Motor safety requires that tyres are replaced after a set number of kilometres. Further, tyres get damaged during the process of normal tear and wear. These are rendered unfit for use, necessitating their withdrawal and replacement with new ones. Every holiday season, the tyre care centres promote their new stock. They urge drivers to purchase new tyres with enticing discounts and offers. Have you ever wondered where these old tyres end up?
Driving along the scenic country roads, we can encounter locations with huge piles and heaps of used tyres. Besides spoiling the beauty of the countryside, they keep on increasing and turn the sites into an eyesore. Unfortunately, no matter how long the heap gets piled, the tyres cannot degrade.
Wrong ways to discard used tyres
Several options are being applied currently to dispose of the used tyres. However, none of the remedies are providing any real solutions to the problems. Instead, they postpone the issue, making it more complicated and pronounced.
Landfill sites are intended to utilise the precious space by compressing the refuse. This allows for the organised disposal and decomposition of the garbage. The crushed materials occupy a small space and are concealed out of the passerby’s view. As such, restoring the natural landscape.
Due to the synthetic compounds used to manufacture tyre, they cannot be stashed well in the dump sites. Further, they are hollow, meaning that as much as 70% of the area they take up is generally void. The hollow areas result in the consumption of the valuable space required to hold other rubbish.
Tyres also have a tendency to trap methane gas. Prolonged capture of the gas causes the bubbling effect it seeks release in to the atmosphere. The effect is detrimental to the integrity of the dumpsite. Liners secure the dumpsites perimeter, which primarily protects the surface areas and the ground water system around the land fill from the adverse effects of the stashed collection., meaning that as much as 70% of the area they take up is generally void. The hollow areas result in the consumption of the valuable space required to hold other rubbish.
Tyres also have a tendency to trap methane gas. Prolonged capture of the gas causes the bubbling effect it seeks release in to the atmosphere. The effect is detrimental to the integrity of the dumpsite. Liners secure the dumpsites perimeter, which primarily protects the surface areas and the ground water system around the land fill from the adverse effects of the stashed collection.
Some unscrupulous used tyre dealers resort to burning the tyres in their stock to make room for the new stock. Burning has been known to be done under the guise of accidental forest fires and is especially prevalent during the months of summer. Due to high temperature and strong winds, fires ignited can spread very quickly and burn viciously. Apart from burning the tyre dump site, the fires normally spread to devour a huge chunk of natural vegetations. The wildfires can reduce a large area, turn it into a small as
3. Illegal dumping
Another problem caused by used tyres is unregulated dumping. The large space requirements by the used tyres force the organisations holding them to devise other methods to create room. They sometimes illegally transfer tyres to undesignated places. As such the relocation of more tyres to the undesignated tyre dumping sites increases these locations.
The right way to discard of used tyres
The steps taken above not only exacerbate the problem far and wide, they have disastrous long-term environmental effects. Disposal at the legal landfills creates the production of the methane gasses, which destroys the landfill linings, therefore, allowing hazardous fluids to ooze into the ground and surface water system. The burning of the tyres leads to an increase in the emission of the carbon diode and carbon monoxide.
The gasses have the effects of depleting the ozone layer, contribute to the global warming and facilitate the spread of airborne infections. Further, they have a direct link with the propagation of the effects of cancer of the skin. Illegal dumping creates a lot of black dots in the otherwise pristine country greenery.
Further, these sites offer the ideal environment for the breeding of rodents, mosquitoes, and other parasites-carrying agents, exposing the neighbourhood to unhygienic conditions.
Do not despair. There are better methods which can be applied to address the tyre problem. They offer protection against landfill leakages, prevent environmental degradation, protects against infectious diseases and allow for proper recycling. The most suitable solutions to curtailing the menace are as below:
1. Regulated collection and dumping
Several states have instituted tyre amnesty days where the owners of used tyres can hand over their stock to registered tyre disposal companies for free. By following this process, a well-documented collection and disposal system is instituted and applied. The tyre collection firms have environmentally conscious and approved methods of shredding the tyres first before stashing them to the landfill sites. The process protects the landfill linings from getting compromised. Further, due to small sizes now damped, space gets efficiently utilised. We are licensed to undertake this type of tyre waste removal and proper disposal.
2. Tyre pyrolysis
Pyrolysis is the process of conversion of the used tyres into fuel gas and other products. The vulcanisation method uses gas emitted by the tyre during burning as fuel to product steel coils, which are recovered by magnetism. Tyre cleaning takes place before they are shredded into small pieces and loaded into an air tight oven. The end product is carbon black. It can be blended with rubber to produce new tyres cheaply. The process is environmental friendly due to clean burning resulting in fewer pollutant materials release in the atmosphere.
3. Tyre recycling
Used tyres can be recycled and converted into different materials, by shredding them in varying sizes. The small particles are then moulded to prepare different items. They include the following:
- Construction materials: Tyres can be used to manufacture versatile and easily malleable building materials. Temporary shelters panels can be manufactured by ramming tyre shreds with earth and then concrete applied as a casing. These shreds can also get converted to subgrade materials for embankments, roads subgrade layers as well as the bridge abutment. Other uses include fabrication of barriers of different types.
- Ground rubber: These are used to make an alternative aggregate. Rubber moulded products also include carpet padding, rubber tiles, retractable speed bumps, sports field turf amongst others.
From the uses above, it is clear that old tyres can safely be disposed of without affecting the environment and our health. Further, the new applications can create massive employment, save on fuel costs as well as generate new forms of industrial production. Why litter then?