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At first glance this may sound like a bit of a strange statement, but it is a fact. The more we can recycle old tires into products such as Rubberific Mulch, NuPlay or other products made from 100% recycled rubber, the fewer mosquitoes we will have.
From the Illinois EPA: The Tire Problem
“Until the mid-1980s, waste tires were considered more of a nuisance and environmental threat than the possible foci of mosquito-borne disease epidemics. This changed in 1985 when a substantial breeding population of Aedes albopictus was discovered in Houston, Texas. It is probable that this population arrived from Japan as eggs deposited inside used tires. The design of tires makes them ideal breeding sites for several species of mosquitoes, some of which are very important vectors of disease. Since they are easily filled by rain and collect leaf litter, they provide an ideal “incubator” for mosquito larvae. Of the mosquito problems associated with waste tires, it probably is safe to say that 20% of the tires are responsible for 80% of the problem. If we can eliminate scrap tire dumps and ensure processors comply with used tire management standards (statutes/regulations), we will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat and the associated disease risks.”
As a country we generate one scrap tire per person every year – more than 311,000,000 each year. Some startling facts – if we stacked all of the discarded tires they would reach the moon – nearly 239,000 miles. The total weigh of these tires each year is in excess of 4 million tons or 8 billion pounds.
Years ago we buried our problems taking these old treads to the dump, we covered them up and went about our business as if nothing happened – thankfully we can no longer do this today as a majority of states will not allow tires to be dumped into our ever-growing landfills. So what are we do?
Giving these tires a second life is not just an option – it is the only option. Innovative companies like International Mulch Company have been turning once discarded tires into playground and landscaping products for more than a decade. Sales continue to grow, but we know that more people can answer the call and use recycled rubber products. What if each and every one of us offset the tires that we get rid of each year? Get four new tires, buy four bags of Rubberific for your yard. These tires have to have a second life somewhere – why not with those that created them. As an added benefit you will have less weeds, won’t have to mulch again for a decade, and will be doing something good for the environment.