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Old 01-11-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Why Cant Tire Companies Recycle??

Ok, here a great idea, why cant tire companies like proline,panther,losi,trc, just to name a few do a recycle program? For the cost of the tires that we spend shouldnt we be able to recycle the rubber back to the company for a discount, or something?? Think about how long it taked for the rubber to break down in the environment,anyone that knows a sponsored guy, should pass this suggestion on to the powers that be.. whats your thoughts racers.. maybe every 5 sets you turn in you get 1 set free, or 60% off or something...
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroni racing
Ok, here a great idea, why cant tire companies like proline,panther,losi,trc, just to name a few do a recycle program? For the cost of the tires that we spend shouldnt we be able to recycle the rubber back to the company for a discount, or something?? Think about how long it taked for the rubber to break down in the environment,anyone that knows a sponsored guy, should pass this suggestion on to the powers that be.. whats your thoughts racers.. maybe every 5 sets you turn in you get 1 set free, or 60% off or something...

For a good interesting read, you should pick up Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William Mcdonough. If you think about how this hobby is structured from the manufacturers down to the consumer, it's an incredibly wasteful business, because the parts (not just the tires) wear out or break very quickly (oftened design TO break so that the more expensive parts don't) and results in quite a bit of waste. Lexan bodies certainly aren't recyclable. Admittedly, we're a small percentage of the population, but it's still producing waste that could be reclaimed.

It would be great if the manufacturers came at it with a more green approach, considering some parts truly don't have a long lifespan and produced certain parts out of biodegradable plastics at the least.

But then, people are pretty good at strip mining the earth and just coming up with temporary solutions to problems they caused in the first place that they could have avoided.
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:36 PM   #3
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OK, I will choose not to comment on the Tree-Hugging nature of this thread and instead focus on answering the primary question asked. Why do companies not recycle the rubber?

If you know much about racing tires you know companies use a very specific recipe of rubber and chemicals to produce the desired compound. If you turned in a bucket of used tires they would have to come up with a cleaning/grinding/melting process to clean these tires and reduce them back down to a medium suitable for production. Even then, they probably wouldn't be able to remove 100% of the contamination to the rubber. This process would most likely cost more than just purchasing clean bulk rubber for your tires. This in turn would mean that the recycled tires with contamination to the compound would cost more than the nice new pair. Are you going to pay more for Hippie Recycled Tires? Me neither. If you want to complain about the politics of the matter just stop buying their tires. If enough people agree with you they'll see such a dropoff in sales that they'll start looking at recycling the rubber. Friggin Hippies.
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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That is classic.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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If you are so worried about going through tires get a harder compound and it will last a long time. I pay $30 for a set for 4 premounted buggy wheels and tires that are the same exact thing as crime fighters but are an offbrand and hard compound.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SoonerNate
OK, I will choose not to comment on the Tree-Hugging nature of this thread and instead focus on answering the primary question asked. Why do companies not recycle the rubber?

If you know much about racing tires you know companies use a very specific recipe of rubber and chemicals to produce the desired compound. If you turned in a bucket of used tires they would have to come up with a cleaning/grinding/melting process to clean these tires and reduce them back down to a medium suitable for production. Even then, they probably wouldn't be able to remove 100% of the contamination to the rubber. This process would most likely cost more than just purchasing clean bulk rubber for your tires. This in turn would mean that the recycled tires with contamination to the compound would cost more than the nice new pair. Are you going to pay more for Hippie Recycled Tires? Me neither. If you want to complain about the politics of the matter just stop buying their tires. If enough people agree with you they'll see such a dropoff in sales that they'll start looking at recycling the rubber. Friggin Hippies.

Thank you for trivializing green manufacturing by providing us with boilerplate. Should you ever tire (no pun intended) of that excuse, I suggest you check out...

Chris King Precision Components and the The Ford Model U.

Yes, it's difficult to recycle rubber. So really, the question should NOT be "Why do companies not recycle the rubber?" The question SHOULD be "Why do companies use a substance that is difficult & expensive to recycle." After all the beaurocracy and regulations, pollution to clean up later, embodied energy of the product itself, while something may be cheap for YOU right at this very moment, it's not cheap to deal with later. If companies started with a process of manufactuing product that as a result didn't need regulation (for example) it wouldn't be expensive to recycle. Recycling (or upcycling) would be an integral part of the product lifecycle, and not at afterthought, as you pointed out with your complaint about cost.

The idea is not that capitalism is destroying the world but instead that capitalism is good, waste is good, and that if companies thought about how waste COULD be good, they could profit off of it (free reclaimed raw material is just one example).
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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The main problem there is no infrastructure to help facilitate recycling the used tires. Take the actual cars we drive. You go to a tire shop (most of us) and buy tires. The tire shop charges usually 2-5 dollars for disposal of the tires that they replaced. These are then shipped back to the manufacturer or in some cases bought by third parties that turn it into say asphalt for roads.

There is no such system for our hobby. Something tells me most would balk at the idea of having to pay a couple of dollars to throw away worn out tires.

This question should probably be addressed to several of the current tire manufacturers and ask them why they don't try to recycle. They are the only ones who can give you a real answer.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:54 PM   #8
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"Proline retreads: do not use with anything lower than 19 turns!!"
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br93lx
The main problem there is no infrastructure to help facilitate recycling the used tires. Take the actual cars we drive. You go to a tire shop (most of us) and buy tires. The tire shop charges usually 2-5 dollars for disposal of the tires that they replaced. These are then shipped back to the manufacturer or in some cases bought by third parties that turn it into say asphalt for roads.

There is no such system for our hobby. Something tells me most would balk at the idea of having to pay a couple of dollars to throw away worn out tires.

This question should probably be addressed to several of the current tire manufacturers and ask them why they don't try to recycle. They are the only ones who can give you a real answer.
This begs the question, why do we use and create substances that have a restricted lifespan. Like nate said, its difficult and expensive to recycle rubber, and often the contaminants degrade the product and make it inferior. Really, it shouldn't even be referred to as recycling. It's downcycling. Which is pretty much how our recycling system is set up. We take virgin materials, use them once, then use them again in products that can use inferior materials, again and again (well, probably only twice through at best) until the final material can't be used anymore. It's called Cradle to Grave.

There ARE some materials which can be cycled Cradle to Cradle. Rubber just isn't really one of them.
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_Rusty
"Proline retreads: do not use with anything lower than 19 turns!!"
niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:08 PM   #11
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I believe that the reason we use products with a deliberate short lifespan is that we are interested in high performance instead of longevity. It would be difficult to pursue one without sacrificing the other.
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #12
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I believe that the reason we use products with a deliberate short lifespan is that we are interested in high performance instead of longevity. It would be difficult to pursue one without sacrificing the other.
I'm sorry, I didn't explain myself well enough. I don't mean lifespan as in the time that YOU personally use the tire. That is only part of the lifespan of a material. The lifespan starts with the materials and ends when it's finally broken down or reclaimed. The lifespan of a plastic bag can be thousands of years. The time you use it is probably somewhere in the minutes.

When you throw something away, what is "away"?

Considering how advanced material science is, it's not idealistic to imagine it's possible to create a substance that has the qualities desired for tires but can be reclaimed continuously. I'm not saying it should last forever in the consumers hands, because there is no economic reason for any corporation to pursue that product. All I'm saying is that there are ways to design a product to not end up in a landfill.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:57 PM   #13
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Kcdzim, consider the following:

A.) I did not need to read your signature to know you were from California.
B.) Consumption of rubber by the entire remote control hobby industry probably accounts for 1.0E-5000 percent of all the rubber consumed in the state of California. As such, you should direct your environmental rhetoric in the direction of an industry where it might actually be needed.. say, um, the auto industry that you so adamantly speak out against. You want to make a compelling argument that might actually make an industry insider pay attention then why don't your focus your energies on finding a beatnik rubber alternative that offers the benefits of rubber without the downsides.
C.) As mfishel pointed out, any sufficiently advanced racing technology is focused on pushing performance in the short term without regard to the longevity of the product. If longevity can be achieved, great, but performance is the primary concern. Try creating some tires out of eco-friendly biodegradable horse droppings and see how cometitive they are. If they really work, I guarantee you people will buy them, but they must be competitive first and foremost.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:37 PM   #14
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i agree with you kcdizm, and soonernate you need to step into the 21st. century, in order for a product to be quality into todays market it needs to be sustainable and the american companies are way behind, for example, you buy a losi or assoc. and you wear out hardened steel universals and throw them in the trash, if you buy a car mfgr'd it europe they feature either plastic spacers to fit into the outdrives making the outdrives life almost indefinate, they offer 4 holes in cvd's so when one set wears you can flip holes and double the life of your universal does this take away from performance in any way NO.

I think that as consumers we should not say pro-line or any tire mfgr. needs to do this or that, recycling starts in the hands of the consumer (eventually american companies will catch on) next time you wear out a set of tires boil them off the rim and if you can re use the rim put it in with the rest of your plastic recyclables. then you can stock pile used tires until you have a nice bag full and take them to a full size rubber reclemation facility. Odds are proline would have no use for the tires as previously stated. I have about 8 used 1/8 tires that i have cleaned up, my toddler loves to play with them and sometimes i use them as corner dots in my garage for a mini track don't foget things like that are also recycling.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:36 AM   #15
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I thought the whole point of recycling tires was to keep the cost of new tires down, not taking care of the environment. I mean, I care for the environment, I drive an electric car (XXX-CR), and I buy cans loaded with CFC's to purposely spray into the air. I think it makes everything smell better.


But on a serious note, its more about keeping costs low. Our segment does not produce that much waste compared to other things people do, like real drag racing.
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