When your old tyres are worn out and no longer roadworthy, and the time comes to fit new tyres to your car, one of the things most people won't consider is what happens to those that have been discarded. For the majority, it will be a case of letting the mechanic who fitted the new tyres get rid of them, but most of us won't know how, or more importantly why, old tyres need to be responsibly disposed of.
The UK produces in the region 55 million waste tyres every year, according to official government figures. That's a lot of rubber going to waste, so why do we need to make sure that this is being properly dealt with? Here are a few key reasons for making sure tyres are responsibly disposed of.
- Harmful to the environment. Old tyres can damage the environment. Not only do they create waste, but if they are not treated and disposed of properly, they are often just burned, and this can release pollution into the air as toxic smoke and chemicals, which can be damaging to the environment.
- Antisocial issues. While most people will get rid of their tyres properly, there are still others who will opt to fly tip or dump them. This can have antisocial knock-on effects, with the potential for fires being started, for example. The cost of fighting these fires and clearing up can be substantial for local authorities.
- They can be useful. While tyres that are no longer of use for your car may just seem like a waste product to you, to other industries they are still highly useful if disposed of in the correct way. They can provide fuel for cement kilns, and can also be used for a number of other purposes. The rubber can be used for flooring, road surfaces, shoes and furniture, while bales of tyres can be used in the construction of modern engineered landfill sites and flood defences.
Posted by Danielle Barge