Remember singing the children’s song, “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”?
Rubber tires are still going “round and round.” Or they do until they don’t. What happens when they become worn out or flat and can’t be repaired? Our old tires still need to go “round and round” through a repurpose, reuse, or recycling process!
Old tires left lying around collect water and are the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. One tire can be a breeding ground for thousands of those pesky, disease-carrying bugs during the warm months. Sometimes people choose to burn old tires or they catch fire accidentally. These rubber fires are very difficult to put out. The burning rubber releases toxic chemicals into the air and leaves an oily residue that pollutes streams and ground water.
Tires don’t need to be left sitting on the ground, nor should they be burned. Instead, tires can be made into hundreds of useful products. For example, 20,000 tires can be made into one artificial turf athletic field. Rubber mulch has many uses in gardens and on playgrounds. When we hop in the car and go for a drive, that road may be paved with asphalt containing rubber from recycled tires.
Please be responsible with your old, worn-out tires. Tire dealers properly dispose of your used automobile tires for a fee when you purchase new ones. If you have other old, rubber tires, contact your local solid waste management district to ask about proper handling, such as taking them to a community Tox-Away Day or collection facility.
For more about tire reuse and recycling, check out Tire playgrounds, not tire piles. You can also search online for “used tire disposal near me” or check out Earth 911: How to Recycle Tires and Where to Recycle Tires.
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