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Recycle Your Tires This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Thereare millions of cars in the world, most with four tires. When it comes time toreplace your tires, where do you think they go? Often they end up in a scrap yardwhere they do not decompose. These tires often become hazards due to potentialfires. Most tires can be recycled: they're made with a high oil content that canbe used for fuel, and the rubber can be recycled.

When you purchase newtires, your dealer may charge a disposal fee ranging from 25 cents to two dollarsper tire. This fee goes toward various things, depending where you live -scrap-tire education programs, proper tire disposal or programs to license tirehaulers for proper disposal. The licensing issue is important so that people whodispose of tires do not dump them illegally.

Tires are the perfectbreeding ground for mosquitoes when water collects in them, making them a healthhazard in addition to being a nuisance and needing to be disposed of for a secondtime. Used tires may go to one of three places: a certified dump, a standardlandfill, or a recycling facility. Some that go to dumps are shredded to reducetheir volume and avoid the mosquito problem.

In the past, there was noprofit in used tires, but that has changed. Scrap tires can be burned to generateelectricity, or go directly to a recycling facility where the tires are shreddedto produce a product that can be used in cement-making plants, civil engineeringapplications and as a turf care product. Tire fragments are used for playgroundcovers, road base materials, running tracks, and soil additives.

Rubbercompanies are now in the process of finding methods to de-vulcanize the rubberbond and enable them to use scrap tires in the manufacturing of new tires. Thiswould complete the recycling of tires as a usable product. This process is notyet perfected, but with research it may be a viable option in a fewyears.

The main problem with this environmental issue is that a tire isconstructed to last a long time under many conditions. Therefore, it is difficultto destroy. In addition, to make the tire strong, it consists of many materials.However, these tires need to be recycled and scrap tires can be used in a varietyof products and ways that will reduce the number of tires and benefit ourenvironment.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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