What is Tire Mulch?

Kasey James

Tire mulch is a type of rubber mulch that is made from recycled tires. The recycled tires are put through a process called devulcanization. This process allows the tires to be shredded into bits while keeping their original elasticity. Tire mulch is good for the environment and safe for children and adults to use. It can be used to cover the ground for playgrounds, landscaping areas, and horse arenas.

Stacks of tires waiting to be turned into mulch.
Stacks of tires waiting to be turned into mulch.

Old tires that can no longer be used are usually thrown into landfills or burned. Landfills can be filled quickly with tires, and burning them puts toxic fumes into the air. Tire mulch is considered a good way to recycle tires and provide a safe surface for outdoor areas. This is why tire mulch is considered to be eco-friendly.

Tire mulch is often used to cushion playground areas.
Tire mulch is often used to cushion playground areas.

Playgrounds often need some kind of cushion on the ground for when children fall. Tire mulch provides a soft shield so that when children fall off the playground equipment, they are not likely to be injured. This mulch requires little maintenance and will hold up through any type of weather. Like any mulch, it is best to have borders up to keep the mulch contained to the playground area.

Many retail stores carry tire mulch, and it can be found in a variety of colors. The most common colors are black, red, and blue. This mulch can also be called rubber mulch as well. It is usually purchased and priced by weight.

Rubber or tire mulch can be costly. The price depends on how much of it is needed for the area that is being covered. A large surface area will need a large amount of mulch, which can be expensive. Many people believe that the expense of this mulch is worth it since it does not decompose and is very durable. Traditional wood mulches may have to be purchased more often since they can decompose and disperse.

Some researchers say that tire or rubber mulch can be hazardous in certain situations. Rubber mulch can contain petroleum products and other oils. If this mulch was to ever catch on fire, it can more difficult to extinguish than other types of wood mulch.

The other disadvantage to using rubber mulch is that it can cause chemicals to leak into the soil below it. It may contain zinc, chromium, and aluminum that can get into the dirt and destroy the plant life growing around it. Certain rubber mulches should not be used in gardens and flowerbeds because of these factors.

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