Tires have become a serious solid waste disposal problem and should not be disposed in your curbside recycling and garbage service. On July 1, 1994, whole tires were banned from landfill disposal in the state of Illinois. Placing tires in landfills can lead to many environmental hazards.
Whether you rent dumpsters on a regular basis or plan to rent your first one soon, you should be aware of the most common problems people and businesses face when renting dumpsters.
Read on to learn about three common dumpster rental problems and how to avoid or solve them.
- Illegal Dumping
You likely carefully calculate the size of the dumpster you need for a certain job to ensure you have enough space to dispose of your items without exceeding the dumpster’s weight limit. However, you may feel like all of these calculations are futile when you arrive at your job site to find that others have deposited their trash in your dumpster without your permission.
Water wings, beach balls, lounge chairs, floating pool toys. What do all of these things have in common? They CAN NOT be recycled.
Almost all of them are made of polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC, or by the recycling number 3), which is one of the hardest plastics to recycle. It is also one of the most dangerous plastics to use, as it is full of chlorine and heavy metals and is a known human carcinogen.
You’ve probably already heard many of the reasons recycling is a good idea. You might even know that recycling one ton of aluminum saves 14,000 kWh of energy or that recycling one ton of glass prevents the release of 7.5 pounds of air pollutants.
But there’s a difference between knowing something is good and actually doing it. Perhaps recycling intimidates you because you’re not sure which items are recyclable. You might also wonder how you actually go about recycling items around your house.
Fortunately, recycling can be simple if you follow these preparation tips for various recyclable items.
Cans and Jars
If you drink soda or eat canned food regularly, you likely go through quite a few cans every week. Fortunately, you can recycle them. At recycling plants, cans are melted and turned into new cans and other products.
You and your family understand the importance of recycling. You carefully sort your paper, plastics, and aluminum. Whenever possible, you reuse plastic bags and repurpose old items around the home so they serve a new function. And you buy products made from recycled materials.
However, you feel that your efforts are outweighed by your neighbors’ negligence. Though you try hard to recycle on your own, many in your community don’t seem to care about protecting the environment. And many more don’t even bother to throw their trash in the dumpster, let alone take their recyclable items to the nearest center.
You recycle because you know it’s the right thing to do. You know recycling benefits your community and the environment. But each time you recycle a can, a bottle, or a newspaper, you wonder what happens to it. Was recycling worth it?
Here, we’ll go over some of the most common recyclable materials and their journey beyond the recycling bin.
Two types of metal-aluminum and steel-are recycled and reused every day. You’ve probably recycled aluminum cans many times. When you do, these cans go to a smelter, where employees grind the aluminum into small chips, melt it, and send it to a manufacturing plant. At the plant, workers roll new sheets of aluminum. Out of these sheets, they create new aluminum products. These products include:
- Car bodies
- Aluminum foil
Now, how about steel? You might not know that tin cans are actually made of steel and coated in tin. When you recycle a tin can, manufacturers flatten it and remove the tin coating. They sell the steel to a steel mill, where manufacturers create other steel products. These products could include appliances, steel beams, and car parts.
What about the tin coating? Well, people can reuse that, too, particularly in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
You may wonder how your glass products are reused, especially if they have chips or cracks. Fortunately, a broken bottle is not a problem. Manufacturers crush recycled glass into small pieces. People use crushed glass as part of the following:
- Sports turf
- Paved surfaces
They can also create new glass containers and even stained glass.
There are many different types of plastics, and even more potential applications. Recycling workers must separate all your plastic products based on type. They then shred them into flakes and melt them into pellets to sell to companies. Here’s how people reuse different types of plastics:
- High-density polyethylene: car parts, toys, flower pots
- PET: carpet backing, backpacks, sleeping bag insulation
- Mixed plastics: plastic lumber, pallets
It’s exciting to think about what your plastic products might become. A milk jug could become a chair, or a detergent bottle could become a Frisbee.
As with plastic, manufacturers sort paper by type. At a paper mill, manufacturers follow these steps:
- They use a chemical wash to separate the ink from the paper.
- They mix the paper with water to create a pulp.
- They remove contaminants and bleach the paper mixture.
- They use machines to remove water from the mixture.
- They place the mixture into rollers that dry and flatten it.
Through this process, manufacturers can produce new paper (or other items such as toilet paper).
When you recycle shoe boxes, cereal boxes, or other cardboard items, they could return as boxes or paper bags.
When a paper mill receives your cardboard, manufacturers create a pulp, just like they do with other kinds of paper. They add wood chip pulp to strengthen it. They then roll and dry it to create two kinds of cardboard: the inner layer (called the medium) and the outer layers (called the linerboard). Finally, they send both types of cardboard to a box-board plant, where manufacturers form it into new cardboard.
The next time you’re about to throw away that milk jug or that cereal box, place them in the recycling bin instead. Your recycled items actually do make a difference. They go through a comprehensive process to become new items. If you don’t have a recycling service in your area, talk to your landlord or manager about adding one. In the meantime, you can take your recyclables to a recycling center.
Approximately 300 million people live in the United States-and Americans improperly dispose of nearly the same number of old tires each year. In the United States alone, businesses and individuals alike get rid of 240 million tires each year. Only a small percentage of those tires go to sustainable recycling, while nearly 77% end up in landfills or illegally abandoned.
But why does it matter if old tires get left out in the environment or placed in a landfill? The truth is that the sheer number of old tires combined with their material makeup means tires are hazardous to the public and the environment when not properly disposed of.
In this blog, we’ll help you understand several things regarding safe tire disposal. You’ll learn when your tires are no longer usable on the road, why they require recycling and what they’re made of, and how you can dispose of and repurpose old tires.
When Tires Should Become Scrap Material
Much of what determines a tire’s usefulness comes from the condition of its treads. As your tires age, they lose tread definition, which then reduces the amount of traction they provide. This loss of traction especially becomes a problem for drivers who encounter inclement weather like snow and rain.
With a loss of traction comes a loss of vehicle control, which increases your chances of collisions and accidents. So how do you know when your tires become a hazard on the road? To figure out exactly how deep your tire treads are, consider using the following technique.
The Penny Test
The penny test helps you measure the amount of tread left on the tire. First, place a regular penny between the tread strips on your tire. Make sure to position the coin so Lincoln’s head points downwards. If you cannot see the very top of Lincoln’s head, this means your tires are currently safe to use.
To ensure that you have even more tread height, use the Lincoln Memorial side with the memorial pointing down. If you cannot see the memorial at all, you know that you have more than 3/32″ of tread.
Most state laws require a tread depth of at least 2/32″ for safety reasons. If your tires have less than the recommended amount, invest in new tires that will ensure vehicular traction while driving.
If you determine that your tires’ tread isn’t deep enough, read below to learn what to do with your old tires and why it’s so important to find a safe way to dispose of them.
What Tires Are Made Of
Rubber is one of the top ingredients for tires, which is why they’re so important to recycle. The rubber compound in tires doesn’t decompose, and even creates buoyancy that interferes with landfill contaminant barriers.
But tires contain much more than just rubber. Tires also contain fiber, textile, and steel cords to reinforce their durability. Much like rubber, these materials don’t break down, which means they cause environmental harm when not properly disposed of and recycled.
How Tires Help When They’re Recycled
Three main industries make use of old scrap tires, including the civil engineering, road paving, and tirefuel industries.
Countless civil engineering applications utilize scrap tires for insulation, aggregate, and fill material. Road paving also repurposes old scrap tires to create a stronger road-building material called asphalt rubber, which requires little maintenance.
When properly regulated, tire-derived fuel, or TDF, offers a safe alternative to fossil fuels. Different combustion types have the capacity to burn whole or shredded tires, which provides heat and energy along with reduced emissions and increased environmental benefits.
How to Creatively Repurpose Tires
When you recycle your tires properly, one of the three above industries can use them for environmentally friendly purposes. But if you have a creative streak and want to hang on to your old tires, consider using them to create a unique planter, coffee table, or yard decoration. The Internet provides unlimited ideas on how to repurpose and reuse end-oflife tires.
To find out how you can safely dispose of tires in your area, contact your local disposal provider today.