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Tires And Recycling: Landfill Or Resource?

Posted by Junk King on Oct 31, 2022 5:00:00 AM


Automobile and truck tires have been with us since the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, some of them are still with us today. 

While tires have been notoriously difficult to dispose of, there's good news in the field of rubber tire recycling and reuse.

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The Problematic Legacy of Old Vehicle Tires

We live in a carbon fuel-based world for the most part.

And the invention of the automobile - and all the variants such as trucks and motorcycles - also brought with it the invention of pneumatic, rubber tires. 

The rubber itself would not have been such a disposal nightmare, as it has turned out to be, except for the vulcanizing process used. This has helped to make durable and reliable tires for vehicles. But it made the rubber almost imperishable and almost indestructible.

As one manufacturer explains it,

Vulcanized rubber is any type of rubber that’s been hardened through the use of heat and sulfur. It’s made via a curing process in which the rubber’s elastomers harden in response to heat and sulfur. Exposure to heat and sulfur creates new cross-links in the rubber that, ultimately, makes the rubber stronger and more elastic.

While this is great for tires and those driving on them, it has turned out to be a massive, global problem for those disposing of them.

A few statistics can give us an idea of the scale of the used tire dilemma faced by waste management and environmental services entities around the country.

  • 300 million tires are disposed of each year in the United States.
  • 27 million of these tires end up in landfills throughout the U.S.
  • 80 years is the average time for tires to decompose in landfills.

As care tires evolved and technology improved, tire construction became much more complex. Additional components were incorporated into the typical tire structure including 

According to another tire manufacturer,

While designs vary by product and manufacturer, an average tire contains well over 100 separate components. Tires can include natural rubber, synthetic rubber, steel, nylon, silica (derived from sand), polyester, carbon black, petroleum, etc.

So, as everyone knows, you cannot simply toss old car or truck tires into a recycling dumpster near you and expect that it will be effortlessly turned into a dozen door mats!


The Good News About Old Car Tires and Landfills

While there are still millions upon millions of used tires polluting the landscape and taking up limited space in landfills, the future is looking quite bright for recycling and reuse of old tires.

As the Michelin company has reported on their website,

In 2018, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), it is estimated that there will be 1 billion end-of-life tires generated in the world, or around 25 million tons. 70% of these tires are recovered, 50% of which are recycled, every year, and used in various forms, such as asphalt for example. The remaining 20% are transformed into energy. 

In addition, breakthroughs in chemical processes have led to innovations in breaking down tire rubber compounds to the molecular level. This will allow for more complete and easier recycling.

And new uses for old rubber waste that is generated by current recycling methods means broader markets for used tire materials.

We've put together this graphic snapshot of the state of tires and recycling to provide a bit more comprehensive overview of the industry:



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Tires, Vehicles, and Progress

One of the ironic things about the used tire recycling challenge is that, despite the booming growth of electric vehicles, or EVs, and the soon to be diminishing number of gas-powered vehicles, we still need rubber tires.

In addition, until some suitable replacement is invented and successfully engineered, we'll continue to manufacture, use, and dispose of rubber tires for the foreseeable future. 

And there is still the burden of all the millions upon millions of so-called "end-of-life tires" generated in the world over that seven or eight decades.

However, technology and economics are joining together to produce a wide variety of new methods to facilitate tire recycling. Which means that, perhaps sooner than later, used tires will be a sought after resource instead of landfill material. 

Heavy Lifting, Without Moving A Muscle

Junk King: Your Partner for Recycling Used 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 to used tires, we can haul other "problem" waste materials such as concrete rubble and waste wood materials. All these items, as well as all other recyclable junk items, can all be disposed of in an eco-friendly method.

In other words, Junk King recycles. And we recycle a lot.

This is because, for Junk King, being a green company and environmentally responsible is at the heart 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.

Our mission has always been to keep as much junk as possible out of our landfills.

And, best of all, we do all the heavy lifting!

You simply point and we haul your junk items and waste materials into our junk removal trucks, - and we do it without any hidden fees.

Our professional and insured junk removal and disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your location. And, once we’re there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your bulk waste items will take up in our truck.

So, ready to get rid of your used tires? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).

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