What You Need To Know When Disposing of Used Tires


How to dispose of steel-belted radials correctly and safely

Read in this article:

The US disposes of tires at the astounding rate of 300 million units per year. Truck and car tires are some of the most recyclable and reusable items that are being disposed of every day. Regardless of what model you drive, whether a small vehicle like a Toyota Corolla hatchback or one of the many crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) now on the market, they all have tires that need to be disposed of properly a few years down the road. However, you could, instead, recycle used tires or find ways to repurpose and reuse them. This guide explains the benefits of doing so and gives a few suggestions in each regard.

Disposing Of Used Tires unsplash.com

Why Tires Should Be Recycled

Disposal of used tires in landfills traps water, attracts mosquitoes and rodents, and wastes space. Tire material also poses a safety hazard, as it is highly flammable and can be difficult to put out if it catches fire. Recycling of used tires is the environmentally responsible thing to do. For example, as tire-derived fuel (TDF), old tires produce up to 25% more energy than traditional fossil fuels such as coal. In terms of tire disposal, recycling is always the right call and there is an entire industry dedicated to it.

Proper Tire Disposal and How to Recycle Used Tires

When you're done with them, consider how to recycle tires the eco-friendly way:

  • See if they can be retreaded, so you get additional use out of them
  • Reuse them at home (see used-tire ideas below)
  • Ask your tire shop to recycle them
  • Search online for local tire-recycling companies
  • Remember, landfills are not meant for old-tire disposal

Environmentally Friendly Ways of Rubber Tire Recycling

More than three-quarters of old tires are recycled in environmentally friendly and sustainable ways. They can end up as the soles of shoes or are repurposed as surfaces, including roads and sports fields. Recycling them also reduces greenhouse gas emissions - up to 300 pounds of CO2 can be avoided by reusing just four tires.

Tire for Track Fence unsplash.com
Car Tire unsplash.com

Used Tires - Ideas on Creatively Reusing Them

Creative people have been coming up with ideas for used tires for decades, and there are numerous places where you can see the many different applications of this often-overlooked resource:

  • Sit on them. Old tires can be turned into covered - or bare - ottomans with ease.
  • Climbing. Use used tires for climbing structures or towers on playgrounds or in your back garden.
  • Sandboxes. Recycle an old tire by filling it with sand and your children will have a neat sandbox.
  • Tire swing. The classic tire swing hung from a tree branch will never go out of fashion - and it won't rust near the coast.
  • Tire teeter-totter. Tire halves and a painted plank are all you need for a teeter-totter.
  • Used tires for gardening. Old tires are ideal as hanging planters or as raised beds for flowers.
Tire Swing Pexels.com
Tire for Decor Pexels.com
Tire for Fencing Pexels.com


Considering all their great uses, we should never dispose of used tires in landfills. Find out how your local tire recycling infrastructure works and always be sure to get rid of used tires the responsible way. You'll be putting them to good use and doing your bit for the environment.


Can I recycle tires for cash or where can I recycle tires for free, at least?

You can't make money from recycling tires. In fact, there is usually a recycling cost to pay if you want to recycle old tires, which may be included as a tire tax in your state. If you're looking for how to dispose of tires for free, it might not be possible in your region at all. Disposal via landfill may be free, but may it also be illegal in your state. Look around for the best price and make some cash on the aluminum-alloy wheels/rims on which the tires were mounted.

What happens to recycled tires?

When you look at how to recycle rubber from old tires, you'll find that it ends up in many things you see on a daily basis. It can be used as TDF, or be ground and shredded to be repurposed in road embankments, as mulch for playgrounds, to manufacture new tires, or as rubberized asphalt.

Am I allowed to dispose of tires in a landfill?

Probably not. Most US states, including Florida, California, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania, have banned used tires from their landfills. Because of this, tire-recycling services are easy to find in these states. Check local legislation in your place of residence in the US to be sure, or just be responsible and recycle.

Will my curbside waste-collection service collect used tires?

No, most curbside recycling and waste-collection services won't pick up your old tires. Find out what your local recycling options are for disposing of your tires.

Was this article helpful?
Please rate it
This article is rated 4.7 by 187 readers
The Fastest Way To Clear Up Window Fog
Top Tips For Negotiating With A Car Dealer

Related Cars

To Top