How to properly dispose of tires Complete Guide

Are you left wondering how to properly dispose of your old tires? You’re not alone. The improper disposal of tires is a growing environmental concern, leading to hazardous pollution and landfill accumulation. In this guide, we’ll show you the best ways to responsibly discard your tires, helping you make an informed decision. Ready to learn more?

Read on and become a tire disposal expert!


Automotive tires are one of the most difficult items that must be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. The rubber composition of tires and the environmental factors associated with tire disposal have resulted in legislation, regulations and guidelines covering correct and safe disposal methods. In this guide we will provide an overview of the environmental factors associated with tire disposal as well as options for proper disposal practices. We will cover:

  • Overview of Tire Disposal
  • Landfills vs Other Methods
  • Potential Environmental Concerns
  • Regulations & Guidelines for Tire Disposal
  • Preferred Tire Disposal Options

Types of Tires

Tires come in all shapes and sizes. The typical tire we are most familiar with is a pneumatic tires, filled with pressurized air. Other types of tires include solid rubber tires, foam-filled tires, or “airless” tires which are designed and used for special applications. All types of tires need to be disposed of with care to prevent environmental hazards like pollution and contamination.

Pneumatic Tires: Pneumatic vehicle and bicycle tires contain a combination of natural rubber, synthetic rubber compounds and other materials such as steel wires and fabrics. Depending on their classification they may be composed of more than 50 individual components, making them more difficult to recycle or re-use than other materials.

Solid Rubber Tires: Solid rubber tires, known as foam-filled or coreless construction, have a heavy duty tread designed for increased durability in severe tempatures or challenging terrains for military, construction or mining use. These are made from a single piece of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) encased by a metal shell that is then filled with air at atmospheric pressure. These types of tires should not be placed in regular waste collection programs due to the potential exposure to heavy metals such as zinc and lead that may be present in these materials when burned incinerators.

Airless Tires: Airless tire technology has improved greatly since they were first developed in the late 19th century. Airless tire designs involve either wrapping thin layers of reinforced urethane around an aluminium rim core; solid non-pneumatic elastomer cores; multiple layers bonded together; composite structures formed from woven fabric reinforcement material; or injection moulded structural elements surrounded by polymer infill material at different levels depending on load carrying capacity requirements. These types of tire require specialist disposal instructions so contact your tyre supplier directly for advice on how best to dispose them without harming the environment.

Passenger Tires

When disposing of passenger tires, you should ensure that the taping and releasing of passenger tires is safe and compliant with applicable regulations. Properly disposing of tires includes shipment to a registered tire recycler or hauler for reprocessing, for reuse in a retread operation, or for secondary shredding. Passenger tires can be recycled into a variety of materials including rubber mulch and new tire products.

Most tire retailers will accept old tires as part of their return policy; they may even offer financial compensation in exchange. Contact your local retailer to understand what their particular policies may be.

You should also research any State-specific requirements related to tire recycling and disposal. Many states have laws requiring the correct disposal of certain sizes or types of vehicle and truck tires in order to prevent contamination into local landfills or environmental areas. Be sure to adhere to all regulations when disposing of your tires responsibly.

Light Truck Tires

Light truck tires are slightly different when it comes to disposing of them properly. While many municipalities have hazardous waste centers, they usually do not accept scrap tires due to their bulky size. There are a few steps you can take to responsibly dispose of your old light truck tires:

  1. Contact Your Local Tire Store – If you recently bought new light truck tires at a tire store, chances are they will offer a discount or free recycling of your old tires through their tire disposal program. Be sure to call ahead and ask as some stores may have specific instructions on how to properly dispose of them.
  2. Call Your County Waste Disposal Site – Many local waste disposal sites accept scrap tires for a fee of around $3-$4 per tire, though it may vary from county-to-county.
  3. Contact Your Local Recycling Center – Call your local recycling center to see if they provide services for scrap tire disposal for light trucks or larger vehicles such as full-sized SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks.

4 Use Tire Stewardship Programs – Many states now offer a tire stewardship program which offers incentives for shredding used tires rather than simply throwing them away. These programs typically involve manufacturers and dealerships offering discounts on new tires in exchange for the used rubber ones before being recycled into things like rubber mats or playground surfaces!

Commercial Truck Tires

Commercial truck tires require special consideration when they are disposed of due to their size and weight. It is strongly recommended that businesses contact their local municipality or state government to understand the best practices in disposing these tires. Depending on the location, the tires may be able to be recycled, reused, or just properly disposed of by following local guidelines.

Some municipalities may allow sites that specialize in this type of disposal to process the tires for more efficient and cost-effective results. In any event, it is important for businesses involved with commercial truck tires when changing them out to consider how they should properly dispose of old ones. Make sure you are following all environmental laws and applicable regulations concerning tire disposal.

III. Legal Requirements for Tire Disposal

It is important to understand the various laws that govern how to properly dispose of tires. Each state has its own specific regulations about tire disposal, and there may also be county or city ordinances in place. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets the guidelines for how tires should be managed, but there is a variety of information depending on your location.

In general, tires should never be burned in open piles or left abandoned in open spaces as this may contaminate soil and water resources. Some states require that used tires are sent to a solid waste management facility, while others have enacted legislation restricting the number of tires stored at any one time. There are specific rules for households depending on size and age of the tire as well as rules relating to businesses and commercial activities with scrap tires.

Moreover, many states have implemented laws regulating businesses that store or sell used or new tires. They must have a valid permit issued by the appropriate state authorities and safety protocols in place including pest control services to prevent harborage conditions for rodents or microbes from forming due to large presence of organic matter from discarded tires. It is always best practice to check with your local government before disposing old or unused tires.

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Federal Regulations

Due to the environmental hazards associated with disposal of tires, numerous federal regulations apply to tire disposal. In many states and municipalities, it is illegal to dispose tires in a landfill without prior written permission from the municipality or agency responsible for regulating such disposal. Accordingly, it is important to familiarize yourself with applicable federal regulations prior to disposing of tires.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the transportation and disposal of used tires in all 50 states. Under these regulations, worn, damaged, or defective tires must be transported and disposed of properly at a facility that is approved by local, state, or federal authorities. When disposing tires in larger quantities (over 10 tons) the EPA requires the transporter and receiver obtain permits for the transportation and disposal activities. Furthermore any tire that has been recycled or disposed of must have records kept detailing the process which occurred.

Production generating large volumes of solid waste must adhere to standards set out under Subtitle D of Introduction Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as well as certain other applicable state regulations related to depletion loading of harvested figures water quality standards governing stormwater discharge permit requirements secondary containment areas at waste sites etc… Moreover applicable State Department Environmental Protection Agencies may require additional permitting steps prior to disposing area used tires such as transportation manifests quantity intervals reporting limitation on equipment use etc… Compliance with local municipal ordinances may also be necessary prior after disposal sometimes requiring removal age delineation topsoil etc.. In sum consulting both Federal State Municipalities regarding relevant environmental controls before disposing normally advised most prudent course action lay sufficient documentation ensure compliance measures taken were appropriate properly authorized safe environmentally rationale manner..

State Regulations

Depending on where the discarded tires go — legally or illegally — the disposal process could be heavily regulated. Each state has laws that dictate how old tires should be disposed of. These laws are created to protect residents from tire-related hazards such as tire piles being a fire hazard, not being able to withstand weather conditions and becoming an eyesore; and tire piles can also become a habitat for pests and pose a threat to livestock.

Typically, states will require the disposal of tires in licensed landfills, incinerators or a waste tire recycling facility. To find out the specific regulations for your state, check with your state’s department of health or environmental protection agency. If you plan on recycling, you may need to pay additional surcharges when you buy new tires, as these funds go toward reimbursement for recycling efforts; if you don’t recycle your old tires properly by taking them to an approved waste handling facility, there may be penalties or fines. Additionally, some local jurisdictions have their own regulations or incentives that apply to discarded tires.

Options for Tire Disposal

When considering how to properly dispose of your tires, you have a few options. Properly disposing of old tires helps regulated and protect the environment, as well as help manage landfill and park space. Depending on your location and availability, these are some of the ways you can get rid of unwanted tires:

  1. Take them to a designated disposal facility – If you’re not sure where the closest tire recycler is located, you can check online or contact your local Waste Management Department for more information. There may be a fee for recycling and disposal so it is important to inquire about the cost in advance.
  2. Repurpose them into something else – Tires offer lots of options for repurposing such as playground surfaces, raised garden beds or furniture pieces such as chairs and tables. For more ideas on repurposing your tires, you can search online for projects using old tires or reach out to local organizations that may put them to use in creative ways.
  3. Donate them to charity – You can donate used tires in good condition to Motorcycle Missions charities or organizations like Habitat for Humanity who may provide home owners with free materials picked up from local donors. The organization will then reuse them in projects instead of leaving them abandoned or taking up space at landfills.
  4. Trade them in – Some tire retailers accept used tires upon purchase of new ones so they can be disposed off properly with minimal effort from the customer.


Recycling tires is an important step in keeping our environment safe and healthy. Using a combination of manual labor, specialized equipment, and advanced technologies, waste tires can be separated into their constituent materials for reuse or repurposing.

The constituent materials of a tire include steel, rubber and other chemicals that can come from recycled resources or be used to create new products. For example, the rubber material from waste tires can be ground down into crumb rubber which is used to make a variety of products such as playground surfaces and running track cushioning. Additionally, steel within waste tires can be used in a variety of construction projects such as roads or retaining walls while other chemical compounds can be reused in industrial processes.

To maximize the number of old tires that are recycled each year, some municipalities have created specialty collection programs which may offer pickups on large collections for free or for reduced costs. If your municipality does not have such a program you may wish to contact a local tire recycler who may be more than happy to assist you with your disposal needs at reasonable rates.

Tire Recycling Centers

Tire recycling centers are facilities that collect old and used tires from automotive shops and other sites, providing an environmentally friendly disposal solution. These centers process the tires, removing any hazardous materials before breaking them down into smaller pieces that can then be recycled or reused. For those looking for a safe and effective way to dispose of old or worn-out tires, taking them to a tire recycling center is the best option.

Tire recycling centers typically accept a variety of sizes and types of tires, including car, truck, ATV, and lawnmower tires. Make sure to check with the center beforehand if you’re bringing in large quantities of deeper treaded tires such as mud terrain or all-terrain styles as they may not accept these types due to their higher levels of rubber content.

If a center does not offer tire collection services near you, consider calling a local scrap metal recycler who may be willing to take your unwanted materials off your hands.

Can You Recycle Tires?

Retreading Tires

While often overlooked, retreading tires is actually one of the best ways to reduce the amount of tire waste in landfills. Retreading is a process that can completely restore the tread depth of a tire and make it safe to use again. The process involves removing the old tread and then applying a brand new replacement tread after rebalancing and properly cleaning the tire. Once this process is complete, the reused tire looks like a brand-new tire and generally costs less to purchase than buying an entirely new set of tires.

Retreading tires is especially beneficial for large trucks whose tires wear out quickly due to extended periods on the road as well as regular heavy-duty use day after day. The cost-effectiveness of using retreaded tires for vehicles such as this can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Beyond financial savings, retreading also improves fuel efficiency, reduces environmental impacts, and helps keep rubber out of landfills.

Donating Tires

Donating tires is a great way to repurpose them without having them take up space in a landfill. There are a variety of businesses that accept donations, such as tire shops, retreading centers, and junkyards. Additionally, scrap-metal recyclers may also accept used tires for reuse or remanufacturing. It’s important to first find an organization that accepts donations near you before dropping off your old tires.

If you’re not sure who would accept tire donations in your area, your local recycling center should be able to provide further guidance. If you choose to donate your tires, make sure they are properly cleaned before bringing them to their destination – this includes removing any residual dirt and debris from the rims as well as ensuring no nails are sticking out from the treads. Doing this will make it easier for the donation center to sort through and clean up the tires for reuse and/or disposal.


In conclusion, proper disposal of tires is critical. Tires are hazardous materials that can cause health and environmental concerns when improperly discarded. In order to dispose of tires in the most responsible way possible, individuals should explore options such as recycling or repurposing. If these options are not possible, curbside pickup/drop-off at a local landfill or recycling center may be necessary.

Additionally, it’s important to hold businesses that produce used tires accountable by following local regulations and guidelines for proper disposal. Through doing so, we can all work together to minimize the environmental impact of tire waste and uphold our individual responsibilities to makes sure tires are disposed of properly.

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