Recycled Rubber and Tires – What are They Used For?

Recycled Rubber and Tires – What are They Used For?

Recycling the rubber from tires has become an important process that has allowed for the creation of many innovative products. Repurposing of old tire rubber has developed a new industry that not only offers benefits to the environment, but it can also provide an excellent alternative to expensive construction products and add elements of safety through their use. So what are these products and where are they being used?

Tire-Derived Aggregate

Tire-derived aggregate (TDA) is an engineered product made by coarsely shredding used tires into smaller 1-2″ chunks, using an industrial shredder. These non-uniform pieces create an aggregate when combined together and can be used to replace expensive rock aggregate the requires mining, washing and sorting. Since Alberta’s tire recycling program began, over 600,000 tonnes of recycled rubber has been used in over 200 landfills throughout the province. This TDA has been utilizes as a replacement aggregate, providing effective drainage in leachate collection systems (collecting pollutants created in a landfill). This material plays a crucial part because it allows liquids to seep through the cracks between each piece, yet is structurally sound to act as a base to construct on top of.

Playground Safety Surface

If you’ve seen any recently build playground, you may have noticed a big change with the appearance. Many playground builders are now opting to build playgrounds without sand as the base, and instead deciding to use a Poured-in-Place Rubber Surface. This surface is safe because it is fixed in place and is soft to walk on. Another benefit is that it is customizable to suit colors and even school logos if desired. This is all thanks to “crumb rubber”, which is recycled tires that have been shredded numerous times into small granules, removing any fibres and metal from the tire, leaving only fine rubber.

Recycled tire play ground surface.

Rubber Roofing Tiles

Recycled tire rubber is now being used to manufacture rubber shingles. These shingles not only repurpose a previously used material and create a new product that is longer lasting and more durable than a conventional tar roof shingle. These shingles can be manufactured from 95% recycled material, offer little to no maintenance, are resistant to hail damage and may even offer a lower insurance premium.

Rubber Landscaping Mulch

Rubber recycling has also innovated a eco-friendly solution for landscaping materials. Rubber mulch can replace conventional wood mulch with a similar appearance, however offering many other benefits. When working with rubber mulch, there is no need to re-apply material to replenish each year. The rubber holds its structure and color much better than typical wood. Rubber mulch also prevents the growth of weeds, where wooden mulch can allow weeds to germinate and grow. The rubber will be resistant to decomposition, lasting 10 times longer than wood chips. The rubber mulch wont fade in the sun and wont attract pests and/or rodents like wood mulch can.

Alternative Fuels

In markets without manufacturing, or for tires that aren’t suitable to become new products, Tire-Derived Fuels (TDF) can provide an excellent solution to the constant stockpiling of used tires. Many manufacturing facilities across the country are now looking to alternative fuel sources to fuel their operations. Tires being used as fuel can displace other common fuel sources like oil and coal. TDF’s can produce the same amount of energy as oil, and as much as 25% more energy than coal. Many cement facilities have adopted using Tire-Derived Fuels as a fuel source to produce critical components that are used in the production of concrete.


For all your tire pick-up, disposal and recycling needs, make Junk 4 Good your first call. Our teams will make removing old tires a breeze, and you won’t have to lift a finger! Simply call 780-761-9636 or book online!