In a bid to reduce their carbon footprint, Hertz Corporation (a United States-based rental company) have recently signed an agreement with Liberty Tire Recycling to ensure that none of their tyres end up in landfills. As the first company to commit to a zero-waste policy in terms of tyres, Hertz’ new programme is revolutionary and has set the pace for other companies within the hire industry. Putting it into perspective, America as a whole generates 290 million scrap tyres every year and of that number, it is estimated that 170,000 worn out tyres leave the Hertz car fleet annually. Prior to the agreement with the Liberty Tire Recycling company, the Hertz recycling policy was somewhat haphazard and it was difficult to know exactly where the used tyres were going. However, following the new programme, company officials can be sure that no Hertz tire goes to a landfill site. The programme will be implemented nationwide and sits alongside Hertz’ other green policies including the use of electric vehicles and car sharing initiatives.
Although used tyres are not worth a significant amount of money, they can be recycled to make a number of essential products that are useful for infrastructure, sustainable burning and safer playgrounds. Recycled tire rubber is often used for road foundations, a quieter option for tarmac and creating faster railway lines. In terms of burning materials, tyres can be chipped to create cleaner and greener fuel for paper mills and kilns. Known as Tyre Derived Fuel, they act as a substitute for the fossil fuel, coal.
Used tyres are also often recycled to make eco-friendly playground padding. Rubber mulch is ideal because it is non-allergenic, resists mould and fungi infestations and is pet and child friendly. Moreover, rubber flooring is better at absorbing shock, meaning falls or tumbles from the jungle gym are less of a worry. Rubber flooring is a must to ensure the safety of children in play areas, so this by-product of used tyres is an extremely important one. As well as being recycled to make rubber mulch, used tyres are also used to create other types of floor padding. Grass mats, like SmartPlay flooring, are products that are useful in terms of solving boggy or churned up lawn problems or installing in playgrounds to help with natural drainage. They often allow for grass to grow through in play areas or schools that require it to do so, making them a good way of protecting the lawn and providing safety.
As listed above, there is a huge range of uses for worn out tyres so Hertz’ landmark decision to recycle 100% of their used tyres is one that hopefully be emulated by other car fleets in the industry.
Author – Adam has been writing articles for a number of years now with great success