The Life Of A Recycled Tire

The Life Of A Recycled Tire

Nothing lasts forever, but old tires come close. With nearly 300 million tires being discarded in the United States every year, scrap tires were once a common element of landfills. However, because scrap tires can take more than 80 years to break down in some cases, throwing them into landfills was a solution that was far less than perfect. That’s not even considering the amount of space they take up in landfills, or their tendency to damage landfill liners, cause soil and groundwater contamination, and attract rodents.

The good news, however, is that scrap tires have become far less of a problem than they used to be. In 1990, only 11 percent of scrap tires were put to other uses, whereas end-use markets consumed more than 87 percent of scrap tires in 2015. A significant number of scrap tires today are recycled into rubber mulch that is used in a variety of applications. This mulch can be used as protection on playgrounds, as a component of synthetic turf for sports fields, as a material for running tracks or as a backdrop for shooting ranges, among other applications.

Rubber mulch offers some advantages over traditional wood mulch in many of these applications because it typically lasts longer and does not blow away as easily during storms. These advantages are in addition to the biggest benefit of tire recycling, which is far fewer tires taking up space and contaminating the ground in landfills.

Although rubber mulch is essentially made up of ground-up tires, there’s more to the process than simply throwing scrap tires into a shredder. There’s a highly specialized process that transforms scrap tires into the rubber mulch that protects children from falls on playgrounds or lines stalls in horse stables. Metal sidewalls and other debris have to be removed from the tires, and the rubber needs to be processed with special chemicals to soften them after they are mulched. What’s left after the entire process is complete is an eco-friendly alternative to wood mulch that keeps people safe and keeps scrap tires out of landfills.

The infographic below takes you through the life of a recycled tire, detailing the recycling process as well as some of the key benefits of recycling tires into rubber mulch. Old tires may seem like they can last forever, but recycling scrap tires has been proven to be a great way to ensure that their long lives result in far more good than harm.

Author bio: Penny Klein, owner of Perfect Rubber Mulch, has extensive experience in the industry and understands the best product fit for her clients’ needs. She works with customers to guarantee the right amount of product is purchased, and makes certain the delivery process is best in class. 

The Ultimate Guide to Reading Tire Tread

Despite relying on our cars every day to get from point A to point B, we rarely pay attention to telltale signs of hazardous wear and tear. The tires take the brunt of the work when we travel, which means you should pay extra attention to the tread and inflation levels. Avoid dangerous situations by learning how to read your tire tread with this helpful guide from Tires By Web:



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Tips For Proper Tire Maintenance


Tips For Proper Tire Maintenance

Tips For Proper Tire Maintenance  

Learn to inspect your tires. Look at the depth of the remaining tread, while you are looking for uneven wear. Look for signs of a separated tire. Pay attention to how the tires ride.While every part that makes up your vehicle is important, some are more important than others — including the tires. Since tires also can be quite expensive and are essential to your safety while driving, you want to take care of them as best you can. Many people don’t think about tire maintenance, instead waiting until the “low air” tire sensor or another person tells them a tire is low. By then, you already could have done some damage to the tires.


One of the most important steps in tire maintenance is ensuring that every tire is properly inflated. If tires have too much air, the center will wear sooner than the outside edges. You also will have less rubber contacting the road, which makes driving in slick conditions, including rain, that much more dangerous.

If the tire pressure is too low, the outside edges will wear faster. You also have some handling problems with low tires. Always check the tire pressure visually before you drive the vehicle, or after it sits for a couple of hours. Check it with an air pressure gauge at least monthly, too. You can find the recommended tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire, or on the sticker on the driver’s doorjamb.


Hitting potholes or bumping the curb hard enough could knock your vehicle out of alignment. You should have the alignment checked at least once per year. If you know you hit a pothole or curb hard enough, however, have the alignment checked as soon as possible. Other actions that could affect the alignment include driving over gravel roads that are particularly bumpy or even a rough railroad track crossing.


Wear and Tear

Even when you keep tires properly inflated, you’re going to get some wear and tear — and tires seldom wear evenly. You might have one front tire that seems to wear faster than the others. To keep the tire wear even, rotate the tires every six months or at intervals of 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

Tire Inspection


  • Shaking in the steering wheel at a certain speed — usually between 55 and 75 mph — indicates that the tires are not properly balanced. Balance the tires as soon as possible, as an unbalanced tire could wear faster.
  • Shaking at slower speeds indicates that you may have a separated tire. Tires are made of rubber layers that are glued together. In many cases, a bubble will appear on the sidewall, indicating that the layers are separating.
  • Check the depth of the tread, which in the U.S. is measured in 32nds of an inch. If the depth is approaching 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace the tires. Instead of trying to measure the tread with a ruler, stick a quarter in the tread. If the tread does not reach the top of Washington’s head, it’s time to replace the tires. You also can look for the wear indicators, which are squares of rubber located between the tread on the tires. If the tread is even close to the wear indicators, it’s time for new tires.


Replacing Tires

If you have a tire damaged to the point that you must replace it, yet the other tires still have plenty of life left, be sure to use the same size and type of tire. When possible, it’s better to replace all four tires at the same time. If you just spent hundreds on a set of tires a month or three ago, however, you can replace only the damaged tire.

The Importance of Tire Maintenance

Keep your family and yourself safe by checking your vehicle’s tires often. Watch for balancing, separation and tread issues. When you have the tires rotated, ask the technician to balance them, too. In most cases, they will, but don’t assume it will be done. Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s tires allows you to see minor issues before they become major issues, while also helping you extend the life of the tires.


Ryan Holtzer is Chief Executive Officer of Tires By Web, a leading tire and wheel e-commerce company. Before joining Tires By Web in 2004, he completed General Electric’s Financial Management Program and has served as a Black Belt in GE’s Six Sigma Initiative.





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Tips on Buying New and Used Tires

A few Tips to know when you are Buying New and Used Tires

4 Essentials To Know When Buying New/Used Tires



When it’s time to buy new/used tires, you might put it off because of all of the choices you need to make. Instead, go into the tire shop prepared with a bit of knowledge about your vehicle. You may not want the same tires for several reasons — including how they ride, the kind of tire isn’t right for the type of driving you do, they’re the wrong size and more.

Check the Tire Size

You can’t always rely on the size of the tires that are currently on the vehicle — unless it was bought new from the dealership. If this is the case, then you can get the size right off the tire. However, if the vehicle was purchased used, even from a dealership, it could have a different size tire than what came with the vehicle. Often, people put larger or smaller tires on the vehicle for various reasons.

Always check the owner’s manual for the tire size. Compare the size listed in the owner’s manual with the tire size. If you like the tire size you could keep that size. However, keep in mind that the bigger the tire, the more expensive it is. Plus, in some cases, a bigger tire doesn’t ride as nice as the tire that was originally on the vehicle.

You could also find the proper tire size on the vehicle’s information placard. Call the tire shop ahead of time to make sure it has the tire size in the brand you want in stock. If not, many shops will order the tires for you, though they may require payment upfront.

Tire Codes

The size on the tire will look similar to this: P215/65/R 15 95H M+S. The first letter in the sequence indicates that the tire is for a passenger car if it’s a “P.” You might see “LT” on light trucks. The next three-digit number is how wide the tire is from one sidewall edge to the other. This is measured in milliliters.

The next two-digit number — 65 in this example — is the ratio of the tire’s height to its width. The bigger the number the more sidewall the tire has. The next part of the sizing notation is a letter. Most tires have “R,” which means the tire is a radial tire. You might find a “B,” which means the tire is a bias tire; and these are commonly found on older vehicles and light trailers.

The next number, a 15 in this example, is the rim size — the diameter of the rim. Some tire size notations may also feature an optional number. This two- or three-digit number notes the load index and is not required by law to be on the tire. This shows how much each tire can carry. Always install tires with a load index at least as high as the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The next letter is the speed rating. In this example, it is an “H,” which means that the tires are rated to go as fast as 130 miles per hour for an extended time. You have no reason to upgrade to a tire with a higher speed rating unless you are driving the vehicle on a track or you’re shipping the vehicle to an area that doesn’t believe in speed limits.

The last set of letters designate the type of tire. “M+S” stands for mud and snow. Common notations also include “AS” for all season and “AT” for all terrain.

Tire Break-In

Regardless of which tire you choose, it will have a release agent on it; and this makes the tire slippery. It won’t grip as nicely as it should until the residue wears off. When buying tires, be careful, especially when braking and cornering in wet conditions. Break-in time on most tires is about 500 miles.

Tire Age

Oxygen breaks down rubber, so the age of the tires is very important. In most cases, when purchasing new tires, this isn’t a concern. However, when purchasing used tires or if your vehicle’s tires don’t wear fast because you don’t drive frequently, the age of the tire is a concern. Look for a series of 10 to 12 numbers close to the rim. Pay attention to the last four digits, which show the week and year the tire was manufactured.

For example, if the last four digits are 5014, the tire was manufactured in the 50th week of 2014. It is recommended to change tires that are 10 years old or older, even if they look brand new.

The Bottom Line

When purchasing new tires, know the size you need, the type you need for the terrain and weather you drive in or on, and the speed rating — if you plan on taking your vehicle on the Autobahn if you visit Germany or plan on living there, for example. When buying used tires, be sure to check the age of the tires before accepting them.



Author Bio:

Natalie Saldana is A-Abana Auto Insurance’s Vice President of Sales. Her and her team’s primary duty is to make sure that every driver behind the wheel is covered and safe. A key factor of staying safe on the road is making sure your tires are in great shape!