Mulch made of tires


LawnSite Senior Member
Have seen it used at parks in the playgrounds, but not yet seen it used in plant bedding areas.

Real organic mulch, I think, would be better over time since it breaks down and adds to the soil.


LawnSite Platinum Member
My neighbor and I were talking about this today. The day care his son goes to has this mulch. He said the stuff is everywhere, in his car, at his house, on clothing. I was wondering what happens to the steel belts in the tires that get shredded?

AB Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
I have researched this a little bit.The product you are talking about is called crumb rubber.They take the car tires and put it through a machine that shreds it in to chunks about the size of a quarter.From there is goes through an other machine that grinds it into tiny chunks.

Grassyfras-When the tires go through the second machine,there is a high powered magnet that collects any of the steel belts.

I have not really heard of it being used for multch yet,but 1 thing it car be used for is for sport feilds and high traffic areas of the lawn.A study was done on it.They took 2 equal scoccer feilds and ripped off the grass.They then did a complete re-seeding job on each feild.I beleive the dug both feilds down about a foot.On the first feild they put in pure 100% soil.And seeded it.In the 2nd feild the put a mix of 50%soil and 50%crumb rubber.They then let the feilds grow and did not use the feild that year.After the winter,In the spring they started useing the feilds equally.And watched the result.By the end of the year the feild that had the 50/50 mix held up much better.It did not becoume as compacted as the other feild and held up better in the heat.They also said that they beleived the 50/50 feild was more safe becouse it had softer soil.They also said that you could add the crumb rubber into lawns by areating and then spreading the crumb rubber over the lawn.Maby it is not somthing that will be used in the future in lawns,but from the study they felt it will becoume very popular in professonal sport feilds,becouse it helps the turf hold up longer,and player injuries will be less severe.

Sorry for the long story,but I thought I would add some info!

[Edited by AB Lawn Care on 11-17-2000 at 11:28 PM]


LawnSite Member
personally I would not use this product, when you carry tires to some landfills the make dump them in the hazardous waste areas, they can not be burned because of the air contamination that they make, also here is the biggy tires are made of a product called vinalchloried( spelling prob not right) anyway this is a hazardous chemical that is a cancer causing agent. Would you want your veggies or herbs growing in this or your kids playing with it. And a few years from now the EPA will prob. come in and make you clean all of it out that you have installed or do it for you and send you a bill. This is just my opinion, right or wrong I won't ever use it.


Seattle, Wa.
Moonarrow is right, ground up tires are in some fertilizers labeled as Zinc. True Zinc is white not black, when these products are American mainstream Logan's Run will happen next.


LawnSite Senior Member
Flint, Michigan
I saw this recycled tire mulch at a trade show earlier this year. It is quite expensive as I recall. I think that there are only a few applications that I would use it. It can't be good for planting beds. I wouldn't use it on playgrounds. If some steel slivers did't get caught by the magnet there could be injuries to kids. About the only thing that I would use it for is walking paths.


LawnSite Senior Member
North of Seattle
My kid's school put in a new playground last year and we helped spread this stuff out. It came in 50# bags and had to be broken up to spread it out, but after a few days of play the kids had it completely broken up. Absolutely no evidence of steel in the stuff--the magnets got it all, BUT it was a real mess when they came home at the end of the day. The stuff filled up shoes, stuck in shoe tread and generally stuck to them until if fell off in the living room carpet--it was fairly easy to clean up though. I've also read of this stuff being used as the "footing" in horse arenas, but it is expensive.


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Why do I have this image of styrofoam packing peanuts scattered all over a lawn after being run over by a mower, that never go away? Only in dark gray.

I wouldnt use anything that didnt decay over time.