5 Essential Tips for Recycling Tires

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Tips for Recycling TiresNo need to reinvent the wheel, but what about the tire?


If you are looking into recycling tires, remember that old tread from your car tires can be buffed away and new tread is put on the tire so it can be used again. The Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau is a nonprofit dedicated to the safe recycling of tires through tire retreading and tire repairing, and they provide tons of information. According to their site, retreaded tires can be driven at the same speeds as new tires with no loss in safety or comfort. Trucker’s Choice! Scroll down on this site to find a list, by state (and internationally), of tire retreaders to take part in this recycling option.

A Tire Store Near You

Say you find a tire store near you that has a drop-off service for recycling old tires. Ask them what they do with them. Where do the tires go next? Firestone, for example, has a company that comes in and picks up their old tires and drop-offs for recycling. Recycling tires is their nationwide policy, and that makes sense given that in many states, it is the law. Read other questions to ask a recycler.

Costco is a large retailer of tires, and their tire department told me that they do not have a drop-off tire recycling program per se, but if you buy a set of tires from them, your old tires are recycled through their tire supplier, Lakin Tires. Lakin Tires has been at the forefront of tire recycling for some time. They provide a nationwide tire collection service, and there is information on their website, so that must be what this Costco uses. Good to know!

Liberty Tire Recycling has innovative tire recycling services for residents in the United States. By reclaiming more than a third of the nation’s discarded tires, Liberty Tire transforms more than 110 million tires each year into raw materials for sustainable products. Find your collection facility by state on their contact page.

For other drop off locations, you may find that you have to pay to leave your tires, or have a high quantity such as 50 tires or more for anyone to pick them up. Many states have laws that allow facilities to collect fees to pay for scrap tire management programs. The scrap tire industry is largely a negative value market, meaning that and in order to offset costs, companies will charge for collection and disposal of scrap tires. The cost depends on the location and tire size. Call your nearest location for more information. These fees usually range from fifty cents to two dollars per passenger car tire or higher for truck tires.

Tire Removal Services

1-800-JUNK says on their website that they recycle on and off road tires. They are a full-service junk removal service that also recycles as much junk as possible, and tires are specifically mentioned on their site.

Ecohaul also accepts just about anything, including tires, which they pick up and recycle, and they are in the San Fransisco bay area.

Proper Disposal and Recycling

If you choose not to retread your tires because you really want different tires, or your old ones simply cannot be fixed, you’ll need to get rid of your old tires responsibly. This should conjure up images of the Springfield tire yard on The Simpsons. Did you know there’s actually oil and metal in tires that can be reused? That leads us to TDF, or tire derived fuel. Tires contain oil and are burned for energy at paper pulp factories and cement kilns. The tires need to be shredded, then the metal from them is recovered. Emission levels from a good TDF facility are lower than a conventional facility, and they’re all over the country. It’s still a pretty extensive process, but scrap tires provide an energy source instead of crude oil. Tire derived fuel produces more energy than coal, but with lower moisture, sulfur, nitrogen and ash as compared to most types of solid fuels.

Here are some great tire facts and figures, courtesy of the Scrap Tire Management Council.

What Else You Can Do

Support tire recycling by purchasing products made from recycled tires, such as rubber lumber products (e.g., picnic tables, benches, borders for gardens), landscape mulch, floor mats, truck bed liners, and flooring. RubbeRecycle has services in practically every state. You can buy recycled rubber mulch and wearmats from 100% recycled scrap tires and it’s really cool. Rubber Mulch‘s effectiveness in reducing playground injuries has been proven as an excellent playground safety surface.

Of course the instantly recognizable recycled tire is a childhood favorite- the tire swing. Here’s an innovative take on the tire swing– made from 100% recycled tires and in the shape of a reindeer! They also have a cool tire swing that looks like a dragon.Recycle TiresFind some really interesting accessories like bags and belts, even jewelry and sandals, made from old tires.

Tread Lightly

In conclusion, thanks for being proactive when you want to recycle something. It’s important to conserve resources, and seek out places to properly dispose of used items.

You’ve probably seen tires filled with soil in the garden, but look at these amazing ways people are recycling tires:

RB Rubber Products has a great video about recycling tires, and further information about the industrial process.

Cool promotional keychains and coaster made from 100% post consumer recycled tires.

Also here’s a great infographic:

The Life of a Recycled Tire

Graphic by Perfect Rubber Mulch.

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2 Responses to 5 Essential Tips for Recycling Tires

  1. Golden By-Products is a family owned/operated tire recycling business. Golden collects over half the tires in northern CA and truly recycles up to 98% of the tire. Recycled products include: TDA, TDF, Rubber Bark/Mulch, Ag Mats and all sizes of Crumb Rubber most of which is put back into our local northern CA roads. Golden is proud to be the tenth largest tire recycler in the nation.

  2. hi!
    Commercial truck tires represent a significant cost in truck driving. Extending the lifespan of your tires can help you save money and can keep you and everyone around you safer on the road.

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