So you decide you need to pick up a tire, or a set of tires, for your vehicle. You take the vehicle in, you find the right deal and you have the tire/s put on. In and out the door and on your way. So what happens to that old tire or tires that you left behind?

I don't think we can find enough trees or enough rope to take care of all of the retired tires that are in the world. Many are doing their part by hanging a swing using an old tire for their kids or grand-kids but there has to be more to what happens to all the other no longer used tires.

Actually, if you haven't bought any tires in awhile you might be surprised that there's an additional fee on your purchase, i.e., a tire tax or a recycling fee. In Missouri there's a 50-cent fee on purchases of new tires.

You may not think about it but tires are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This along with other deciding factors made the state of Missouri add scrap tires as a priority for the Solid Waste Management Program’s Scrap Tire Unit. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources,  Missouri citizens generate approximately five million scrap tires annually.

Fortunately, these days tires are recycled and used for many things. In a story from, the landscape industry is using the recycled tires as mulch. The benefits of using this product is "eliminates the need for annual mulching, promotes water retention in soil, and reduces mold, mildew, and fungus."

Another area of use is athletic fields and playgrounds. Now, athletes have artificial turf made partly from recycled tires, and kids have a spongy surface to play on.

So the next time you make a tire purchase and you see the tire tax/recycling fee on your sales slip, know that it's going for a good cause.

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