Are Tires Bad for the Environment?Eric Merlin
Back in the 1980s, mankind got its first real environmental panic when it learned that we had created a hole in the ozone layer through the over-usage of aerosol products. Before that point, we knew that we could really make the place look messy, which spurred a lot of activism with cleaning up and recycling waste.
Though we never really understood that we could damage the actual fabric of our planet’s existence. Soon after we set to repairing the hole in the ozone, scientists hit us with alarming news, suggesting that we had dumped so much C02 into the atmosphere that our planet was heating up and that we could cause irreparable damage due to the fossil fuels we burned and other ways we pushed carbon into the atmosphere.
In today’s modern world, there’s a great emphasis placed on taking care of the environment, so much so that government will enforce many of these regulations.
You might not realize it, but the tire industry is heavily regulated. From how the materials are sourced and how the tires are made, all the way to how they’re disposed of, we need to be mindful of the environmental impact of tires.
When you have an issue with your tires, seeking tire service from a reputable location like Good Tire is easy enough, though you might want to put more thought into what you will do when it’s time to get rid of your existing tires. Here is some further information on tires and the environment.
Top Reasons Tires are Bad for the Environment
There are quite a few different ways your average tire can be bad for the environment, both in the macro sense and even in the micro sense, as we can witness some wildlife displacement in contained ecosystems. Here are the three top ways that tires are actually pretty bad for the environment.
1: Pure Waste
First up on the list, tires are just pure waste. They’re not going anywhere. It will take thousands upon thousands of years for the materials to break down entirely. So, when those tires are dumped in landfills, they just sit there and take up a massive amount of space, compared to other sorts of waste that can be condensed down.
Even when tires are recycled properly, which we’ll touch on later below, only about 35% of the tire is used, so the rest ends up in a landfill. There’s really no way around this, so just be mindful of disposing of your tires.
2: Potential Toxins
Tires are classified as municipal solid waste, which means that they’re not rated as being necessarily toxic. However, over the years, as the weather and other surrounding chemicals start to break the tires down, you will find that toxic chemicals are released from the tires.
In every individual tire, these toxins are very scant, not enough in amount to really harm anything. Though imagine a large pile of them. This could easily pollute groundwater, damage ecosystems, etc.
3: Fire Hazard
Tires make fantastic fuel for a fire. With all the oil, additives and chemicals in tires, they’re like huge round candles that burn very easily but also for a long time. They can dump all sorts of pollutants and carbon into the atmosphere.
Should a wildfire run rampant through a landfill, for instance, that’s a whole lot of pollution being dumped into our atmosphere from burning tires.
3 Ways to Properly Dispose of Tires
One of the greatest things about tires is that you can get a lot more life out of them than you may realize. You tire many issues that a simple tire service can fix, which could give you another few years on your tires.
Our point here is that you don’t have to throw your tires away every time you get a flat or some sidewall cracks. With the right service, you can get a lot more life out of them than you may realize.
Though, of course, you will have to dispose of those tires at some point. They simply won’t last forever. When the time comes, here are three of the best ways by which you can properly dispose of your tires.
1: Take Them to be Recycled
The first way to properly dispose of your tires is to take them to a recycling plant. Depending on which plant you choose, there might even be a few bucks in it for you. Of course, you’re not going to make a bundle from old tires, but you might be able to put a couple of bucks worth of petrol in your car for the ride home.
It really all depends on the facility. Just do a little bit of research and make sure you’re taking your tires of a plant that actually does recycle them, rather than just tosses them into a landfill. Many people don’t care about that whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing, but you can do your part to help the environment here.
2: Sell Them for Cash
There are all sorts of services out there that will buy them from you. Though, to be clear, if your tires are ready to be thrown away, these places don’t want the rubber; they want the rim. So, what you could do is get rid of your rims and tires as a set.
They will properly dispose of the tires, and you’ll probably make a pretty good amount of cash for your rims. This step is only for people who plan on getting new rims or have another set, of course. Though you’re likely not going to be able to sell raggedy tires outside of a good recycling plant. Even then, it’s not for much at all.
3: Donate Them
Look around for local places that accept tires as donations. Some small facilities and factories will put the tires to use to make other things, like park benches and other material goods. This greatly lessens the environmental impact of tires and of sourcing raw materials.
Tires can be bad for the environment, so it’s important to dispose of them properly. They’re also very important for your automobile, so make sure you choose the best location around to have them serviced properly.