Tyrepower St Marys
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Tyrepower Participates in Tyre Recycling Programs

Processed rubber crumbs, such as the type compressed into soft-fall playground matting.

Australians go through roughly 56 million tyres a year, but what happens to all those tyres? Where do they go? What can they be used for?

Recycling, in general, is a word that means to repurpose something which is no longer useful for its’ original task, and converting it into something that can used again in another role. To this end, the more than 450,000 tonnes a year of old tyres are both a huge source of waste, and an extremely useful source of raw materials for other products.

The materials that tyres are made from are costly to source, manufacture and refine, so by recycling what we can, less resources are required to make future products from the same materials.

What happens to your tyres?

In between buying a tyre and getting it replaced, most of the tyre tread has likely worn away through normal wear and tear. Technology to prevent these microplastics from entering waterways and oceans is being developed by several companies, but at this stage the portion of the tyre lost to wear is not easily recoverable.

That being said, over 90% of the material in your old tyres can still be reclaimed and re-used in other applications. Even accounting for the tread that has worn away, your old tyre contain valuable rubber, steel, textile materials and other resources that can be reused. Some of the most common uses for recycled tyres include:

  • Rubber for conveyer belts
  • Used to make more tyres
  • Playground fall protection and synthetic flooring
  • Road surfaces
  • Steel can be melted down and reused to make new steel products
  • The black pigments can be recovered for dyes, inks and stains
  • Burnt as either fuel for power generation or to run incinerators for other recycling programs.

Where can my tyres be recycled?

Tyrepower stores all around the country work in partnership with the Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) program. By purchasing new tyres from a Tyrepower store and leaving us your old ones, you can be assured that your old tyres don’t end up in a landfill.

Tyre Stewardship Australia also provides funding and support for research and development projects that aim to improve the sustainability and efficiency of tyre recycling and repurposing. One of the projects being funded is in finding a solution for tyre microplastics, as mentioned above.

The TSA isn’t the only tyre recycling program in Australia, with several other companies participating in tyre recycling initiatives, including The Australian Tyre Recyclers Association (ATRA) and Tyrecycle.

How do I know when I need new tyres?

When it comes to actually needing new tyres, the most common cause is from regular wear and tear, as in the tyres just wearing out. You can look at your tyres yourself, to see how much tread is remaining. You’re looking for an even amount of tread from side to side of the tyre, and at least 1.5mm of tread depth, measured at 3 different locations across the width of the tyre. If your tyres are close to this point, it’s worth booking into your nearest Tyrepower store to get expert advice.

Other reasons for tyre replacement include old age or accidental damage. Tyres that have sidewall damage or are older than 5 years should be inspected by a nearby Tyrepower store.

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