Tire playgrounds, not tire piles

Each year, about 26% of discarded tires are ground up to create new surfaces for athletic fields, running tracks, and playgrounds or to be mixed into road asphalt. Another 62% are turned into other products or used as fuel. Overall, that’s about 88% of discarded tires that are reused and recycled!

If 88% of tires are being recycled, then the other 12% are not. When you have 246.43 million scrap tires each year and 12% aren’t being recycled, that means about 29.6 million are dumped or sent to landfills. That’s a lot of tires which we could be recycling!

Unfortunately, the tires that aren’t recycled may end up in illegal tire piles, which can be very dangerous. Standing tires can provide a watery home for mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile Virus and other diseases. Piles of tires can also catch on fire and burn for a long time, releasing heavy black smoke and leaving an oily film behind on the soil. That isn’t good for people or the planet!

Doesn’t a playground or running track or sports field made from tires sound better than a nasty pile? And of course, those are just a few of the uses. Tires also can be reused to become things like parking bumpers and road surfaces.

This year, be sure that your used tires are recycled. When you buy replacement tires, the store will recycle the old tires for you. Or, check with your local solid waste management department to see if you can also drop off used tires at a Tox-Away Day or collection facility.

Photo credit: turk_stock_photographer | iStock | Getty Images Plus

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