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How to Safely Dispose of Old Tires: What You Need to Know!

tire waste

tire waste

If you’ve just bought your ride some shiny new shoes, you may be too excited to realize that you have a problem on your hands: What do you do with the old tires you just took off?

It’s amazing how quickly tires can go from essential pieces of equipment to unwanted junk, and worse yet, they’re large pieces of unwanted junk.

However, getting rid of them can seem like a hassle, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing — where do you even take them? Do you throw them in the recycling bin? Roll them into your neighbor’s yard?

If you have old tires sitting around that you’re looking to get rid of, this guide will walk you through the best way to safely dispose of them.

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What Not to Do With Your Old Tires

Don’t take your tires to the dump or throw them in the trash. Most waste management companies won’t accept them, anyway, and if they do make their way to the landfill, they can become environmental hazards.

Let’s put it this way: You’ve heard the phrase “tire fire,” yes? There’s a reason for that, and the last thing you want is to be responsible for a raging inferno at your local landfill.

Now let’s look at better options for getting all that used rubber off your hands.


Find a Recycling Center

The synthetic rubber inside most tires can — and should — be recycled. However, it’s not as easy as just tossing the tires in your recycling bin and waiting for the trash truck.

You’ll likely need to haul them down to a dedicated tire recycling center. There’s usually one in every city, although it may be located in an industrial part of town.

Beyond that, you can check with other recycling centers, but call ahead first to make sure they accept tires. If not, your local EPA office may have leads, or you can call the solid waste disposal office in your city’s services department.

Be aware, though, that it may actually cost you money to have your tires recycled, so don’t have high hopes about making cash off them. Used tires are seen as an environmental hazard and disposing of them is a public service — one that recycling companies can charge for.

tire recycling
Image Credit: Kurt Bauschardt, Flickr

Talk to an Auto Shop or Tire Store

Many auto shops and tire stores have deals with tire recyclers, so they may take your old tires free of charge. If your tires still have life left in them, they may even be able to sell them.

Of course, you can bypass this entire problem by not bringing your old tires home after buying new ones. The tire store will take care of them for no charge, and they may even give you a discount if they feel that they can re-sell the used models.


Sell Them Yourself

If the tires are still in good condition, you may be able to find a buyer for them yourself. Advertise online on Craigslist, Facebook, or similar websites; you may be able to find someone who’s looking for a deal on used tires.

Don’t expect to get anywhere near what you paid for them, of course, but that’s largely beside the point. The goal is to find someone willing to take these things off your hands and pay you for the privilege — the actual amount that you make should just be seen as icing on the cake.


Repurpose Them

If you can’t find someone to take them off your hands, you may be able to find new uses for them. You can make an old tire into a fun swing for your kids, or you can give them to the local high school for the football players to use during conditioning drills.

Many people use tires as exercise equipment. You can get a great workout by flipping them, or you can smash a sledgehammer into them over and over again.

You can also take several tires and craft a ladder out of them. Kids love to climb on them, and their natural grippiness makes them safer than many other materials. A tire ladder is a wonderful addition to most any playground.

Tires can make excellent planters, although you shouldn’t use them for anything that you’ll eat, as the chemicals in the tires can leach into the fruit or veggies.

You’re only limited by your creativity. Tires can be used to make furniture, art, and even yard barriers, so put your thinking cap on and try to figure out new and exciting uses for them. This will require handyman skills and an artistic bent, but repurposing old tires can be both fun and rewarding — especially compared to paying a recycling center to take them off your hands.

repurpose tire
Image Credit: aka CJ, Flickr

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Don’t Let Those Old Tires Collect Dust Any Longer

If you’ve allowed an old set of tires to take up space in your garage because you didn’t know what else to do with them, the ideas above should help you find a way to reclaim that room. It may require a little bit of work on your part, but you can finally get rid of those tires in an environmentally-safe fashion.

Then again, you could always just use them to roll to a different location where you’ll start a new life under an assumed name — but that seems like too much effort when these other ideas work so much better.


Featured Image: pixel2013, Pixabay

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