What is Tire Recycling?
The tire recycling process involves the use of tires that can no longer be used by vehicles owing to significant wear and tear. The high availability, bulk, resilience, and non-biodegradability of the tires make the scrap tire recycling business lucrative. Besides, with more than half a million tires being disposed of annually, recycling is a great way of reducing landfills in addition to being a profitable venture. So then, what does the process of tire recycling entail?
Tire Recycling Process: How Are Tires Recycled?
Collection of Used or Worn Out Tires
Just like any other recycling process, the collection is the first step. This function may be assigned to individuals or business individuals that are paid to collect the scrap tires and send them to the collection points. Once the required volume is reached, they are packed on trucks and sent to the processing plants.
Whole Tire Processing
Once the tires reach the processing plant, they are cut into tiny pieces. This step is important as it aims to reduce the volume of tires while also creating materials that are easy to handle. Tire shredders are specially designed with two counter-rotating shafts that are used to cut the tires into 2-inch pieces. Generally, the end product from this stage may be used as raw material for fuel that is tire-derived. Tire processing involves two systems:
- Mechanical Systems These are used to grind the scrap tires into small chips through an ambient process. The size of the product is determined in a typical ambient system where the rubber shreds are put in the granulator that is fitted with screens.
- Cryogenic Systems Here, the tires are frozen at low temperatures, shattering the rubber and effectively creating different sizes. Liquid nitrogen is then used to supercool the tire shreds. The rubber that is extremely cold and brittle is then passed through a hammer mill that shatters it into tiny particles. Magnets are then used to remove steel while fibers are separated with the aid of air classifiers. The clean recycled rubber is then used in other applications.
Steel Liberation Stages
This entails processing and preparing the tire shreds that are obtained in stage 1 for elimination and separation of the tire wire from rubber that are usually used for strength, versatility, and resilience. It also includes course screening and fiber separation. The wires are sent to the rolling mills to manufacture new steel while the rubber mulch may be used as a field or playground turf.
Screening and Milling Stage
Here, the rubber is carefully observed to ensure that there are no wires or other forms of contamination. Screening involves a huge number of varied sizes of rubber that contain no wires to sort them according to sizes while eliminating substances that are unwanted. Unwanted and extra-large rubber pieces are also reduced here.
When the screening is completed, the rubber that is obtained is thoroughly cleaned using water and other cleaning agents. The clean rubber is then packed and transported to other factories that need rubber as a raw material such as manufacturers of rubber shoes and playgrounds among others.
Why Tire Recycling is Necessary for the Environment?
The huge amount of solid waste generated from tires is a major concern. Used tires have a severe negative impact on the environment in terms of air, water, and soil pollution. But did you know that your business can curb this negative impact and generate profit through tire recycling?
Let’s take a look at why are tires bad for the environment:
- Leaching – Old tires contain heavy metals and chemicals which leach into the environment as these tires disintegrate. This is called leaching. A few of these chemicals have been recognized to be mutagenic and carcinogenic in nature. Another threat that leaching poses are soil contamination. The soil around such old tires can easily be contaminated with the harmful chemicals released into the environment. Even groundwater is at risk of becoming contaminated. Also, if these toxins contaminate any water in the soil, the poisoned water can further come into contact with animals and humans and endanger their lives as well.
- Landfill Overcrowding – Our landfills are already overcrowded. Scrap tires make up a major chunk of waste in these landfills. Numerous states around the country are struggling with this problem. Many have already banned the disposal of all types of tires, whole or shredded in the landfills. So besides environmental and health reasons, you may now have legal reasons for tire recycling as well.
- Fire Risk – One of the main concerns in the case of discarded tires is an increased fire risk. Nearly half of the recycled scrap tires are used in fuel generation. However, fires which are fueled by tires may be more difficult to deal with and extinguish.
- Pest Threat – Scrap tires also pose a pest threat. Water may get accumulated in these tires and they can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. This in turn can increase the risk of vector-borne diseases such as encephalitis. Even rodents can inhabit such used tires. Thus, to eliminate potential health hazards, it’s best to recycle used tires.
The above points clearly demonstrate the negative impact waste tires have on the environment. These can instead be recycled and used in a more constructive manner in the form of tire shreds. Given the diverse uses of tire shreds, the tire shredding business is seen as a lucrative option today.
Get in touch with us at Compactor Management Company, today to understand more about how to invest in the right type of recycling equipment. A perfect tire shredder will not only help you reduce the environmental impact of your business, but also help you generate profits from the waste tires.
Compactor Management Company (former Northern California Compactors, Inc.) offers installation and support services for waste recycling equipment such as waste compactors, balers, shredders & conveyor systems. Established in 1981, it offers waste management solutions across the United States.