to a scrap tire rubber recycling plant, there is a multi-step process that must take place.
Here is a brief overview of that process adapted from an article on the UTires website:
Steel wire removing.
There are special steel (nylon, other material) tire wires in the rubber, inserted for resilience. The wire has to be removed beforehand in order to get automobile tires recycled. The revived steel is then used to produce other steel goods, and the rubber moves on to the next stage.
Whole tire processing.
The plants work on the tires by cutting them into 2-inch pieces and then treating them with chemicals to create fine powder, granules, etc. This part of tire processing may be done through one of the following systems:
- Mechanical: A special machine grinds tires into pieces using the ambient process; the size is regulated by a special granulator.
- Cryogenic: Tires are frozen with liquid nitrogen and broken into crumbs by a hammer mill. The particles of steel are removed with a huge magnet, and all other fibers are taken out with air classifiers.
The screening stage is necessary to ensure there is no wire or other contaminants left that can affect the further usage of the rubber. The stage also includes sorting the elements by size, or other characteristics if automobile tires are recycled using different methods.
All the derived rubber is thoroughly cleaned using water and cleaning substances, so they are ready for packaging. The packaged rubber is then sold to any organization that needs to use reclaimed rubber, powder, granules, etc. for their purposes.
Another aspect of the difficulty is the small percentage of actual scrap tires that are processed.
According to one source, each year, automobiles produce 246 million waste tires in the United States alone. And a large percentage of these still end up in our diminishing landfills, which is a real problem. As another publication notes, tires break down very slowly. and it takes somewhere around 50-80 years -or longer - for a tire to decompose in a landfill.
But there are many other good reasons for scrap tire recycling.
The Dark Side of Scrap Tire Disposal
It's estimated that close to two million tons in 2018. The most recent EPA numbers show that, overall, the recycling rate for rubber was 18.2 percent in 2018 with another seven percent being combusted with energy recovery.
Unfortunately, the nation's landfills received five million tons of MSW rubber, mostly from old tires, back in 2018. This was 3.4 percent of all the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfilled in the entire United States!
While they are nowhere as prevalent as they once were, there are still some scrap tire piles around the country. Fortunately, repurposing and recycling of these old tires has reduced these toxic and unsightly mountains of scrap tires.
Why are dumped tires bad?Some of the dangers that used tires pose include:
- They can become breeding grounds for mosquitos.
- Tires become homes for rodents, snakes, ticks, and other potential vectors.
- They catch fire easily, can burn for months, and are almost impossible to extinguish.
- Rubber can pollute groundwater with toxins when put into the ground.
- Tires have large volume with 75 percent void space. Because landfills often ban them now, this can lead to illegal dumping.
- Tires buried in landfills can trap methane gas, become buoyant, and float to the surface. There they can damage landfill liners that keep contaminants from polluting surface and ground water.
The good news is that there are concerted efforts among manufacturers, government agencies, retailers, and others to make the process of collecting and processing scrap tires much easier for recycling purposes.
In addition, there are many new technologies that are helping to create new products from old tire material.
Yes! You, Too, Can Recycle Scrap Tires
Instead of leaving those old tires piling up in your back yard, or in the corner of your garage or the backyard tool shed, you can have them recycled.
Of course, you might think it's not a simple task and probably one that involves quite a bit of work or effort. Well, the good news is that Junk King makes the whole process really easy, especially if you don't want to do the job yourself.
However, if you opt to take care of the task on your own, we've put together this brief, illustrated checklist to guide you through the process.
Share this Image On Your Site
When it comes to properly recycling of bulky and hard-to-transport items like old, scrap tires from cars or trucks, the task can be a challenge for residential customers. At Junk King, we get that and that's why we do what we do.
We specialize in the pick up, removal, transport or hauling, and the recycling of all types of bulk junk and debris items - including those old car tires that have been sitting around in your back yard or garage.
So, we invite you to give us a call and let us help you take a big step towards being free of those scrap tires - and any other junk you need to get rid of.
Junk King Wants to Be Your Partner for Recycling Scrap Tires
One of the best things about partnering with Junk King is that we make the whole process easy for you.
That means our experienced junk removal team has all the resources needed to remove and haul away old tires, large junk items, bulky materials, and just about any other trash items you have.
And we can do it all quickly, easily, and efficiently.
In addition, your local Junk King team also makes sure that your reusable items end up in the right place. This might be a local non-profit group for those items that are still in usable condition. And for all those other items and materials that really don't need to go into a landfill? No worries!
We've got it covered.
In addition to your old tires, materials like concrete rubble and waste wood materials can go to a recycling facility. All these items, and any other recyclable junk items, can all be disposed of in an eco-friendly method. That's because at Junk King we are a genuinely "green" company.
Which is just another way of saying that Junk King recycles. And we recycle a lot.
This is because, for Junk King, "being green" and environmentally responsible is at the core of our company mission. And we carry out that mission every day by recycling, donating, or repurposing everything we possibly can - up to 60 percent or more, to be exact.
Our goal is to ensure that as little trash and junk as possible ends up in a landfill.
And, best of all, we do all the heavy lifting!
You simply point and we haul your trash items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
Our professional and insured junk removal and disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your home. And, once we’re there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your bulk trash will take up in our truck, along with any other junk items you want to get rid of.
So, ready to get rid of all your junk with a green company? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).