What happens to your old car tyres when they are no longer safe to use and you buy a new set? Most garages will charge you an “environmental disposal fee” to get rid of your tyres, but do you really know what happens to them after you drive off?
In the UK alone over 40 million tyres are replaced and need to be disposed of every year. The fee you pay to your garage or tyre retailer is a small contribution to responsible recycling efforts aimed at ensuring the tyres are disposed of correctly.
Responsible recycling ensures that waste tyres do not end up in landfill sites but are recycled or reprocessed in a responsible manner. Apart from reprocessing or recycling there are a variety of other ways to reuse old tyres. One of the uses becoming more popular is building eco-homes out of tyres, known as earth ships. Earth rammed tyres can be used to become the primary building block of the earthship. Advantages of using tyres as building material include:
- Tyres are durable, only fire and sunshine can degrade them
- Good thermal mass hence make well insulated building
- No specialised skill required
Other simple uses include making kids playground equipment, flower planters, compost bins and retaining walls. Responsible recycling is possible when it comes to tyres, and so is old tyre reuse.