Benefits of Rubber Mulch in Tire Recycling

By:     Kieran Donnelly

Rubber mulch is a type of mulch made from recycled tires or other types of rubber products. It is a great method for recycling waste tires and is often used in landscaping and playgrounds due to its durability and shock-absorbing properties. In this article, we’ll outline the various applications of rubber mulch, the benefits of this material and how it is made.

At Gradeall, we manufacture innovative tyre recycling machinery. We are committed to working towards a sustainable future that promotes responsible waste management solutions. If you would like to discuss enhancing the efficiency and productivity of your recycling operation, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Gradeall team.

What is rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch is a product that is derived from waste tires and other rubber products. It provides another use for this type of waste and prevents waste tires from ending up in landfills or tire dumps. The shape and size of rubber mulch also slightly resemble wood chips.

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What are the benefits of rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch has many beneficial properties, making it an ideal material to use in the construction of playground surfaces, landscape projects, etc. Check out the benefits of using rubber mulch below.

Durability

Unlike organic mulches, which decompose over time, rubber mulch lasts for many years. This makes it a cost-effective and long-term choice for landscaping projects.

Weed control

Rubber mulch can also help to control weed growth by acting as a barrier between the soil and sunlight, this makes it much harder for weeds to germinate.

Moisture retention

Although rubber mulch doesn’t absorb water like organic mulches, it can help to reduce evaporation from the soil surface, keeping the soil moist for a longer time.

Impact absorption

Rubber mulch is also known for its impact absorption properties. It is a popular option for things like sports pitches and playgrounds as it provides a cushioned surface that can help prevent injuries from falls.

Insect resistance

Rubber mulch also deters insects such as ants and termites, unlike organic mulch which attracts insects for nesting or gnawing.

Limitations of rubber mulch

Although rubber mulch has several beneficial properties, there are also some limitations to consider, including:

  • It isn’t biodegradable.
  • It does not contribute to soil nutrients.
  • Tends to be more expensive than wood chippings.

If you’re considering using rubber mulch in your upcoming project, consider what you’re going to be using it for. It’s also worth noting that due to its longevity, it may be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

How is rubber mulch made?

Rubber mulch is typically made from recycled tires, a process that involves several steps. Here’s a general outline of the process:

Collection of Used Tyres

The first step is to collect used tyres. These can come from various sources, including car repair shops, recycling centres, and even landfills.

Tyre recycling machines such as tyre balers, make this process a lot more efficient and productive.

Removal of Metal Components

The used tyres often have metal components, like steel belts, rims and beads, which need to be removed before the tyres can be processed into a rubber mulch.

The first component that needs to be removed is the steel or alloy rim, the Gradeall Tyre Rim Separator can complete this process in under 20 seconds.

The second component that needs removing is the sidewalls as they contain a metal wire beading. The Gradeall Tyre Sidewall Cutter is great for this process and can handle up to 140 tyres per hour.

Shredding

Once the metal parts have been removed, the tires are then shredded into progressively smaller pieces. This process may involve several stages, using machinery such as a Tyre Shear.

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Grinding

The shredded rubber pieces are then ground into even smaller pieces. The size of the pieces can be adjusted depending on the intended use of the rubber mulch.

Colouring and Packaging

The ground rubber can be dyed in various colours to improve its aesthetic appeal for use in landscaping or other applications. Once coloured, the rubber mulch is packaged and shipped to retailers or directly to customers.

Quality Control

Throughout the process, quality control measures are taken to ensure the rubber mulch meets specific standards. This includes checking for metal contamination, the accuracy of the colour, the size of the mulch pieces, and other factors.

What products are made from rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch is an incredibly versatile material and is used in the production of many different products and applications. Check them out below.

Landscape Mulch

It’s used as a decorative and functional ground cover in landscapes, including gardens, flowerbeds, and other outdoor areas. It is available in various colours to match different landscape aesthetics.

Playground Surfacing

Because of its shock-absorbing properties, rubber mulch is used as a safety surface in playgrounds. It can help protect children from injuries due to falls.

Equestrian Arenas

Rubber mulch is sometimes used in horse riding arenas and training areas. It can provide a resilient, durable, and low-dust surface that benefits both horses and riders.

Shooting Ranges

Some indoor and outdoor shooting ranges use rubber mulch as a bullet catch, due to its ability to absorb and encapsulate bullets.

Athletic Fields

Rubber mulch can be used to create durable, cushioned surfaces for outdoor athletic fields and training areas.

Pathways and Walkways

Rubber mulch is sometimes used to create pathways and walkways in parks, gardens, and other outdoor spaces. It’s durable and doesn’t break down like organic materials.

Mulch Mats

Mats made from rubber mulch are often used around the base of trees or in garden paths. They are much easier to handle and can be more convenient in some applications.

The benefits of rubber mulch make it a great option for many uses and as technology evolves, we can expect to see more applications for this type of rubber material.

Enhance your tire recycling operation

Are you seeking more efficient and productive methods for your tyre recycling operation? If so, get in touch with us at Gradeall to find out more about our industry-leading tire recycling machinery. We will help you find a waste management solution that’s right for your operational needs.

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