Companies use shredded tires to make rubber mulch for playgrounds, as lightweight backfill in landfills, and as filler in septic system drain fields, as of 2015. Other uses include as a sub-grade fill for foundation soil and to replace gravels in various applications.
Playground mulch made from shredded tires provides a padded surface beneath swings and other playground equipment. This type of mulch helps reduce playground injuries and provides traction for playing children. The benefit of using rubber mulch for playgrounds is that it is unaffected by normal wear and tear and the elements, and thus has a long lifespan.
In landfills, shredded tires provide lightweight backfill and cover, and companies use it in operational materials and liners. In much the same way, shredded tires in the form of chips provide an optimal material for building septic system drain fields and for creating embankments on compressible or weak foundation soil during construction. Shredded tires are a more cost-effective option for building up embankments, and companies use them in building highway embankments, reconstructing road shoulders and constructing highway ramps.
In some locations, landscapers replace gravel with shredded tires. Shredded tires have many of the same properties of gravel, including similar consistency and weight, making them a more affordable alternative in some applications.