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8 Dangers of DIY Tire Disposal | Tri-State Disposal

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

Waste tires are a persistent and widespread problem in the United States. Many individuals assume that they can handle tire disposal on their own, either by stockpiling used tires on their land or by dumping tires in unregulated areas.

In our previous blog, “Tire Recycling Options and Why They Matter,” we discussed the astonishing statistics about waste tires and the benefits of recycling tires rather than sending them to a landfill or disposing of them yourself.

In this blog, we delve deeper into eight of the potential risks of handling tire disposal on your own rather than partnering with a professional waste tire disposal expert.

1. Crowding

Many individuals assume that as long as they take their spare tires to a landfill, they have disposed of this type of waste responsibly. However, one of the major issues with tire waste in the United States is the amount of space these non-biodegradable objects take up in landfills.

Tires can cause crowding and will often float to the surface of landfills after they’ve been covered, contributing to high disposal costs with no foreseeable end. Recycling is a much better option.

2. Fire Risk

Stockpiles of waste tires both on private land and in landfills pose serious health, safety, and environmental risks. Scrapped tires are, first and foremost, fire hazards. Tire rubber is highly flammable and particularly appealing to vandals.

Additionally, once a tire fire ignites, the rubber can potentially burn for months before it goes through the available fuel, even in smaller stockpiles. To reduce the risk of fires, tire storage facilities and recycling plants comply with meticulous regulations about the environment tires are kept in.

3. Groundwater Contamination

If you saw a fire burning, your first instinct would likely be to try and use water to put out the flame. While this tactic works for most fires, grease and tire fires are exceptions to the rule. Not only does pouring water on tire fires generally not put them out, but the choice can cause groundwater pollution.

As tires burn, the rubber melts and releases the chemicals used in tire manufacturing. A well-meaning passerby who pours water over this mess actually allows the chemical sludge to spread around and potentially reach fresh water sources.

4. Insect Infestation

While tires do not biodegrade, they do change as they sit in a stockpile or landfill over time. Specifically, waste tires often collect moisture on their surfaces and release methane gas. This combination creates the perfect environment for mosquito infestations.

Illegal dumping grounds, tire landfills, and stockpiles can encourage populations of particularly dangerous mosquitoes and increase the incidences of disease like West Nile virus.

5. Poor Air Quality

In addition to the methane gas release as tires age in direct sunlight and other weather conditions, the high risk of tire fires also contributes to a high risk of air pollution. Tire fires can contaminate local air with the same chemicals that pouring water on a tire fire could spread into the groundwater.

6. Regulation Noncompliance

Because waste tires have become such as serious problem in the United States, most states have implemented regulations about how tires should be dealt with when they are no longer useful. When you resort to DIY methods like stockpiling or dumping, you likely violate your state restrictions or federal regulations.

This type of noncompliance could lead to fines or even criminal charges if your actions directly led to a dangerous situation caused by your waste tires. Instead, work with a disposal and recycling company that is certified to deal with scrap tires.

7. Resource Waste

Tire production requires large quantities of natural resources as well as synthetic chemicals. Old tires are mostly recyclable, which allows these resources to be reused in other products like paving materials, fuel, or insulation.

When tires are allowed to sit in a dump and not decompose, all of the resources used to create those tires goes to waste, requiring the use of more of the same resources for manufacturing purposes. As mentioned in our last blog on waste tires, an estimated 77% of scrap tires are not recycled, meaning more than three-quarters of tire resources go to waste.

8. Soil Degradation

Studies of the effects of waste tire piles on the surrounding ecosystem indicate that the chemicals released as tires age can fundamentally alter the local soil. Specifically, waste tires may eradicate the beneficial bacteria that provide nutrients for flora and fauna.

Tire recycling eliminates the long periods of time that waste tires sit unattended in undeveloped areas altering the ecosystem.

The next time you invest in new tires, make sending the old set off for proper storage and recycling the last critical step in the purchase and installation process. Inquire at a reputable local disposal contractor to determine how to properly dispose of your waste tires.

For comprehensive disposal services, including waste tire removal in compliance with Illinois EPA and DEM regulations, trust the experienced team at Tri-State Disposal.

Thank You!

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

We would like to give BIG THANK YOU to all of those who donated to our annual toy drive. All toys collected are being divided up equally amongst the Village of Riverdale, Thornton Township, and Together We Cope of Tinley Park.

Capture

Family, Friends, Employees, Vendors, and Customers that donated:

3F Corporation Greg F Rachel S
A&A Steel Fabricating Jack M Refugio – TJ Transportation Driver
Art M Jason R Regional Truck Equipment
Bernie & Leslie L Jim & Doreen B Roger B
Bob W Jose C Ron – Lakeshore Driver Truck #27
Cheryl D Kathy B Sammy D
Chicago Disposal Driver Truck #17 KJZ Enterprises Shooter Express Ltd
Crest & Sons Cement Larry H Sunny F
Danny B Larry O Tim E
Dawn & Paul B Mark O Tim W
Dennis D Mike A TJ Transportation Driver Truck #74
Dominic L Mike G Tom & Sheryl G
Dynamic Metal Recycling Obey Jehovah Transportation Tom’s Trucking
Ed S Panozzo Disposal Vans Disposal
Ellie & Owen G Peg C & Frank H Wunderink Trucking
Greg & Nancy C Quimex Inc

How to Prepare Common Items for Recycling

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

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.

How to Prepare Common Items for Recycling

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.

To recycle your cans, you’ll first need to rinse them out. Food and drink can attract insects and animals that you don’t want in your recycling bin. Then, your best bet is to crush the cans via a tool called a can crusher. Crushing your cans helps you save a lot of space in your recycling bin so you can recycle plenty of other items.

Glass jars are recyclable as well. As with cans, you’ll need to rinse out your glass bottles before you recycle them. Fortunately, you don’t have to bother with removing the labels from glass bottles, as the labels are removed during the recycling process.

Milk Jugs

The average American drinks 20.4 gallons of milk each year. If you’re like the average American, you likely have many milk jugs to recycle.

All you need to do is rinse out the milk jug with water. There’s no need to recycle the cap, since most caps aren’t recyclable. Your recycled milk jug could become a variety of different items, such as furniture, packaging, or pipe.

The same principles apply to other jug-like containers, such as detergent bottles. Rinse them and remove the cap before placing them in the recycling bin.

Cereal Boxes and Cardboard Boxes

Cereal boxes are made of cardboard and can easily be made into other boxes. First, remove the box’s plastic insert, which isn’t recyclable. Next, you’ll need to open the flaps of the cereal box and flatten the box. A non-flattened box takes many times more space than a flattened box does. You can even stack many flattened boxes on top of each other.

You can recycle cardboard boxes as well. Remove any packing materials from inside the box. As you do with cereal boxes, you’ll need to break cardboard boxes down to save space.

Amazingly, you can save nine cubic yards in a landfill by recycling one ton of cardboard.

Paper

You can recycle any of the following paper products:

  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Phone books
  • Catalogs
  • Mailed advertisements

Unfortunately, you can’t recycle tissue or waxed paper.

To recycle loose paper, separate it from your other recyclable items. Make sure to put it on the bottom of your recycling bin so it doesn’t blow away.

Plastic Containers

You can recycle any of the following plastic containers:

  • Peanut butter jars
  • Water bottles
  • Yogurt containers
  • Cleaner bottles
  • Cooking oil containers
  • Medicine bottles
  • Condiment bottles

Look for the recycling symbol on the bottom of these containers to make sure they’re recyclable. Check that there is no food stuck inside that could attract hungry animals. You can crush the containers if you want to save space.

Electronics

Many people wonder what to do with their old electronics. You can recycle many of your electronics, such as:

  • Computers
  • Cell phones
  • Printers
  • Fax machines
  • Televisions

These electronics are made of many recyclable materials such as metal, glass, and plastic.

However, these items can be dangerous and can’t be recycled with your regular recyclable items. You’ll need to find a location in your area that takes these items. Many communities organize a hazardous-waste collection day when you can dispose of electronics.

Make sure you wipe your computer’s hard drive before you recycle it. Otherwise, your private information will be at risk.

Batteries

When thrown in a landfill, batteries can release toxins into the environment. Like electronics, batteries can be dangerous and need to be recycled the right way. Do some research to find out which organizations in your community will take disposable batteries. Alternatively, you can order a battery recycling kit. Once it’s full of batteries, you can place it at your mailbox for pickup.

Keep in mind that many automotive retailers will take old car batteries.

Follow these steps to ensure fast recycling for your recyclable items without any problems or setbacks.

If you need recycling collection services in your community, count on Tri-State Disposal Inc. We are a full-service recycling company serving Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, and we’re happy to advise you of how to recycle effectively.

4 Ways to Demolish a Building

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

Demolition work may sound like fun—after all, who doesn’t like to take things apart and make a mess once in a while? However, demolition involves far more than just hitting things to see how they break. In fact, demolition is a tightly regulated industry and process since it has the potential to be very dangerous.

4 Ways to Demolish a Building

Depending on the area and the building that needs to be torn down, professionals will use different techniques to safely get rid of the existing structure. Learn four common demolition techniques and when they’re used—and if you need demolition services, make sure to contact a professional like Tri-State Disposal Inc. instead of trying it yourself.

  1. Implosion

Implosion demolitions are the flashiest way to get rid of an existing structure. Demolition professionals carefully place explosives to knock out a building’s structural supports, causing it to collapse in on itself. The process is very effective and takes very little time.

Implosion demolition is most commonly used in urban areas on very large structures. When done correctly, the implosion should stay within the perimeter where the existing structure stood so the process doesn’t interfere with any nearby buildings. In order to make the building fall straight down instead of sideways, the timing and placement of the charges has to be absolutely impeccable, which requires a full assessment of the building’s blueprints.

Though implosion demolition is spectacular and occasionally draws crowds of onlookers, it’s very rare. This method accounts for less than one percent of all demolitions—many professionals don’t bother training in this technique since it’s both dangerous and seldom needed. If you see an implosion demolition, it’s done by specialists.

  1. Crane and Ball

This type of demolition uses a wrecking ball, which can weigh up to 13,500 pounds. The crane and ball method has been in use for many, many years and is still popular since it’s so effective. To demolish the building, a crane operator will either drop the wrecking ball on to the structure or swing the ball through the structure.

However, even though this method is popular, it still has drawbacks and limitations. For example, the crane operator must be very, very good at his or her job. If the operator doesn’t control the swing of the wrecking ball, the ball may miss the structure and either hit something else or tip the crane over. A demolition company that uses this method must employ an experienced and highly trained operator.

Crane and ball demolition is very noisy and generates a lot of dust, which doesn’t make it popular with those around the worksite. Lastly, this method can’t be used everywhere—if the site is too big for the crane to reach everything, or if it’s too close to power lines, crane and ball demolition won’t be safe or effective.

  1. High Reach Arm

High reach arm demolition is newer than the crane and ball method and solves some of its problems. For this method, professionals attach a long arm to a piece of construction equipment (such as an excavator) and use it to pull sections of the structure down. After the equipment pulls the pieces of the building to the ground, the rest of the demolition crew will do the work to break them up even smaller so they can be discarded.

High reach demolition is only used for buildings that are over 20 meters tall. Generally, if the structure is shorter than this, crane and ball demolition or another method should work just fine. However, since the risks of crane and ball demolition increase with the height of the building, the high reach arm method provides a safer alternative with less dust and flying debris.

  1. Selective Demolition

In today’s eco-conscious world, many contractors want to do their part to conserve resources and help the planet. Selective demolition, also called deconstruction, is a technique that saves every available material from the demolished building so it can be recycled. The most commonly reused materials are brick, metals, wood, and concrete.

The advantages of this method are clear, but there are still drawbacks. In order to save as much of the building’s materials as possible, much of the demolition work has to be done slowly and by hand. That means that the process takes longer and requires more workers on the site.

However, even if a demolition company doesn’t use selective demolition and instead chooses another method, many still will save as much of the previous structure as possible to be reused. Many demolition companies are always looking for new techniques to help them practice environmental stewardship.

 

If you need a building demolished, contact a qualified professional. Tri-State Disposal Inc. offers comprehensive residential and commercial demolition services in Chicagoland and the surrounding areas. Call us at 708.388.9910 to learn more about how we can help you, or request a free quote on your project.

4 Ways to Encourage Your Community to Recycle

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

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.

So what can you do to encourage your community to take action?

1. Add Recycling Bins to Public Areas

Many people prefer to choose the path of least resistance. If something seems inconvenient, they may feel they don’t have the time or energy to follow through.

To make recycling an easy option, purchase a few recycling bins and place them strategically next to trash cans in parks, parking lots, piers, and plazas. When people throw away their trash, they only need a few seconds to decide whether they should recycle.

Better still, check out your local curbside collection program. You may be able to acquire additional recycling bins for your neighbors at no cost to you, and the collection program can pick up the waste on a regular basis.

If your area lacks a basic recycling program, talk to your nearest disposal and waste management company. They may help you set up a regular waste and recycling collection service for your neighborhood or community.

2. Write a Column in Your Local Newspaper or Newsletter

Your local newsletter or newspaper does more than list the latest classifieds or coupons for your grocery store. Despite the rise of digital news sites, many people still read the local papers for headlines, gossip, and sports scores.

When you want to catch your neighbors’ attention, submit an article to your local newspaper and describe the benefits of recycling. If you have a particular knack for writing, you can start your own daily, weekly, or monthly column that gives readers tips and tricks for recycling their waste properly.

Don’t have a local newspaper? Make your own! You can set up a community blog and let neighbors and city official contribute to the posts. Share your website through social media to get the word out.

3. Teach Recycling to Students and Their Parents

Children can learn to recycle at an early age. And once they’ve established the habit, they may recycle for the rest of their lives. Additionally, kids have a natural enthusiasm that can spread to their parents, friends, and relatives.

If you want to spark a passion for recycling, offer to teach about recycling at your nearby elementary and high schools. You can keep your lessons short and sweet in individual classrooms, or you can put on much larger events with guest speakers in the auditorium. Simply reach out to your schools’ teachers and principals for approval, advice, and planning tips.

4. Form a Recycling Club

Though you may feel alone in your efforts to recycle, keep in mind that several other families may feel the same way. Why not bring those who feel passionate about recycling together through a community club?

Your recycling club can meet together every week to participate in repurposing crafts, clothing drives, and cleaning projects. You could set recycling goals for your members, and when everyone achieves their goals, you can all reward yourselves with movie tickets, concerts, or trips to amusement parks.  

Use Your Creativity

Although the above ideas can get you started, you don’t have to limit yourself to these options. With a little creativity, you can find more ways to recycle and encourage your neighbors to do the same. 

What Happens to the Items I Recycle?

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

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.

Metal

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:

  • Cans
  • 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.

Glass

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
  • Bricks
  • Paved surfaces

They can also create new glass containers and even stained glass.

Plastic

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.

Paper

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).

Cardboard

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.

7 Signs Your Property Needs a Demolition, Not Just a Renovation

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

When most people love the location, but hate the house, they renovate. However, in some cases, the house might not even merit a renovation. Keep your budget, your patience, and your housing dreams safe by demolishing your home instead if you find yourself in any of the situations listed below. If the signs below seem familiar, you’ll benefit from a complete do-over rather than a renovation.

1. The House Has a Faulty Foundation or Other Structural Issues That Are Beyond Repair

This point should be one of the biggest factors in your decision. Do you notice cracks or buckling in your foundation? Have the structural supports in your walls and ceilings stayed strong and firm? If you have noticed severe problems with your home’s structure, or if you’ve noticed extensive moisture and mold damage in different areas, you might want to completely rebuild instead of simply renovating that portion.

However, a home only needs a complete rebuild if it has extensive damage. If you only see problems in one room (and you like the house otherwise), then you should only renovate. Call a local housing contractor to inspect the damage to your home if you can’t tell how much it has spread.

2. Local Councils and Other Organizations Have Height, Width, and Length Restrictions

If local HOAs and government agencies do not allow you to add rooms to your home, but you hate your home’s current layout, you might want to demolish and rebuild. However, before you take this step, make sure you know the structure placement restrictions for your area. They may have changed since contractors built your home, and you may have less space to rebuild than you think.

3. Your Property Doesn’t Give You Space for Additions

Maybe your HOA or local council have nothing to do with your decision. You should still check on their restrictions, but if you’ve already filled your property so much that you can’t add new nooks or rooms, their word doesn’t matter so much. You’ll have to knock down your house anyway to get the layout and space that you need.

However, remember that if you already like your house enough, a rebuild simply for this reason might not merit the expense. Consider knocking out some walls or finishing a basement, garage, or attic instead.

4. Your Home Requires So Many Renovations That It Costs More Than a New Home

Your budget should be a major factor in your decision as well. If you will spend more money on extensive renovations than you would if you built a new home, then you might as well build a new home. Do not spend money unnecessarily.

5. You Don’t Own a Historically Significant Building, but It Is an Old One

An old building will not last as long as a new one, so if you plan to live in your home for decades to come, and you don’t like the problems that come with its age, knock it down and start fresh. However, when you own a historically significant building, think twice. It may have legal protections. It may also have cultural significance for your community, and you might face backlash if you ruin or change it.

6. You Have No Emotional Attachment to the House’s Current Materials and Layout

If you just can’t stand the sight of your home’s interior or exterior because of its cramped spaces and outdated features, go ahead and knock it down. Just make sure your budget can weather the expense first.

7. Your Property Would Be More Marketable as a Vacant Lot

Maybe you want to sell your property before a move, but you know that the house makes the land worth less, not more. Take this opportunity to demolish the structure and sell your home as a vacant lot. People who want custom homes will jump at the opportunity.

 

Demolish the home on your property if you find yourself in any of the above circumstances. But don’t tackle this project on your own. Make sure you hire a professional to do it for you so you can avoid mishaps. 

4 Times You Could Use a Dumpster

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s face it: most of us have too much junk. We allow clutter to cover our counter space and crowd out our closets at home. For many of us, the constant barrage of documents and office supplies can also take over our workspace as well.

But if you want a clean, organized, peaceful environment to live and work in, you’ll have to take positive steps to change your ways. In this blog, you’ll find four signs that your minor hoarding habit has grown out of control. To remedy the problem, rent a dumpster and start cleaning.

  1. When You Can No Longer Park in Your Garage

If last year’s Christmas toys and appliances have managed to find their way as permanent fixtures piled against your garage wall, it’s time to toss them. When you notice that your garage looks more like a neglected storage unit that a protective shelter for your cars and bikes, it’s clearly time for a cleaning.  The truth is that you have probably accumulated years’ worth of homeless items ranging from roller skates to flower pots to broken light fixtures.  The first step in de-cluttering your garage is renting a dumpster. It’s time to let go of the past and make room for the future. 

  1. When You Prepare Your Home for an Open House

Whether you plan to host a large company party or prepare your home for sale, you’ll need extra space to accommodate a larger crowd than usual. Talk to your family and determine what you could do without.

Preparing for a big event provides you the perfect excuse to clear out any unsightly furnishings or outdated decor that could be an eyesore for guests or even stand in the way of selling your home. Plus, it will make your home feel more spacious long after the event ends.

  1. When Your Company Moves to a New Office

Most companies carry around old filing cabinets, printers, and office furniture far longer than they need to.

If your company or small business team plans to move locations, take advantage of the opportunity to get a fresh start. Schedule a dumpster at your current office site and talk to your employees about getting rid of any excess supplies.

When you remove the junk, you’ll minimize the cost of moving your company and you’ll find that a minimalist business culture gives your company a more professional, clean image.

  1. When School Starts in the Fall

If you have kids, you probably accumulate a lot of junk during the summer months due to summer camps, outdoor camping trips, and the occasional lemonade stand.

The first day of school gives you the perfect deadline to determine what you want to keep and what you can do without. Tell your kids that you want them to organize their things before the start of a new school year and encourage them to help you load up the dumpster before they head off to class.

Even if you don’t have kids, the start of autumn is a good time to rid your yard of any plants that peaked in the summer and have begun to dwindle in the cold. Most fruit trees and flowering bushes could also benefit from a trim to help them cope with the upcoming winter months. After you clean up your yard, load any grass clippings or loose branches into a dumpster for safe disposal.

If any of the above scenarios apply to you, call your local waste disposal company and request an onsite dumpster. Many companies offer to transport a dumpster to your home or business and will pick it up again when you’ve filled it up.

After cleaning day, you’ll notice what a difference it makes in your personal and professional life to live clutter-free.

Tire Recycling Options and Why They Matter

Written by Tri State Disposal on . Posted in Uncategorized

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.