Who Buys Recycled Rubber?

by Jonathan D. Septer; Updated September 26, 2017
Recycling rubber goods decreases landfill and oil usage while increasing profits.

Manufacturers use recycled rubber in the production of several rubber goods. According to Hanna Sistek of Green Tech, recycled rubber is used in paints, shoes, plastics, carpets and tires. Recycled rubber generally yields rubber chunks or rubber powder used in a wide variety of goods. Recycled rubber is even a fuel source.

Recycled Rubber Highways

Jane Kay of the San Francisco Chronicle states that highway pavers in California, Arizona and Texas use recycled rubber as a highway surface additive. Melted rubber increases the flexibility of asphalt and results in roads that withstand ground movement and cracking better than traditional asphalt.

Recycled Rubber Playgrounds

Many plastic playground equipment and rubber mulches contain or are exclusively manufactured from recycled rubber. Chunks of rubber used as mulches provide soft surfaces for falling children and contain far less off-gassing chemicals than most traditional mulch. Kay reports that playground equipment manufacturers in Florida use recycled rubber contents in their goods.

Recycled Rubber Fuels

Power plant and cement kiln operators in the Midwest use recycled rubber products as fuels, according to Kay. Rubber as a fuel source is a hot-button issue in many areas of the U.S., as alternative fuels are necessary to supplement high coal demands, but rubber and coal fuels are generally harmful to air quality, as they release toxins and carcinogens when incinerated. Many current air-filter requirements attempt to alleviate this environmental danger as much as cost and current technology allows.

Recycled Rubber Eco-Friendly Fashions

Many companies manufacture goods--from purses and messenger bags to clothing--from recycled rubber sources. Recycled rubber fashions appeal to both environmentally friendly and animal-loving people. Recycled rubber goods often replace panels in clothing or luggage that would normally consist of plastics or animal skins. Recycled rubber alleviates the inclusion of harmful rubber waste in landfills.

Recycle Rubber Reduces Oil Used in Tire Manufacturing

Sistek reports that one gallon of oil is saved per tire when manufacturers use recycled rubber in automobile tires. Recycled rubber powder is usable for up to 10 percent of the rubber content of a new tire, but just that 10 percent of one tire takes a gallon of oil to make.

About the Author

Jonathan D. Septer offers more than a decade of professional writing experience and owns/operates Bone Machine Books in Kent, Ohio. A professional bicycle mechanic with more than ten years experience at various Midwestern shops, Septer studied at Kent State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in English.

Photo Credits

  • Recycle Logo The Bigger Picture image by Sophia Winters from Fotolia.com