The Tire 3Rs: Reducing, Retreading, Recycling

The best way to reduce the number of scrap tires you create is to make sure each tire you buy lasts as long as possible. Here's how:

  • Buy longer-tread life tires
  • Rotate tires every 10,000 km
  • Check tire pressure once a month or before every long trip and keep your tires inflated to recommended levels
  • Balance tires when rotating them

Another way to make a tire last longer is by retreading. Retreading is the process of taking old, worn tires, buffing off what is left of the old tread and putting new tread on using a similar process to how new tires are made. Truck and larger tires are the most commonly retreaded.

Retreads allow the tire casing to be used over and over. According to the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA), aircraft companies average six retreads per tire, with some tires being retreaded as many as twelve times.

Retreading also saves non-renewable resources. The synthetic rubber in a passenger tire contains 32-36 litres of oil. Retreading the same tire takes 9-14 litres of oil. The manufacture of a new truck tire requires 100 litres of oil, but only 32 litres to retread. [see for more information on retreaded tires].

The rubber from the old tread that is buffed off at the beginning of the retreading process can be recovered to be recycled into moulded rubber products. Now that's reusing and recycling all the parts of the tire!

[Source: October 2003 WasteWatch ]