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Don't be a hero. Old car tyres should be disposed of accordingly, not for burnouts

07/03/2019

Once a year, revheads from across the country descend on Canberra for the annual Summernats event. It’s a great opportunity for enthusiasts to partake in and watch legal burnouts in a controlled environment, with a range of cars of all shapes and sizes contributing to the event.

 

Unfortunately, there is a sector of society that wants to take burnouts off the skid pads at official events and onto city roads. As more of a concern, scrap tyres make excellent fodder for these hoons and they will often skid on them until they explode.

 

Which is all well and good, until an accident is caused, a property is damaged or someone is hurt – or worse.

 

Avoid the temptation to saddle old tyres up to your car for the purpose of burnouts, or selling them online for others to do the same. There are many legal avenues for disposing of these unwanted items, which will help you do your bit for the planet and avoid the penalties and harm that can come from related unsafe driving.

 

Penalties for doing burnouts and the impact on the environment

 

In many states of Australia, burnouts fall under ‘hooning’ legislation, which carries significant penalties.

 

In New South Wales, for example, police can confiscate your licence plates on the spot while courts can issue fines up to $3300, disqualify you from driving for 12 months or even put you in jail for nine months. In Queensland, police have the power to take your vehicle altogether.

 

These anti-hooning laws are being strengthened all the time across the country, so no matter where you are, the outcome is not going to be a good one.

 

Also, dumping the shredded tyres in the landfill is not so great for the environment, especially when there are many better purposes the rubber can be used for.

 

How to go about told tyre disposal

 

At present, only 16 per cent of the almost 50 million scrap tyres that have reached their end of life are recycled. This is despite the fact they contain valuable resources including rubber, steel and textiles.

 

You can take old tyres to your local dump, although you may be charged a fee and there is a limit to how many you can drop off at any given time. But under government schemes, you can often recycle your old tyres for free when purchasing new ones, or by dropping them off at tyre industry participants of the Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) program.

 

How tyre recycling works

 

There are plenty of things old tyres can be recycled into. Shredded variants, for example, can be used for retaining walls or for vibration dampening on railway lines and more.

 

In other instances, when the tyres are finely ground and crumbled, they can also be used in decking, flooring, paving and for rubber bricks. Tyres are also excellent for being turned into concrete, asphalt and other raw construction materials. The possibilities are wide and varied, so think twice before you make the toss.