Today, recycling tires by grinding them down to crumb rubber and mixing into asphalt formulations is finding wider acceptance by more state Departments of Transportation (DOT). And, as the price of oil goes up, so does the interest in A-R.
A-R is defined by ASTM (American Society Testing Materials) as a blend of hot paving grade asphalt cement, reclaimed tire rubber and additives where rubber content is at least 15 percent by weight of the liquid asphalt binder, and has reacted sufficiently to cause swelling of the rubber particles. Rubberized asphalt has less than 15 percent by weight rubber content. Both terms are used interchangeably in this article.
Proponents of using old automobile tires to make A-R claim that the practice is better than landfilling, and cleaner than burning the tires as a fuel. Used A-R can also be recycled endlessly by milling it off roads and adding it to new asphalt mixes. According to the Rubber Pavements Association (RPA), a 2" thick overlay of A-R hot mix will consume about 2,000 tires per lane mile. In the spray applied method for seal coats, about 500 tires are used in a lane mile. Approximately 18 million tires are recycled annually in paving applications. ...read more
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It’s been a long wait for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to weigh in on the safety of recreational products made from recycled tires. Finally, it released the results of a limited field monitoring study of artificial turf playing fields and playgrounds using recycled tire material or tire crumb. EPA plans to use the study information to help determine the next step to address questions regarding the safety of tire crumb infill in recreational fields.
In short, the EPA study found that using the material does not point to a concern for the agency at this time. This is another positive reinforcement for this sector of the recycling industry, which already knew from numerous laboratory analyses, state studies and independent field studies that the material posed little or no environmental danger or health risks.
Liberty Tire Recycling, the country’s largest recycler of scrap tires processes 110 to 120 million tires per year. Company president Don Rea commented on the EPA study, “There has been somewhere between 50 to 100 studies on crumb rubber. There has been so much study done that it doesn’t seem possible that someone is going to come up with another conclusion. It would have been nice if the EPA had just said this stuff is fine, forget it. If EPA was the least bit suspicious they would not have said what they said.” ...read more