This story was originally published in September 2019.
Good tires are essential to safe driving. If you are swapping out the tires on your vehicle, you may be wondering how you can recycle or reuse car tires instead of sending them to a landfill.
Recycling tires is difficult because tires are designed to be durable. Tires are made from a heavy-duty mixture of synthetic rubber, fiber and steel. Breaking tires down often requires expensive equipment, including heavy-duty shredders, granulators and even cryogenics. As rubber prices continue to fall, recycling centers cannot afford to purchase tire recycling equipment because they cannot make up the cost by reselling the deconstructed materials.
Many recycling facilities do not accept tires at all. Others will burn them for energy or asphalt. When tires pile up in landfills, they attract mosquitoes and are prone to starting fires that are difficult to extinguish and can sometimes last for months.
If you have used car tires to spare, visit your local auto shop first to see if they can be retreaded or repaired. If you want, the shop may recycle old tires for you. Depending on where you live, the cost of new tires may even include a tax that funds the disposal of your old tires.
If not, though, there are many ways to reuse car tires, both indoors and outdoors. Once you remove the aluminum rim and steel weights — both of which can be recycled as scrap — here are 10 ways you can reuse car tires.