You bought new tires and put them on your vehicle. Now you’ve got an old set of tires (maybe you’ve got a few old sets in the yard?) and it’s about time you did something with them. Tire recycling can be done in many ways.
Recycling tires for free may be one option. Tire recycling for a small fee may be another. Alternatively, with a little creativity you might be able to recycle those old tires at home.
What’s the best answer? Really, it’s up to you, so let’s take a more detailed look at the options and why those tires need to be recycled.
How are Tires Typically Recycled?
- Through tire retailers. Many people pay for a tire retailer to recycle their old tires when they buy new ones. The tires are then typically sent to specialty tire recycling centers. These processing centers break down the tires, cleanse them, and use the materials to create new products.
- Through community efforts. Some communities and counties have waste tire collection events. This makes it possible for individuals to get rid of old, used tires for free while recyclers can collect material. To find out if your community offers an event like this, you could call the county and ask about waste tire events, or call the local public works.
- Through local recycling centers. Some may take them for free; others may charge a small fee. If the local recycling center sounds like the best option, you may want to ask first if they take tires, as not all do.
- Through recycling sites. You can check recycling sites online, like Earth911, to see if there are recycling centers near you that collect old tires for free. Some may even pick up the tires (possibly for a small fee) and save you the hassle.
Benefits of Recycling Tires
Old tires should be recycled for a lot of reasons. For one, recycling tires is good for the environment. Tires contain many toxic and volatile compounds that can leach into the soil if disposed of in a landfill. Tires also don’t break down quickly or easily, so they take up a lot of landfill space.
The reprocessing of tires creates new material that can be used in a variety of products. This eliminates the need to use up other resources. It makes tire recycling a way of preserving the environment through reduced demand to harvest and manufacture new materials.
Recycling tires can also save you money. One way is to recycle tires for free through drop-off at a recycling center. You can also use recycled tires at home in a variety of ways to get even more from your initial tire investment.
Seven Ways to use Recycled Tires at Home
Recycled tires can fill a number of roles at home. Here’s a list of ideas:
- Floor mats for your vehicle
- Garden planters or hanging planters, but not for food-producing plants. (There’s mixed research that suggests some of the material in tires may leach into plants and not be good for human consumption.)
- Tire swings
- Playground jungle gyms
- Storage: stack a couple together, add a bottom and top for tool or toy storage
- An outdoor stairway, filled with dirt, wood chips or rocks
If you’ve come up with any creative ideas not listed here, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!