While it's probably not something most folks think about, illegal tire dumping is terrible for the environment and for public health. Old tires collect standing water which breeds mosquitoes. Burning tires release pollutants into the air, and if dumped tires catch on fire, they can be very hard to extinguish. On top of all that, piles of dumped tires are a terrible eyesore.
In South Carolina, the Department of Transportation and Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority teamed up to turn all of that waste into a usable product.
We've talked quite a bit here about ways to reuse old bike tires, from making a headband to stitching up a reusable coffee sleeve, so I was happy to run across an example of how to reuse tires from cars and trucks.
On a road trip not too long ago, I noticed that the rest stops were using mulch made from old tires. Genius! While tire mulch might not be ideal for certain settings, like playgrounds, a rest stop is seems like a perfect place to turn that old rubber into something new.
Wondering how those old tires get turned into mulch? Here's a video from a tire recycling plant that gives a peek into the process:
My only concern with tire mulch is that it doesn't seem to address the burning issue. If there were a fire at this rest area, would it be any better than a tire fire anywhere else?