Creative uses for recycled tyres
Old tyres are a potentially valuable resource with various re-use, recycling and waste to energy options. However, improper tyre disposal can be very harmful to the environment and can waste a useful and sustainable resource that is capable of producing a range of convenient and beneficial products. Some of these products include: landfill mediums, garden mulch, crumb rubber, gravel substitutes and wastewater treatment filters.
Australian tyre recycler and owner of Branigans Tyres, Chris Lett elucidates on each of these creative tyre uses, repurposing and essentially reviving tyres through expanding on their untapped benefits.
Landfill mediums: Both shredded and chipped tires can be used as both a liner or cover for landfills. “Tyre chips can also be used as a thermal insulation between both primary and secondary landfill liners to reduce temperatures and is a cost-effective medium for landfill areas,” says Lett. In addition, they provide an ideal alternative to coal or incinerator ash, as both are permeable.
Garden mulch: Retaining its appearance over time, garden mulch made from recycled tyres does not float away during rainstorms and does not attract termites. “The tyre chips within garden mulch do not rot the way wood mulch does,” says Lett.
Crumb rubber: “Once steel and tyre cords are expertly removed from discarded tyres, the remaining rubber is then reduced to a granular consistency,” says Lett. The final product, crumb rubber, can be used in many applications including; playground flooring, vehicle mud guards, rubberised asphalt and welcome mats among other uses.
Gravel substitutes:Tyre chips make the ideal substitute for gravel, as they can be applied as an aggregate for drainage ditches, highway embankment backfill and sub-layers of roadways. “Gravel substitutes with tyre chips are used in cold climates underneath roads, limiting the penetration of frost,” says Lett. In addition, these tyre chips reduce noise and vibration from passing trains when utilised under light rail tracks running close to homes and businesses.
Wastewater treatment filters: Rubber chips have proven to be an excellent material for waste water treatment. The chips retain their drainage capability for longer than natural materials and give greater phosphor reduction, which is a major advantage in infiltration beds. Also, rubber is an effective carrier material for the microorganisms used in the treatment process.
According to Planet ArK, each year in Australia, the equivalent of 48 million tyres reach the end of their life, only 16% of these are domestically recycled. Around two-thirds of used tyres in Australia end up in landfill, are stockpiled, illegally dumped or have an unknown fate.This represents both a waste of resources and creates health and environmental issues. Each passenger car tyre contains approximately 1.5kg of steel, 0.5kg of textiles and 7 kg of rubber.
In recent years all governments have worked with the tyre industry to establish Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) and a voluntary industry funded tyre product stewardship scheme. This scheme aims to increase both the number of tyres recycled in Australia and the use of products made with recycled material. Tyre industry participants who apply for, and gain TSA accreditation must commit to playing their part in sustainable end-of-life use for tyres.
At Branigans Tyres, Chris Lett and his team ‘go green’ and are experts in the recycled tyre business. Branigans Tyres has well-established workshops in Burleigh Heads and Southport in the Gold Coast region. Check out their full range of services or current featured promotions. Branigans award-winning affordable tyre subscriptions package start at $7.97 and help motorists budget for their ongoing tyre needs.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to drive in at their convenience as no pre-bookings or appointments are required. Branches are situated at 13 Flagstone Drive, Burleigh Heads, contact number (07) 5535 2660 or 1/277 Southport-Nerang Rd, Southport contact number, (07) 5591 8633.
Syndicated by: YDMA News