Tyres are a wonderful innovation without which our cars wouldn’t be going anywhere. However, they also pose a significant risk to the environment when not disposed of correctly, which is why proper tyre recycling in Australia is so important. As a BestDrive centre, we’re proud to be partnered with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), which works tirelessly to support current markets and create new ones for end-of-life tyres.
If you’re not one of those with a side hustle in tyre art, you’ve probably wondered what you can do to support the cause. For most of us, tyres are a necessary part of contemporary life, so it’s not as if we can simply stop buying and using them. As a driver, the most important thing you can do in an effort to reduce the number of tyres that make it to landfill is to make sure you squeeze every last kilometer out of the ones you have. The fewer tyres we use in our lifetime, the better off the environment will be.
What the TSA is doing about tyre recycling
The bad news is that tyres, when disposed of inappropriately, pose a risk to the environment. They take up huge amounts of space in landfill and, if piled up in the open, present a serious fire risk and provide a home for vermin and insects, promoting the spread of disease. It’s a big problem considering Australians discard 56 million passenger car tyres every year, only 10 per cent of which are recycled.
The good news is that a tyre no longer roadworthy can be transformed and made useful in so many applications. This is where the TSA comes in. They support existing and potential tyre recycling initiatives, such as turning old tyres into new roads, brake pads and flooring for industrial and commercial premises. They’re even used to provide a soft, forgiving surface for playgrounds.
One particularly innovative use involves slicing away the tire walls and using the treaded area as a non-slip surface for cattle, a worthwhile initiative taken up by Owen Henry with support from the TSA. If we can keep tyres from making it to landfill or some illegal dumping ground, there’s no end to the uses we can put them to.
Get the most out of your tyres
The best thing drivers can do is make sure they get the most out of the set they’re currently using. The last thing any of us want to do is replace tyres when they still have a good amount of tread or wear the tread out faster than necessary. The quicker we churn through tyres, the more will end up in landfill (and the lighter our wallets will be).
We’ve been through this before, but there’s no harm in going through it again. Here’s what you can do to get the most kilometres out of your tyres:
- Keep the pressure right. Too little, and the tyre sits flatter on the road, leading to faster wear. Too much pressure, and the tyre becomes rigid and stiff and susceptible to more damage when driven over rough surfaces. To find the correct PSI for your tyres, check the inside of the driver’s door, the manual or the inside of the fuel flap.
- Unbalanced and misaligned tyres wear faster. Every 10,000 kilometres, you should book in for a wheel alignment and balancing to make sure they are all working in unison and the correct part of the tread is in contact with the road.
- The front tyres wear faster than the rear ones, due to the fact that they carry the weight of the engine and are responsible for steering. Because of this, you should have your tyres rotated every 10,000km so they don’t spend their entire (and drastically shortened) life up the front.
- Drive defensively. It may not be as fun, but take corners sedately, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front so you can brake slowly, and accelerate like you’re in no particular hurry. Safer, and better for your tyres.
Extend the life of your tyres with Eastern Tyre Centre
If you’re like most drivers out there and not particularly aware of the current state of your tyres, drop in to our centre and we can give them the once over. They may be in need of a rotation, an alignment, or perhaps a simple pressure adjustment. While we do want you to keep your tyres for as long as possible, there will always come a point when they are simply no longer roadworthy. In that case, we can recommend tyres that will not only keep you safe, but are built to last. And you’ll be supporting a business that puts old tyres to new uses.