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Preserve resources by recycling tires

When it comes to maintaining their cars ands keeping them in top condition, many Fallbrook residents make sure that their cars’ tires are rotated or replaced after the recommended amount of miles.

Tires are essential for driving, and in the US, 920 million tires were used for noncommercial vehicles on the road in 2005, with 290 million being disposed of on a yearly average. So regardless of whether a car is a hybrid or diesel truck, tires need to be replaced.

What many drivers do not realize is that if they recycled their tires instead of throwing them away, they would not only keep the rubber out of the landfills, keep the air cleaner and prevent the spread of vermin but they would also keep the price of new tires down.

According to, a Web site dedicated to giving recycling information, recycled tires are shred into strips using rugged machines. The shredded rubber is then placed into grinding machines that use rotors to further shred the material and remove steel fibers from the tire, which are added to the rubber to create a strong, flexible tire.

Once the bulk of the steel is removed, the strips are placed into granulators. Depending on the consistency desired by the end user of the shredded tires, the rubber can be milled into assorted sizes of granules.

While less common, some tires are recycled through a freezing process using liquid nitrogen. After being frozen, the tires are crushed and then milled.

As aforementioned, by recycling a tire, a landfill can have more space to take in unrecyclable waste, but this is just one of the benefits of taking the time to be a responsible car owner.

A large benefit of recycling tires is the reduction to energy consumption and an increase in energy recovery. Earth911 quotes an average of 22 gallons of oil is required to create a new truck tire, but in order to retread a recycled tire, only seven gallons of oil is required.

The process to retread a tire costs anywhere from 30 to 70 percent less than manufacturing a new tire, thereby reducing the cost to the consumer. Tires also can be used in place of fossil fuels in some manufacturing processes, reducing consumption of these fuels and utilizing energy already stored in the tire.

According to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, there are three main uses for recycled tire rubber: tire deprived fuel (TDF), civil engineering and ground rubber.

TDF uses the granulated tires instead of traditional fuels in cement kilns, pulp and paper factories, electric utilities and various boilers. TDF produces the same energy amount as oil and 25 percent more than coal.

According to Earth911, 52 percent of recycled tires are used for TDF, allowing energy to be harnessed from a material that would have otherwise been left in a landfill.

Recycled tires are used in civil engineering by substituting for traditional materials used to stabilize weak soil, such as constructing road embankments, or providing insulation for roads, walls and bridge abutments.

In 2005, 16 percent of recycled tires were consumed by civil engineering.

Ground rubber, which accounted for 12 percent of recycled tire use in 2005, is used in rubberized asphalt applications and is the largest single use of recycled rubber. Its benefits include noise reduction, shorter breaking distances, reduced road maintenance and more cost-effective, durable road surfaces.

Ground rubber also serves a number of sports and recreational purposes as shock-absorbing running tracks and groundcover under playgrounds and it is added to soil under playing fields to improve drainage and root structure of grass.

With the benefits of recycling tires, it can be easy to see why recycling tires is so important. With a simple tire given to be recycled, drivers save endless amounts of energy, saving natural resources for another generation.

Fallbrook residents can drop off their used tires for a nominal cost at Mahr’s Tires & Auto at 218 Fig Street. For more information, call (760) 728-2843.

For more information on recycling, go to

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