Recycled Tires Are Nothing to Snort At (or With)

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
recycled tires are nothing to snort at or with

While many tread-bare tires are used as fuel, retreaded or recycled, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures that about a quarter of scrap tires are left in landfills. Enter Lehigh Technologies. CNN reports that the Naples, Florida tech firm slices ‘em and dices ‘em, freezes ‘em with liquid nitrogen, then shakes ‘em, crushes ‘em; cuts, sands and grinds ‘em. The resulting powder can be used to make new tires, wheel wells, bumpers, paints and/or coatings. Lehigh Technologies says they can grind-out up to 100m pounds of the fine black powder per year. Pulverizing rubber is not new, says Mike Blumenthal, senior technical director for the Rubber Manufacturers Association. But like justice herself, Lehigh grinds its powder exceedingly fine.

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  • JJ JJ on Feb 15, 2008

    I remember something about brazil not letting tires "retreaded" in Europe into the country...I don't know, maybe they produce rubber or something like that. What's more interesting; what about the quality of these tires? I doubt Pirelli uses recycled material, it sounds more like something Hankook would do. Then again, maybe not.

  • Donal Fagan Donal Fagan on Feb 15, 2008

    They make recycled tires into shingles too.

  • Blautens Blautens on Feb 15, 2008

    Recycling items into road paving mixes is certainly nothing new - but I always wonder how well they last long term. We had a particular 5 mile stretch of road (in the middle of nowhere when it was first built) using recycled glass in the mix. Yes, glass. There were even signs proudly pointing this out. It had the very peculiar quality of sparkling in the strong south Florida sun. It also lasted less than 1/3 the life of a conventional asphalt mix road (according to engineers at the time when they repaved it). And when it crapped out - it did so in a ghastly fashion with scary random fractures.

  • Wulv Wulv on Feb 15, 2008

    Grey County in Ontario has built roads with recycled Rubber. That is a recent article about it. A bunch of years ago there was a , I think, 14 year old girl that developed a system for using recycled tires in roads. I know they paved a road with her technology, but cannot find the reference to her anywhere right now.