Tire Hell

Photo: Over 1 billion tires are manufactured annually, made of synthetic rubber, natural rubber, carbon black, polyester fabric, and steel wire, tires stay in the environment a long time. Today a typical tire consists of about 28 percent natural rubber, 28 percent synthetic rubber (made from oil), and 28 percent carbon black filler—a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products. Anywhere from 15 to 38 liters of oil is used to make a standard tire. The remaining 16 percent of the tire is composed of different functional agents such as Softeners (hydrocarbon oil, resins), Antidegradants (para-phenylenediamine, paraffin), Curatives (sulfur, sulfemamides) and Activators (zinc oxide, stearic acid).(1) If tires burn - it is an extremely toxic coctail, both for the atmosphere and nearby groundwater. Hopefully, the future holds promise, as manufacturers are now testing more sustainable ingredients.</p>
<p>The use of scrap tire chips for landscaping has become controversial, due to the leaching of metals and other contaminants from the tire pieces. Tires can concentrate (up to 2% by weight) zinc to levels high enough to be extremely toxic to aquatic life and plants. </p>
<p>Over 2 million tires have been dumped into our oceans!


Over 2 million tires have been dumped into our oceans! Visit Pinterest for hundreds of different reuses for old tires. http://www.pinterest.com/ecocathy/reuse-recycle-tires/


5 thoughts on “Tire Hell

  1. I “liked” the post not for the tires littering the ocean (and so many forests, fields, roadsides, etc.) but for your effort at directing people to the many ways to re-purpose them.

    • I didn’t find the exact picture, but I found the story. The 2 million tires were from a reef off of Florida. If there were that many in one place, can you imagine how many are in all of the oceans in the world. Nightmare.

      • Your post certainly started me on an investigation. It turns out that those tires did not start out as trash. They were dumped there in 1972 to make a man made reef to provide shelter to marine animals. (How little we knew about the environment back then.) Marine life wasn’t interested. And the cables broke apart and the tires scattered over an area that was the same size as 31 football fields. If you are interested in reading more one place you can see the story is at http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-17-florida-reef_x.htm.

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