You don’t want old tires hanging around your spaces. Not only are they an eyesore, but they also pose as a fire hazard and an environmental and health risk. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get rid of your old tires safely, legally, and most importantly, without much cost to you.
One of the most significant factors that will determine how you can dispose of your unwanted tires is the quantity. Whether you have a few tires or a mountain of rubber waiting to be disposed of, the great thing about tires is that they can easily be recycled in a variety of ways.
What Happens When You Throw Away Your Tires?
Essentially there are two primary methods of disposing of your tires. The first is recycling or repurposing, and the other is simply throwing them away. However, it is important to know that tires in a landfill pose significant environmental issues and even act as a risk to your health.
When tires go into a landfill, they create an entire host of problems. The most severe issues are created when they catch fire. Tires burn easily, and can the flames they cause can spread rapidly. As they burn, especially old tires, they release several harmful chemicals into the air.
Toxins like sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide aren’t healthy for anyone to breathe in, but these chemicals can become incredibly dangerous to those with respiratory issues. Aside from air pollution, tires also release harmful chemicals into the ground.
As the rubber breaks down, dangerous toxins enter the earth. Not only do they contaminate the surrounding soil, but they also seep into the groundwater – creating problems for both animals (including humans) and plants.
7 Ways You Can Ethically Dispose of Your Unwanted Tires
1. Recycle Your Tires Through Your Municipality
Tire recycling is far simpler for a person to do than for a company. Most towns and localities have municipal recycling facilities that take tires from cars and trucks as well as cardboard, aluminum, e-waste, and a variety of other items.
Additionally, find out if your tire supplier recycles tires if you’re replacing current tires on a car or truck. Can’t find a tire recycling facility in your area? There are plenty of websites you can use to find one nearby. Simply use your zip code and the material type you want to recycle to do a search.
This ought to produce some outcomes and possibilities for tire recycling locations. Once more, some alternatives might be free, and others might have a minimal fee. To ensure your disposed tires are reused, make sure they are taken to a tire processor.
2. Leave Tires with Retailers
You may be disposing of your tires without even realizing it. Don’t you ever wonder what happens to them after you get a new set in your car? The simplest option is to dispose of your old tires as you replace them.
The cost of removing your old tires is sometimes factored into the price of purchasing and mounting new tires. This method of tire disposal is by far the most practical, even if it costs $5 to $20 USD for each tire.
Find out from the store what they do with used tires, including potentially which recycler they employ. Take your old tires with you and look for a tire recycler on your own if they claim to send used tires to a junkyard rather than recycling them.
3. Donate Tires to Gyms
Even though you might not have any use for those old tires laying around in your shed or your garage, by asking a local gym or sports club if they would want to take them off your hands, you can extend their lifespan! Tires can be utilized for unusual and extraordinarily difficult exercises.
This form of upcycling is especially useful if you have large tires that can be lifted and used in various other exercises. But any size tire will do! You’re not only helping others stay healthy, but you’re also keeping them out of landfills.
4. Upcycle Tires in Other Ways
Believe it or not, there are countless ways for you to reuse or upcycle your tires once you are done using them to drive your car. There are obvious ways, such as for exercise or even a tire swing. But, with a little creativity, you can use your old tires for so much more!
For example, tires make a great planter in an eclectic garden – and this is one of the simplest ways to reuse your tires. All you have to do is lay your old tires where you want them to stay in your garden. Then, fill it with soil, compost, or stones.
After, just add your plants or flowers. Feel free to paint or decorate it to add a personal touch. In a very similar way, you can build a sandbox for children using old tires.
A larger tire, like those found on a trailer, works best. However, you can use a truck or car tire almost just as well. Simply put the tire where you’d like it, place a piece of plastic underneath, and fill it with sand!
If you’ve got a furry friend, you can even make them a bed with your unused tires! Be sure to wash both the inside and outside of the tire with soap and water thoroughly. After it has dried, fill it with old pillows and blankets, so your pup or cat has somewhere comfy to sleep.
These are just a few ideas to get you started when trying to decide how to dispose of or reuse a few old tires. Upcycling is a fantastic way to ensure your old tires don’t end up in a landfill, and the possibilities are endless. However, always be sure to thoroughly inspect your old tires before using them, so they do not become a potential hazard.
5. Contact a Professional For Large Quantities of Tires
If you’ve got a few rows of tires hanging out around your yard or your shed, it may be best to contact a scrap tire hauler. This is someone that will come to your house and remove your old tires from your property.
The easiest way to find one near your home is to search for “scrap tire haulers” online. Always be sure to ask a few questions before hiring someone for the job. These include:
- Asking whether they charge by tire or by weight,
- If there is a maximum or minimum number of tires, they will remove from your property,
- And don’t be afraid to ask whether they recycle the tires or take them to dump
6. Drop Old Tires Off at a Recycling Facility
If you live near a recycling facility, why not take the short drive and get rid of your used tires directly? If you don’t have a truck or large car, this may be better suited for those who don’t have too many tires to dispose of.
Most of the time, these facilities will accept them, just be sure to call first to make sure they recycle tires. It is also a good idea to ask if there is a maximum limit they accept and whether they charge a fee – which is typically determined on a state-by-state basis.
7. Keep an Eye Out For Recycling Events
Tires and other problematic waste can be disposed of at a hard-to-recycle event. Events for the disposal of items like old TVs, appliances, and tires that can’t be disposed of with regular trash have grown in popularity in recent years.
For information on when and where activities will take place in your region, consult local news sources, social media, and official websites.
Why It’s Important to Recycle Tires?
In the U.S. alone, 300 million tires are disposed of each year. If discarded irresponsibly, tires can cause many problems (as seen above). Additionally, they trap water and even methane emissions, creating a haven for pests like mosquitoes and rodents.
Why allow so many sources of waste to accumulate and cause serious problems for the environment and ourselves? Responsibly disposing of your tires not only helps to eliminate the health and safety risk, but also allows them to be used to make new things. These include:
- Mulch and landscaping
- Fuel made from tires
- Playground surfaces
The Bottom Line on Tire Disposal
Fortunately, there are many ways to reuse, recycle, or dispose of your old tires. Before sending them on their way to the junkyard or landfill, search for some ways to take advantage of these other methods.
Tires are incredibly versatile when recycled and don’t have to be a fixture of hazardous waste.
The best way to determine how to get rid of your unwanted tires is to search for what is available to you locally. Every place is a little different, but with a bit of research, you’ll be able to find an easy and effective way to get rid of your used tires.
Check out our other article post on how to recycle a variety of items.