Finding some use for old tires is quite a problem. While some have found quite interesting DIY solutions, not all of us are that gifted. So it's a good thing that, besides using them for things such as sidewalks, pavements, basketball courts or even asphalt, they can be used as fuel. Currently, the U.S. burns 52 percent of its old tires, while the EU is burning about 31 percent. But how clean is that? The EPA states that although burning them as fuel is not the cleanest thing on the world, it's better than just stockpiling them or disposing in landfills. Cement factories or power plants can use them to produce energy.

The EPA claims burning tires have the following benefits: they have the same energy content as gasoline, they save the use of fossil fuels, they produce less SOx and NOx than coal or heavy fuels, and in cement kiln applications, the ash resulting becomes an integral component of the product. On the other hand, burning has its drawbacks. It makes very easy to burn other types of trash mixed up with old tires and the combustion produces dioxins. Let's keep working for a win-win solution, something like turning tires into ethanol.

[Source: Consumer Eroski]

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