2017 Recycling Industry Yearbook
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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.

53

In 2016, 136 million tires were processed by the U.S. recycling

industry. In the past, scrap tires — generated when an old,

worn tire is replaced with a new tire — were often dumped

illegally in lakes, abandoned lots, along the side of the road

and in sensitive habitats. Today, scrap tires are playing a

much different role

as an important part

of the manufacturing

process. The tire and

rubber recycling

industry supports

more than 8,500 jobs

and had a total output

estimated at $1.8

billion according to John Dunham & Associates. Scrap tire

rubber is used in the manufacture of new tires, playground

surfaces, equestrian mats, and rubberized asphalt among other

products. Other cutting-edge manufacturers are combining

scrap tires with materials such as scrap plastic to produce

flower pots, roofing tiles, and auto parts.

A tire is a highly engineered, composite product that is virtually

indestructible under a variety of conditions. This makes tires

difficult to recycle but recyclers have invested millions of

dollars in technologies and equipment to recycle tires. Scrap

tires now play an important role in strengthening our economy

and protecting our environment.

At tire recycling facilities,

the main piece of

equipment is the

tire shredder, which

uses powerful,

interlocking

knives to chop

tires into smaller

pieces.

Tires and Rubber