The average new tyre will travel approximately 50,000 miles during its lifetime. While the technology improves year by year, millions of tyres still get scrapped when they're no longer deemed road worthy, but what happens to them? Fortunately, almost all car tyres are recycled and reused; some of them even find their way back onto the roads.
Here are three ways to recycle old tyres, while supporting the motoring industry:
Retread Your Old Tyres
Many truck tyres are now designed to be retreaded—this is already routine practice with aircraft tyres. While it's seldom used among domestic passenger vehicles, it's certainly an option if you drive something heavier. Retreaded tyres are first assessed to ensure they're still durable. If worthy, they are then buffed, retreaded and cured. While second-hand tyres are technically just as good as first hand tyres—and significantly cheaper—they aren't particularly popular.
Donate Your Tyres to a Go Kart Track
If you're keen on inspiring the next generation of racecar drivers, donate your old tyres to your local go kart track. Tyre barriers are often used because they cost little to produce and maintain. While they may just be sitting there on the sidelines, with all the crashing, scraping and bettering from would-be racers, they will still take a beating and need to be changed every now and then.
Offer Your Tyres for "Clinical Road Trials"
Experimental roads made almost entirely out of recycled tyres are now be trial tested, and so far, the results look very promising: they are significantly cheaper to build, more durable, less prone to weathering, easy to fix, easy to replace, and have greater shock absorbing properties (making them safer than concrete).
Tyres are 100 percent recyclable, making them a valuable resource. They can be used for soil additives, turfing playgrounds, creating gym mats, building houses, making shoes—virtually anything made from rubber! Tyres take approximately 50 to 80 years to decompose in a landfill, and when haphazardly discarded, can cause significant water and soil damage. With so many practical uses, there's never a good reason to simply throw them away.
When your tyres reach the end of their lifespan, think about your own hobbies and pastimes to see if you can find a functional use for them. With so much versatility—even when they're broken down, shredded and beyond repair—there will always be a way to give them a second (for third, forth, and so on...) life.