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How Many Automobile Tires Are Thrown Away Each Year And What Can Be Done With Them?


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Approximately 242 million tires are discarded annually in the United States. Fewer than 7 percent are recycled, 11 percent are burned for fuel, and 5 percent are exported. The remaining 78 percent are sent to landfills, stockpiled, or illegally dumped.

A major use for discarded tires is as a component in rubber-modified asphalt and concrete. Old tires can also be recycled into new products such as floor mats, blasting mats, and muffler hangers. Tires which have been ground into crumb can be used in traffic cone bases, mud flaps, moisture barriers, and other products. Whole tires can be used in artificial reefs, such as those used to control erosion.

Source: The Biocycle Guide to Maximum Recycling, pp. 212-15.