How many tires do you think a car uses in its lifetime? I don’t have the answer for you, I’m just asking (well come on, this isn’t a car blog). But what I can share with you is a stat from a recent report by the Rubber Manufacturers Association. According to them, the U.S. generates more than 230 million scrap tires every year. That’s a lot of tires.
But, good news! The report also shows that the amount of scrap tire piles in the country are decreasing dramatically. It’s down to 75 million stockpiled tires from 1 billion in 1990. And a large part of that is due to the fact that we’re getting smarter with how we reuse our trash!
The top reuse for scrap tires is for tire derived fuel (TDF). TDF is used by the pulp/paper and cement industries as a supplemental fuel. Over half of all tire scraps went to this market in 2013.
The next biggest reuse for tire scraps is ground rubber. Tires are ground up and turned into athletic fields, playground cover and binding agents for more durable, quieter asphalt road surface. So smart!
So the next time you’re cursing your tires for not passing inspection, consider what job they might be moving onto next! And hope that they spend very little time in a trash pile and move quickly onto their second life as fuel or an athletic field.