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Is Rubber Recyclable? Process, Benefits & Ways to Reuse

rubber glue

With over 5 million tons of rubber alone clogging up landfills per year, it’s important for people to realize that rubber is fully recyclable! By recycling your tires and other rubber products instead of throwing them out, you can help minimize human impacts on the environment.

Let’s check out how exactly you recycle rubber, why it’s important, and other relevant info below.

divider 4 How to Properly Dispose of Rubber

Tires and other rubber products can’t just be thrown away with your glass bottles and aluminum cans. Instead, you’ll have to locate a nearby recycling center that accepts old tires and scrap rubber. Companies that produce rubber mulch will also buy sizable amounts of scrap rubber to conserve production costs.

Rubber crumb_zzphoto.ru_shutterstock
Image Credit: zzphoto.ru, Shutterstock

Why Recycle Rubber Products?

Recycling just a single tire is the equivalent of saving 4.5 gallons of gas, and recycling all four is like saving 18 gallons at once. Rubber requires petroleum products to produce, which can contaminate local environments where rubber-yielding rubber trees grow. By conserving petroleum products and reducing demand, recycling rubber slows new rubber production.

This has the dual effect of reducing local contamination. Because new rubber isn’t being produced as much, less toxic chemicals are being leached into soil and groundwater. Less contamination is a win-win for locals and the nearby wildlife and animals alike.

Rubber is also detrimental after it’s produced and used. The trees that produce rubber are native to swathes of ecologically invaluable land, and recycling helps reduce strain on them too. Scrap tires are a serious hazard in landfills, where they can take more than 50 years to fully decompose. In addition to its other benefits, recycling rubber also saves a ton of space in landfills.

Landfills are already filled with super-flammable and hazardous chemicals, and adding tires doesn’t help the matter. Tires are notoriously flammable, boosting the longevity of fires, and tire fires can cause irreparable environmental harm and land damage.

How to Reuse and Repurpose Scrap Rubber

You’ll typically need to bring your tires and rubber transported to a recycling center or pay to have them recycled. If those aren’t feasible options for you, the good news is that there are numerous ways you can reuse and repurpose scrap rubber, specifically from old tires. Let’s check the details on those methods below.

Ways to Reuse Scrap Tires:
  • Make a tire swing to entertain the kids
  • Convert it into a dog bed for your furry friend
  • Create an obstacle course to get in shape
  • Use them as plant holders/pots
  • Stack them and use them for storage
  • Turn old tires into the base of a coffee table

divider 4 Conclusion

Rubber is among the most useful natural resources on our planet, but it’s not unlimited. By recycling rubber products like scrap tires after the end of their lifespan, we can help preserve our world’s resources and reduce greenhouse gas production.

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Featured Image Credit: vzwer, Shutterstock

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