Recycled rubber plays a vital yet largely unseen role in our lives. We interact with it on a daily basis and it enables us to do many of the things we love the most.
- There are numerous studies, many peer-reviewed, that have tested recycled rubber and have determined there are no increased health risks to children or adults.
- There are no peer-reviewed studies that link recycled rubber with increased health risks for adults or children.
- Recycling rubber tires means that millions of scrap tires are no longer dumped in landfills, or left illegally in lakes, abandoned lots, along the side of the road and in sensitive habitats. Instead, more than 90 percent of these tires are being recycled and reused annually.
- Recycling saves impressive amounts of energy, which ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions. For example, recycling four tires reduces CO2 by about 323 pounds, which is equivalent to 18 gallons of gasoline.
- Using recycled rubber in molded products, for example, creates a substantially smaller (by a factor of up to 20 times) carbon footprint as compared to using virgin plastic resins.
- In addition to being an environmental steward, the rubber recycling industry plays a prominent role as both an economic leader and job creator.
- According to a 2015 study conducted by John Dunham and Associates, the rubber recycling industry generates more than $1.6 billion annually in economic activity. This includes, providing nearly 8,000 good paying jobs (direct and indirect) in all 50 states that generate more than $500 million in employee wages and $182 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
Expanding Opportunity through Design:
Recycled rubber is being used by manufacturers in a wide variety of applications today. Manufacturers prize scrap as a raw material input due in part to cost and energy savings.
Here are a number of settings where we see recycled rubber most:
MEDICAL: Hospital floors and surgical gloves – providing comfort and quiet for medical professionals and patients
AGRICULTURE: Vegetation protectors and windbreaks, sheds, livestock mats, bumpers, and feeders – increasing yield and efficiency for the agricultural sector
SPORTS: Infill for synthetic turf fields (of which there are more than 12,000 in the U.S.), indoor and outdoor running tracks, and fitness mats – broadening sports and fitness opportunities across the country
PLAYGROUND SURFACES: Mulch and mats – cushioning our children’s falls
INFRASTRUCTURE: Rubberized asphalt on roadways – providing surface durability while lessening traffic noise
OTHER: Landscaping mulch, molded products such as railroad ties, flowerpots, garden hoses, benches, and welcome mats – creating useful everyday products