What is the importance of Tire recycling?
Studies estimate that 1.76 billion new tires are manufactured each year, with such great quantity needed because the typical tire only lasts three to six years before needing replacement. Handling these truckloads of end-of-life (EOL) tires quickly presents a host of environmental concerns. Of the heaps of EOL tiers (outside of the ones that get retreaded and exported), the final destinations break down thusly:
tire shredder machine cost
About 15% of EOL tires end up in landfills, contributing to issues of soil deterioration and a diminishing availability of space to continue such dumping.
Another 23% of EOL tires get disposed of or reused in such manners that attempt to embrace sustainability, through uses like mulching and paving with shredded tires, ground up for rubber applications like sports fields and road pavement, and other well-intentioned efforts, but these methods can contaminate soil and groundwater.
Roughly 11% of EOL tires are shredded for use in civil engineering applications like road and landfill construction, though these applications again come with concerns of soil and water pollution.
Most concerning, though, are the 46% of EOL tires that are disposed of through incineration. Upon incineration, a passenger car tire releases 22 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) and a truck tire emits 110 kg of CO2, which alone would mean up to 18 million metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2020-- equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from 3.9 million cars or from the entire power sector of Maryland.
None of these destinations for EOL tires are environmentally neutral, covering a range of deleterious effects to the planet. Preferable options do exist to handle EOL, though, in the form of processing used tires with industrial conversion techniques to create carbon black, but less than 1% of scrap tires are treated with this process today and the quality of the material produced is not nearly as high-quality as it potentially could be.