From Tire To Rubber Mulch - The Process
Creating Rubber Mulch
Much of the misunderstanding and suspicion surrounding rubber mulch stems from people not fully understanding the process involved in it. Recycling is the main operation in rubber mulch production, but for the sake of safety and quality control, conscientious manufacturers also take other important steps.
Recycling tires - Repurposing has been done decades ago to old tires, but turning them into rubber mulch is a pretty new technology. Any tire, from big vehicles to bicycles, can be used to make rubber mulch. Beyond breathing new life into old tires, the recycling involved in rubber mulch production ensures that these tires do not end up adding to already-overflowing landfills.
Using magnets to remove steel - Steel band removal is an important step in rubber mulch production as any residue can cause injuries. It can be done by hand, but it will be a tedious process. Instead, quality rubber manufacturers use machines that detect the smallest traces of steel bands in a much shorter time. These machines use magnets so that the rubber ends up practically steel-free (around 99.9%).
Shredding the rubber into small pieces - Once the rubber is free of any metal bits, it goes through an industrial shredder to be turned into mulch. It grinds the rubber into small pieces ideal enough for gardening, landscaping, and playground surfaces. The best rubber mulches are those that come in small nuggets because this means they are less likely to contain any traces of steel wire.
Adding color - While this step is optional as black is the “natural” color of rubber mulch, many manufacturers offer a wide range of colors for clients to choose from. The best kind of paint for rubber mulch is non-toxic, especially since it will be used for plants or will be in close proximity to kids. A good rubber mulch manufacturer will also use a color-lock system so that the rubber mulch retains its color for at least a decade.
Weighing and pre-packaging for convenience - The way rubber mulch is weighed and packed should offer ease-of-use for customers. Depending on its purpose, rubber mulch can be packed in sacks or bags, and then into pallets so that they meet client specifications without exceeding or coming up short of the measurements.