why ‘tire graveyards’ are a thing and not just recycled or broke down and reused?

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why ‘tire graveyards’ are a thing and not just recycled or broke down and reused?

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Because they’re really hard to recycle. The whole point of a tire is to be *really* durable. They’re full of fibers and steel so they’re very hard to cut up. The rubber is molded around the fibers so they’re almost impossible to separate. And the base components (rubber, steel, carbon) are incredibly cheap so there’s almost no market value to the materials you’d recover.

The cheapest option is to just leave them in a pile.

Very large tires (trucks) can be retreaded several times and are reused.

To add tires cannot be buried in most places because they are buoyant and will resurface over time.

Most tires do get recycled, “tire graveyards” are just where they go to wait.

Also, burning tires to dispose of them isn’t really a thing. Yes, tire fires happen sometimes and can be incredibly difficult to extinguish, but it’s a myth perpetuated by the Simpson’s that we just infinitely burn tires instead of recycling them.

There’s a local tyre recycling business that sends them off to China (maybe) where they’re used as fuel…

That’s the story I was told anyway

Most of your used tires are recycled when you purchase from a large box retailer (Costco, Firestone, Americas Tire/Discount Tire). Hence to scrap recycling fee.

I have been in a few Manufacturing plants at this point in my career and speaking specifically about Bridgestone, the tires that are re-collected are generally made into building materials, roofing products, asphalt and even tires once more.

Early 1900’s, Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were on a ten year road trip titled “The Vagabonds” where they ultimately learned that recycling that Mr. Firestone was producing would lead to paving a roads for not only them but truckers across America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire-derived_fuel modern solution transforms them into electricity

So how much of an old shredded tyre do you want, and what are you going to pay for it? Come on? There are literally stacks of them there, and people will give them to you for basically nothing.
What are you going to use it for? Playground material? Well I hope you removed all the metal supports, all the gravel, all the things puncturing it, every sharp edge, and ground it all down fine enough to make… what? Some squidgy polluted rubber gravel? How much you gonna pay for that, per square metre? And how much is the liability insurance going to cost for if you mess up and a kid injures themselves on it?

Once rubber is galvanised, it’s undergone a pretty irreversible process. Yes, you can feed a small percentage back into other tyres or rubber items, but you can’t just remould it 100% and off you go again. There are very few materials in the world you can do that for (glass, paper, metal, that’s about it – even clay you have to recycle in small proportions mixed with lots of fresh clay if you want things to hold together).

Whenever you think about recycling, consider what you’re asking: You effectively want someone to take something that’s so worthless that we have to pay to landfill it, we have to PAY people to take it away!, and – by some process – turn it into a product that people will pay money for, and in doing so make a desirable quality product, equal to or superior to its rival products from new material, that costs roughly the same or less as them.

That process will involve chemicals, pollution, heating, pressure, not to mention manpower, collection, stripping, moulding, filtering, purity testing, materials testing (nobody is gonna pay if the new tyres you make just shred apart in ten minutes), product creation and distribution, plus the general costs of doing business (wages, insurance, legal, and a bit of profit). And you need to do it all cheaper than, or about the same price as, new rubber would cost.

This applies not just to rubber but to almost all materials. Very few of them are worth recycling at all, even with subsidies (read: free money to run your business, because it’s unprofitable trying to do so without it).

If you could unbake a cake and get an egg back, if that’s even possible, that egg is going to be inferior quality and far more expensive to obtain – even from a free cake – than just buying a new egg – or even a whole chicken.

They are burned to make cement. That is the main way to re-use them

Beyond that, there really isnt much you can do because they are full of fibers – from polyester to glass fiber to steel to rayon to kevlar. Absurdly hard to separate.

The entire recycling thing is a scam lobbied by big oil to make us think its possible. Rubbers and plastics don’t recycle well. Watched 2 documentaries about it last week. https://youtu.be/YsA3PK8bQd8

Toward the end of manufacturing, the rubber goes through a process called “vulcanization”.

This basically fuses the rubber molecules into one giant tire-shaped molecule. After vulcanization, it’s not as simple as melting the rubber back down, since the rubber no longer melts, which makes it basically impossible to recover the rubber in a usable form.

(Some tires do get ground up and used for track surfaces or playgrounds, but that rubber couldn’t be used in tires again)

The best they can do is stack ’em better and protect them from arsons/natural disaster. We’ll get better at tearing them apart in the future.

No discussion is complete without mentioning [crumb rubber.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumb_rubber) This is bought and sold as a commodity, and market prices will often dictate how quickly tires get recycled.

Materials cannot be recycled as others explained, but whole tires can be repurposed for their structural qualities, for example to reinforce shorelines or hill sides.

Tires are cheap to use and expensive to reuse. Our economy doesn’t take reuse into account so it’s technically cheaper to burn them at the expense of our environment than it is to responsibly reuse the product.

They’re often used as blast mats when blasting rock in an area where you can’t have rocks flying way up into the air and coming down all over the place. They’re partially cut up and all tied together and laid on top of the rock being blasted.

Actually hippies use them to build houses call “earthships” and recently it was found that tires are a greener replacement for coking coal in making steel

Saw a YouTube video where the machine pulled out the steel bead and the rest was chopped up.

Another YouTube video showed tires being inserted into other tires to save space for shipping. Maybe 4 tires in the space of 1.

What about shredding them down & mixing with asphalt to make tougher roads?

Tire distributor here in Canada

So there are many ways to reuse a tire especially big commercial tires. Typically people will retread a good casing and reuse it. If properly taken care of you can technically retread is a few times each time getting less and less kmz but still it’s easily possible to reach a few hundred thousand kmz on a first time retread.

If a tire is doomed to the graveyard (in Canada atleast) importers such as myself pay a tariff based on the size of the tire upon import. There are government sanctioned recycling facilities that pick up for free and will take the tire to a recycling facility which pulverizes the tire into a carbon powder and strips the steel bands away. They melt the steel obviously and the little black bits are made into everything from playground matting to astroturf to hockey pucks (Canadians duh).

However there are technologies based out of Europe that are making there way into North America (slowly) that convert any carbon based material into water, electricity and a desired fuel, these facilities cost hundreds of millions but truly remarkable what they can do with a 0 carbon footprint.

Sorry I didn’t explain like ur five.