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Home > Feature Articles > Municipality Strategies for Sustainable Community Best Practices

Quieter Streets with Recycled Tires

Recycled tires provide quiet and cost savings for local street repaving.

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Rubberized Asphalt Concrete for Repaving Local Streets

CIWMB reports that a single-lane mile of pavement can absorb up to 2,000 tires.

Cities are increasingly turning to recycled tires in the form of "rubberized asphalt concrete" that mixes bits of shredded tires with asphalt -- when they repair major streets. This creates a quieter ride and a longer-lasting surface.

The growing green trend is making state environmental officials happy as they grapple with the daunting task of preventing million of tires from winding up in landfills.

Recycling Waste Tires Is Environmental Solution

With all the driving Californians do, 40 million tires are thrown away every year, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). And about three-fourths of those are recycled.

But 10 million tires land in dumps or illegal stockpiles, where they become breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents, state officials say. If they catch fire, waste tires send thick clouds of toxic smoke into the air, and the flames are difficult to extinguish.

Then there's the potential for tires to spill toxic runoff into waterways, officials said. The rubber breaks down over time, and bits of it can wash into nearby streams.

Local Streets Benefit from Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Made from Recycled Tires

Caltrans officials aren't sure recycled-tire surfaces make as much sense for high-volume freeways as they do for smaller city streets that see significantly less use.

When it comes to local streets, the rubber-tire surface is well beyond the testing stage. And communities have discovered recycled pavement lasts longer than traditional asphalt, said Carlsbad Deputy City Engineer Bill Plummer. The typical pavement on a busy street breaks down after seven years, Plummer said, while rubberized asphalt stays intact for 10.

These benefits are why the CIWMB waste management board from time to time awards state grants to communities for paving projects.

Read the full story at the SOURCE: "Green approach produces quiet streets"

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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