World Environment Day is observed on June 5 each year. It is the United Nations’ campaign to encourage awareness and corresponding action to protect the environment. World Environment Day was first observed in 1974 to shine a spotlight on different environmental issues affecting the world. More than 143 countries now participate in the observance, contributing to a new theme each year.
One growing environmental issue is the accumulation of used vehicle tires. People rely on millions of vehicles to travel, but tires do not last forever. If you take good care of tires and check them frequently, you can often extend their life, but all tires give out eventually.
Stockpiles of discarded tires are accruing in many parts of the world, sent by the thousands to vast acres of disposal areas. Those discarded tires fill with water on rainy days and become breeding grounds for vermin and mosquitoes. When they dry out, the tires are at risk of catching fire, producing acrid smoke which will be difficult to extinguish.
Repurposing Old Tires
About 45 percent of scrap tires are burned to produce energy. On the average, a tire contains about five gallons of oil, which can generate almost the same energy as an equal amount of coal. Scrap tires are shredded before being fed into the furnaces of cement kilns, paper factories, and electric companies. After shredding, metal in the tires can be recovered and recycled for different purposes.
Discarded tires can be recycled into new products. The following are some uses of scrap or discarded tires:
- Surfaces for playgrounds – Crumb rubber, which is the name given to rubber recycled from car tires, is soft and can be turned into a surface for playgrounds.
- Playing field additive – When shredded, tires can be used as an additive for playing fields that will help improve drainage.
- Road construction – Rubberized asphalt is becoming popular in many states because it produces less road noise.
- New tires – Recycled tires can be transformed into synthetic rubber and made into new tires.
The next time you replace your old tires, do not throw them into your dumpster. Take your discarded tires to recycling stations so they can be repurposed instead of just polluting the environment.
You can also extend the life of your tires by taking then to a Utah tire shop for regular service. Scheduled checkups from a Utah auto repair shop can add to the life of your tires so you will not need to discard them as often.