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  • Writer's pictureMetro Recycling


Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Posted on May 15, 2016

Recycling Tires

As we talked about a few weeks ago, recycling tires can be challenging. With over 290 million tires discarded every year we have a lot of tires with limited places for them to go.

Why isn’t the landfill a viable option? Let’s look at some of the facts.

The first issue is that tires break down very slowly. It takes approximately 50-80 years (or longer) for a tire to completely decompose in a landfill. So with 290 million being discarded every year, the landfill would quickly become overrun with old, unusable tires.

Another issue is space. Tires aren’t small and whole tires take up a lot of space in landfills. This landfill space if very valuable, especially when you consider that 75% of their space is void.

A big issue is soil and water contamination. Tires have the capability to damage landfill liners. Holes or damage in the liners can cause fluids and other harmful chemicals to escape into the soil and contaminate the water and soil surrounding the landfill.

Last, but certainly not least, when tires in landfills do damage the landfill liners they then tend to float to the surface. This then causes them to attract rodents. Making contamination more of a possibility.

So if we can’t discard tires in landfills then what can we do with them? Next time we’ll talk about different uses for tires and what we can do with them when we no longer have use for them.

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