Retiring tires | SierraSun.com

Retiring tires

Nichole Dorr
The Recycler

Did you know that Californians produce more than 40 million waste tires every single year? That’s one plus tire for every single person who lives in this great state.

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, more than 1.5 million waste tires end up illegally disposed. We’ve all seen it, tires in the forest, tires in the bottom of Donner Lake, tires behind supermarkets. Maybe you have some old tires you’ve been meaning to recycle but don’t know how.

The Town of Truckee, Nevada County Recycles and the California Integrated Waste Management Board are joining together to offer residents an opportunity to rid themselves of unwanted waste tires, free.

The basic process for tire recycling is first to create crumb rubber. To make crumb rubber from old tires the following steps must occur: The processor must remove the bead (the part of the tire you see farmers using to hold down plastic on a pile). When the bead is removed the tires go through a shredder where felt, steal, and rubber are separated from one another. The steel is then recycled, the felt is either recycled or landfilled and the rubber is cut up and further refined into different gauge pellets. The pellets also known as crumb rubber are sold as feedstock to product manufactures. Recycled tires are used for such products as rubberized asphalt, equestrian arenas, all weather tracks, synthetic turf playing fields, playground surfacing, and flooring.

A nearby example of recycled tires put to use is at Nevada Union High School in Nevada City. The school is currently working on the installment of a synthetic turf playing field to increase the fields usability, reduce maintenance costs, reduce the likelihood of injuries such as concussions, ankle twist and knee damage. The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for early October.

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board proper tire care will extend the life of your tires and can improve your gas mileage. The board has provided the following tips for basic tire related maintenance:

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Pressure: Maintain proper tire pressure. Under inflation makes tires work harder, get hotter, cause uneven tread wear and reduces gas mileage.

Alignment: Have your wheels aligned on a regular basis. Improper alignment can cause the car to pull, leading to uneven tread wear. This is especially important when driving on bumpy rural roads.

Rotate: Rotate tires every 5,000 miles or as recommended by the tire manufacture.

Tread: The good old “penny test”; place a penny into tread groove. If Lincoln’s head is covered by tread you have a good tire. If you can see all of Abe’s head you should replace your tires.

Store: If you are changing out your tires make sure you store your summer tires keeping the following techniques in mind:

It’s better to store your tires in an upright position to prevent distortion or disfiguration. If you must stack your tires stack them two high to help prevent distortion on the bottom tire.

When storing tires that have been inflated, deflate to 50 percent the normal pressure. Keep valve caps in place.

Store your tires in a clean, cool and well ventilated space.

Be sure to inspect tires for cracks before mounting.

For more information on proper tire care and storage techniques, talk to local tire supply stores.

Nichole Dorr is recycling coordinator for the Town of Truckee. Call her at 582-2909 or e-mail ndorr@townoftruckee.com.