Don’t Get Tired of Recycling

No matter what kind of car you drive, hybrid or sport, you’re going to need tires.

Courtesy of Dow Corning

Courtesy of Dow Corning

And those tires are made with rubber, chemicals, fossil fuels and something really nasty called carbon black.

We all know that the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to global warming. Plus, when you get rid of those tires, they can end up in landfills, breed mosquitoes or catch on fire and burn for days.

So the thought of a green tire is pretty enticing. Michigan-based Dow Corning and the Rhodia Corp. are getting around to it.

They say these treads will improve your fuel efficiency and require less energy to produce. Apparently, green tires are already in widespread use on cars in Europe, but not the U.S.

Dow Corning is working on rugged versions for trucks and road tankers. The plan is to introduce silica into natural rubber, reducing rolling distance by up to 20 percent and fuel consumption by up to 5 percent. Apparently, this technology has been under development for years.

Whatever happens, make sure your old tires are recycled. They may end up as fuel for electrical generation (with decent controls, hopefully) or materials for road construction.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more information on recycling and other ideas.

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