End of life tyres or waste tyres is a pressing issue. When the tyre gets old, many of us dump it in the backyard of our houses or throw it recklessly on some barren land, thinking what bad it will do. But the scrap tyres pollute the environment and cause serious health issues.
As India is escalating the growth graph, more and more vehicles are hitting the roads. For that matter, overall domestic automobile sales increased at 7.01% CAGR between FY13-18 with 24.97 million vehicles getting sold in FY18. This means the tyre industry is flourishing and so does the number of old tyres to be scrapped.
The Economic Times reports that more than 1.5 billion waste tyres are generated every year globally and 6 percent of all waste tyres are generated in India. The stockpiles of tyres that exist in our country put us at danger in the following ways:
Leaching: Tyres contain chemicals and heavy metals that leach into the environment as they break down. Some of these chemicals, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board even cause cancer and gene mutations. Tyres affect the soil too. When kept over the soil for many days, it turns the soil toxic, resulting in bad crops.
Pests: When the rainwater settles in the hollow middle of the tyre and remains undisturbed for days then it becomes the breeding ground for mosquitoes and other such flies. These insects fly and spread diseases between humans and animals.
Fire risk: Burning up the old tyres is one of the easy ways to get rid of them. This process not only releases harmful chemicals into the air but also prove to be fatal. Tyres are a great fuel source if they are heated, and fire of such tyres get at times impossible to control and extinguish.
Landfill waste: Thousands of tyres are dumped into landfills, making land more and more scarce. Such dumping usually happens in low-income areas and drive down the healthy housing values from such groups. Such landfills can be a reason of injury and death as well.
How to control the old tyres hazards?
Tyres are obviously the irreplaceable commodity, the essential base of the logistics industry and thereby of the economic growth. By no means we can reduce the use of tyres but if we want we can be responsible enough in our actions.
Firstly, we must get the tyres inspected and maintained at regular intervals. This will not only increase the life of tyres but will also safeguard our lives.
Secondly, we can opt for retreading for tyres. Retreading is a process through which tyre gets a completely renewed tread and sidewall rubber. Retread tyres perform flawlessly just like the new tyres and is a great way to decrease down the pile of old tyres.
Thirdly, recycling of tyres, when you are sure to discard your old tyre, make sure you hand it over to proper recycling facility. All these measures will effectively contribute to environment, health and driving practices.