Friday, 20 April 2018

World’s Biggest Tyre Graveyard

Unbelievable pictures of Kuwaiti landfill site that is home to more than 7 million wheels and so massive it can be seen from space. So, an average car tyre will travel around 20,000 to 25,000 miles over its lifetime, but when they have reached the end of their life in Kuwait City they are destined for the tyre graveyard. Every year gigantic holes are dug out in the sandy area of Sulaibiya filled with old tyres in the ground. Although, the expanse of rubber is so vast that the sizable indents on the earth are now visible from space.

It is believed that tyres of other countries and Kuwait have paid for them to be taken away - four companies are in charge of the disposal and are idea to make a substantial amount from the disposal fees. Even though the European landfill directive means that this type of 'waste disposal would be illegal in Europe -  since 2006 EU rules have banned the disposal of tyres in landfill sites, leaving about 480,000 tonnes of recyclable shredded rubber each year. Few years back a fire broke out in a Kuwait tyre dump which was so big that it could be seen from space. The fire broke out on April 17 at a tire dump near Al Jahrah. Tyre fires are difficult to extinguish they produce a lot of smoke, which often carries toxic chemicals from the breakdown of rubber compounds while burning.

In England all truck and car tyres must be recovered, recycled and reused.  Therefore, presently over 80% of the 55 million used tyres generated in Britain are processed via the Responsible Recycler Scheme. Materials from correctly recycled tyres are used for a variety of uses including a children’s playground, running tracks, artificial sports pitches, fuel for cement kilns, carpet underlay, equestrian arenas and flooring. Bales of tyres can be used in the construction of modern engineered landfill sites and flood defenses. Moreover, if waste tyres are in good condition, they can be re-moulded and put back on the road as ‘re-treads’.  In 2010, just over 30% of waste tyres were turned into crumb, 18%  were used in energy recovery, almost 20% were re-used in the UK or abroad, 16% were particularly used in landfill engineering and 11%t were re-treaded.

In some circumstances tyres are shipped out to countries such as India, Pakistan and Malaysia, but there are strict laws about their exportation. Different tests were performed on grip and skid resistance, with engineers reporting that the rubber road, on a stretch of dual carriageway between Perth and Dundee, resulted in a quieter drive. Experts claim the road requires less maintenance and still allows for drainage, whereas tyre recyclers claim the technique will also save money because the new material is thinner than standard roads. Rubber roads were first built in the 1960s in the US, where today there are 20,000 miles of road made of recycled tyres.

Rubber roads are also popular in Germany, China, Brazil, and Spain. The technique has been found to cut traffic noise by about 25%. The asphalt is made by breaking down used tyres into rubber ‘crumbs’ which are supplementary to bitumen and crushed stone, which are usually used to make asphalt. It is believed that more than five million tires fuelled the fire which specialists struggled to control. Hundreds of firefighters as well as soldiers and employees of the Kuwait Oil Company took part in the efforts to extinguish the blaze. A number of MPs described the fire as an 'environmental catastrophe' and urged to demand a debate on the issue in a particular parliamentary session.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Mysterious Coin Wishing Trees

Few centuries ago, around UK people would put coins into trees in order to make wish. The odd marvel of gnarled old trees with coins embedded all over their bark has been spotted on trails from the Peak District to the Scottish Highlands.  Hence, the legends around it and the imageries that follow are quite awe remarkable! Many people thought that by striking a coin into a tree with a hammer, they could make a wish, such as having some sick get better or removing the suffering from their close ones. Also, believe any sick person could press a coin into a tree and their illness would go away. 'If someone then takes the coin out though, it's said they then become ill.' These enthralling spectacles often have coins from centuries ago buried deep in their bark and warped by the passage of time. An oak Wish Tree made famous by Queen Victoria during her visit in 1877, and its inclusion in her published diaries. The tree, and others surrounding it, is festooned with hammered-in coins.

Therefore, it is very interesting but also a bit unlucky as many trees have been damaged due to this. However, it’s quite a sight to behold, a tree covered in coins from all the wishes. The tradition of making offerings to deities at wishing trees dates back hundreds of years, but this combination of the man-made and the natural is far rarer. Some people believed that divine spirits lived in trees, and they were often festooned with sweets and gifts.  The people had no idea why it was being done when first noticed the tree trunk was being filled with coins. As some detective work and discovered that trees were sometimes used as "wishing trees". Although several superstitious people still do this, which explains why some of the coins in the photos are not centuries old! So, do you believe such superstitions to put coin into trees in order to make wish?