Recycling of Tires - The Effects on the Environment essay sample

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Recycling of Tires - The Effects on the Environment

The environmental impact of the tire disposal is very significant. The growing number of tires used by humans all over the world is posing a threat to the nature. In the United States this problem is especially threatening due to the significant number of vehicles. According to the information from US Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 300 million scrap tires were generated in the United States in 2003 (, 2015). As argued by Reschner, accumulation of scrap tires is especially dangerous in connection with the possibilities of large fires, which produce huge contamination to the environment (2006). The most efficient way to deal with scrap tires is to recycle them, producing various useful products or energy. However, every recycling method also has negative environmental impact. Nowadays, dealing with scrap tires has many various approaches, which differ in their efficiency.

Carbon Dioxide Contamination Connected with Tire Recycling

The emission of carbon dioxide in the process of recycling scrap tires represents a significant problem to be considered. This is a greenhouse gas, which is a serious threat to global environment as it influences the greenhouse effect on the planet. According to the research of Institute for Environmental Research and Education, the carbon dioxide emission in 2007 constituted “124 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per metric ton of materials recycled back into commerce” (2009). The most of the greenhouse gas is emitted in the actual process of recycling. However, a certain amount of CO2 is thrown into the atmosphere in the process of transportation of the scrap tires to the recycling facilities. Moreover, not all components of tire can actually be recycled and the eventually are landfilled at a commercial landfill or on site, as argued is the report of Institute for Environmental Research and Education. Despite that fact, recycling gives possibility to obtain value from the emissions in the process. For example, it is possible to receive energy from scrap tires by burning them. The greenhouse gas emissions from burning recycled rubber is lower than the emissions of coal for the same produced amount of energy. Thus, tires carbon dioxide emissions in the course of energy production represents an efficient approach to clearing the landfills from tires and generating energy with a better environmental impact in comparison to coal. Another way to recycle scrap tires is to use them in displacing a certain portion of asphalt in the rubberized asphalt mix roads (, 2009).

In this case the greenhouse gas emissions are seven times higher than the gas emissions of the conventional recycling methods. This fact makes this approach less favorable, than it could be. However, the indirect positive impact of this method on the carbon dioxide emissions can be very significant. The indirect positive effect can be connected with the twice reduced amount of asphalt for building such roads. Making asphalt also causes consumption of energy and carbon dioxide emission. Thus, using recycled tires to constitute half of the material for building the road can cause …

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