Waste tires present disposal and recycling challenges and opportunities
Each year automobiles produce 246 million waste tires in the US, according to an article in the September edition of Popular Mechanics.
The magazine says disposal of end-of-life tires involves 26% being ground into filler for asphalt and insulation; 11% dumped into landfills; 7% blended into road beds, barriers, retaining walls and other civil engineering uses. An additional 7% are recycled into playground surfaces and tire swings; and 49% burned for fuel.
The challenge to manage waste tires has created its own industry dedicated to recycling that focuses on materials recovery. The breakdown of tire materials, according to Popular Mechanics, is 19% natural rubber; 38% synthetic rubber (butadiene, styrene, halobutyl rubber) and additives, to prevent damage from ozone and oxygen, and to promote curing. Other tire ingredients include 4% synthetic-polymer fabric belts (nylon, rayon, and aramid) for reinforcement and 26% fillers (carbon black and silica).
Source: The Smithers Report