How To Recycle Tires – 2021 Guide

Did you know that throwing your used tires into the trash or a landfill is illegal?

Although they are not treated as hazardous waste, they can easily become such if they catch on fire since they emit hazardous fumes that could take weeks or months to put out. 

In this article, we will explore several ways to recycle your old tires and thus contribute our grain of sand in preserving the environment.

How to Recycle Tires

Given that tires are made with a rubber base and contain steel, it can take between 50 to 80 years to degrade which makes them a problem for the environment. Fortunately, there are many ways to recycle your old tires to help reduce this problem.

Below we will list seven alternatives on how you can recycle your used tires, some of which can leave you some money, help you get more involved with your community, or why not, provide quality time with your family.

1. Let the dealership or tire shop take care of your old tires

This is arguably the simplest way to recycle tires when you get new ones installed. All you have to do is pay a disposal fee and the tire shop or dealership will take care of the recycling process for you.

  • PROS: Quick and easy, saves you a lot of time and trouble
  • CONS: You have to pay a disposal fee that usually varies between 50 cents and $3 per tire (depending on the shop)

2. Contact a registered scrap tire transporter to recycle your tires

Another simple way to recycle your old tires is by delegating the job to a registered scrap tire transporter. For a price, these haulers can pick up your old tires and dispose them at a scrap facility.

  • PROS: Very convenient as it saves you time and hassle.
  • CONS: You have to pay a disposal fee that varies depending on the area where you live.
  • 3. Take your tires to an authorized scrap tire facility

    An alternative to calling a registered scrap tire transporter is to take the used tires to a licensed scrap tire facility by yourself. You will most likely have to pay a small fee, but at least it will be less than if you call to have them picked up at your address.

    • PROS: You pay a bit less than calling a scrap hauler.
    • CONS: You have to spend your own time and on top of that you still have to pay a fee.

    4. Take your tires to a local recycling center

    Depending on where you live, there may be a recycling center able to process your used tires. A good way to find out if your city has a recycling center for used tires is by calling your city or county government office, contacting your regional EPA office, or by using online resources, such as Earth 911. The advantage of this option is that in some jurisdictions you do not have to pay any fees.

    • PROS: Some cities do not charge a disposal fee if you take the tires to the recycling center
    • CONS: The process usually consumes more time than taking the tires to a scrap facility

    5. Sell your used tires

    Instead of paying a fee to dispose of your used tires, you can explore the possibility of selling them. 

    There are several alternatives for doing so, you can contact local gas stations, junkyards, auto repair shops, and tire shops to find out if they are willing to pay for your used tires. 

    You could also call your local government’s road division and ask if they pay for scrap tires. Rubber conversion plants also tend to pay for old tires, since they use them to create alternative fuels and tar for road projects.

    Alternatively, you could also organize a garage sale or try selling your used tires on eBay. 

    • PROS: You can earn some extra money from your used tires
    • CONS: The process can be time-consuming, and there is no guarantee whether you can sell your tires or not.

    6. Donate your scrap tires

    Another way to avoid having to pay a disposal fee for your used tires is by donating them. Many organizations may be willing to receive your tires, for example, state recycling programs, community recycling centers, charities, beautification projects, and more. Similarly to the previous point (sell your used tires) it is advisable to contact all these organizations to find out the feasibility of donating your tires.

    • PROS: You can save some money while helping the environment
    • CONS: You should use your own time and resources to dispose of used tires

    7. Repurpose your old tires

    You can also recycle your old tires using your creativity to find another use for them. Since tires’ material is very sturdy, you could use old tires to create tables, chairs, swings, flower planters, sculptures, and more. The only limit is your imagination. An advantage of this option is that you can involve your whole family in the project and thus instill the values of helping the environment by recycling non-biodegradable materials such as tires.

    • PROS: An excellent DIY project, which in turn can provide you with quality time with your family
    • CONS: Depending on the project you have in mind, it could generate additional expenses

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    Dos and Don’ts of Recycling Tires

    When recycling your old tires you must take into account some important aspects that we list below.


    • The tires will most likely be packaged before being sent to the processing plant. Do your best to deliver them as clean as possible so that they are easier to handle.
    • Regarding the handling of used tires, it is advisable to wear gloves when handling them to avoid cutting yourself in case any steel wire of the tread is exposed.
    • It is advisable to handle the tires with the help of another person since they are usually too heavy to handle alone. Moreover, using an appropriate weightlifting/support belt is strongly recommended to reduce stress on the lower back


    • Do not use paint to mark your used tires as it should be removed before processing.
    • If you have to store old tires while deciding what to do with them do not do it outdoors, since they can fill with water and become a shelter for vermin, and mosquitoes that may carry diseases


    Used tires are one of the most troublesome types of waste today. They take up a lot of space, take a long time to biodegrade, and represent a large health risk as they provide shelter to mosquitoes, rodents, and other animals.

    We have discussed multiple ways to recycle old tires, some easier and faster while others consume a bit more time, but in the end, all of them are valid solutions to this problem. Hopefully, these ideas will help you contribute to this serious problem that greatly affects the environment.

    People Also Ask

    Do you still have questions about how to recycle used tires? In this section, we will answer some of the most common questions in this regard.

    Where Can I Recycle Tires For Free?

    You can recycle tires for free at state-operated recycling centers and local community recycling centers. Alternatively, you can recycle your old tires for free by donating them to charities, beautification projects, or by finding out a creative use for them at home or work.

    Where Can I Recycle Tires For Cash?

    You can recycle tires for cash at local gas stations, junkyards, auto repair shops, tire shops, rubber conversion plants, or even by selling them on eBay. There are also some states where they pay a small amount for used tires as an incentive for people not to dump them in a landfill.

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