Rubber recycling has been around for roughly 100 years, with most of it coming from rubber tires. This has led to tremendous benefits for the environment and public. Thanks to recycling, more than 110 million tires are kept out of landfills, fields, and streams each year.
These tires are turned into products and surfaces we use every day, including new tires, playground surfaces, hospital flooring, equestrian mats, rubberized asphalt, and much more.
The tire and rubber recycling industry’s total annual economic impact in the U.S. is $2.47 billion.
The industry supports more than 12,400 U.S. jobs.
Using recycled rubber in molded products reduces greenhouse gas emissions anywhere from 25 percent
to 80 percent compared with using virgin resins.
In one year alone, 80 million discarded tires are processed into so-called crumb rubber, which becomes
playground surfaces, synthetic turf infill, and other products. Another 20 million tires are used for civil
engineering projects such as road embankments and rail vibration dampening.
- Today’s tire recyclers have two approaches for tire processing: Ambient shredding uses powerful interlocking knives to cut tires into pieces at room temperature. Cryogenic processing uses liquid nitrogen to change the physical properties of the tires to make them brittle. They are then smashed into small pieces.
- Farmers use recycled rubber for vegetation protectors and windbreaks, sheds, livestock mats, feeders, and other needs.