The Ultimate Guide to Tyre Recycling: Everything You Need to Know!


Getting tyres replaced as soon as you notice wear and tear is the best you can do for your vehicle’s life and performance. Most importantly, timely tyre replacement is crucial for your safety. But what happens to your old tyres? Are they repaired to be used again? No, your old tyres get recycled. Yes, you read it right. Tires do not end in landfills. Instead, they are recycled. If you are curious to know about tyre recycling, continue reading this informative post by the Apollo Tyres team. 

This blog is a detailed look into how tyres can be recycled, why it is beneficial to recycle them and what products can be made from recycled tyres. So, start reading below to find appropriate answers to all these questions. 


Is Tyre Recycling Possible?

Yes, definitely. Recycling tyres is possible. The lifespan of tyres is quite long. However, they do start showing signs of wear and tear with time. It is when you need to replace them with new ones. Usually, tyre replacement is required when they reach a tread depth of 1.6 mm. Timely tyre replacement is necessary to remain law-compliant. Also, it is essential to replace them in a timely manner to ensure your safety. Therefore, you should know how old tyres should be before replacement.

Earlier, old tyres were thrown away in landfills, leading to increased pollution and other environmental issues. But what if we told you that there is a better alternative than disposing of them in landfills? Yes, we are talking about tyre recycling. With constant advancements, the tyre industry has become one of the most advanced industries in the end-of-life product management landscape. 


Is Tyre Recycling Profitable?

Is recycling tyres important? Yes, it is. Below are some points that will perfectly answer your question- Is tyre recycling profitable? 

  • Old and worn tyres form a significant portion of a country’s waste every year. They end up in landfills, taking up a lot of valuable space. Every country has landfills filled with illegally dumped tyres. These tyres might catch fire and release harmful smoke and gases. Also, if not noticed, a tyre can burn for days once it catches fire. They can severely pollute the air with their dangerous smoke. However, if they are recycled, they result in the most useful recycled tyre products that cause no such harm to the environment. 

  • If a dealer does not dispose of tyres in landfills and store them in stockpiles, these storages can turn into a home for breeding and vermin of disease-carrying mosquitoes. In such cases, public health can be severely affected due to the irresponsible disposal of old tyres. On the other hand, tyre recycling can completely prevent such situations. 

  • Tires are a crucial part of vehicles. As a result, they are manufactured from strong and durable materials. They contain a mixture of elements like rubber, textile, steel and traces of chemicals and oils. Although these materials contribute significantly to a tyre's performance, they make them non-biodegradable. Therefore, disposing of them in landfills is of no help. 

Also read: 7 Signs that your Car Tyre Replacement is Due - Apollo Tyres


How can Tyres be Recycled?

Reading above must have made you realise the importance of recycling tyres. But how can tyres be recycled? They are recycled by following a thorough process, as explained below. 


Rubber Shredding

The first step in this process is to shred the rubber. For this, quite complex machinery is used, which is also very expensive. Usually, a rotary shear shredder machine is used to shred the rubber. It is paired with two rotating shafts that operate at a low speed of 20-40 rpm and high torque. 

Initially, the tyres get shredded into strip-like pieces. Usually, a tyre is shredded into three pieces to separate the steel belted portion from the tread part of the tyre. This process is done to remove thick 1-inch steel beads from the tyre. The De-beading process is essential to reduce the wear and tear of the machines used for shredding. This results in shredding the tyre into large pieces. 


Steel and Textile Fibres Removal

The following step in the recycling process converting the large shredded pieces of tyres into smaller sizes in the granulator. This step also involves using magnets in the granulator to remove the small steel fibres from them. In this step, polyester fibres are also removed from the tyre’s pieces by using a combination of wind sifters, shaking screens and low vacuum suction at different stages. Now, the residue consists of rubber granulation that is crushed into coarse powder for utilisation in various areas.


Cryogenic Grinding Technology 

The process described above in the previous step for removing textile fibres and steel fibres can also be done by subjecting the tyres to low temperatures. This process is known as the cryogenic process as it involves quite low temperatures. The temperature in this process goes as low as -80℃ to -120℃. It involves cooling the whole tyre or its granulate to -120℃. The cooling down process makes the tyre brittle and hard like glass. Now, it is crushed or ground to a fine size of 50-250 micrometres in special mills. The cryogenic grinding process requires less energy and machinery than the regular process used for this. Also, it is easier to liberate steel and fibre using this process to give a cleaner product. However, one major drawback of this process is that the coolant used in it- liquid nitrogen is quite expensive. 


Tyre Pyrolysis

Another significant method used in tyre recycling is pyrolysis. It is a thermo-chemical process that involves breaking down organic substances into simpler forms in the presence of high temperatures and the absence of oxygen. The pyrolysis method has its residual product as a fuel oil that can be used in industries like ceramics, hotels, power, iron, boiler factories, steel, and chemical industries. This fuel is also used by generators to produce electricity. 


Types of Tyre Explained - How to choose Best Tyres for your Car? | Sponsored

Also read: 10 Interesting Facts About Tyres - Apollo Tyres


What can Car Tyres be Recycled Into?

Numerous recycled tyre products can be made. Some of the most useful and common ones are listed below. 

  • Virgin rubber compounds use crumb rubber as filler. 

  • The granulated rubber powder from tyre recycling is significantly used to form playground covers and sporting surfaces. 

  • Recycled tyre rubber is used to make moulded products like railroad crossings, gymnasium mats, rubber paving blocks and livestock mats. 

  • The recycled tyre rubber can be devulcanised for varying uses. 

  • It is used to form rubber-modified asphalt. 

  • It is also used for several civil engineering and construction applications. 

  • Recycled tyre rubber is also used for making shoe soles, handicrafts, door mats, silo covers and playground swings.


Apollo Tyres’ Ultimate Mission for Tyre Recycling

Being a leading tyre manufacturer, we understand what goes into manufacturing them and how tyres are non-biodegradable. Our mission is to offer you the highest quality new tyres. However, we also find it our responsibility to dispose of the used ones appropriately. With this vision, we have started our initiative- Pledge Your Tyres. Under this initiative, Apollo Tyres accepts customers' pledged tyres at certain selected counters across the country. After receiving your tyres, we recognise your contribution towards the environment and put your name on the ‘Turf Wall of Fame’. 

Our Pledge Your Tyres initiative involves recycling old and used tyres to move towards sustainability. Also, the resulting end product of the recycling process is used to make football pitches for underprivileged children. This way, we can help you contribute to two great causes. 


Summing Up

Reading above must have made you aware of how harmful tyres can be if not disposed of properly. It must have also made you realise the significance of tyre recycling. So, do not get your tyres replaced by dealers that dispose of the used tyres in landfills. Instead, choose Apollo Tyres, which will recycle your tyres for the better future of the planet and underprivileged children.


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