The Benefits of Recycling Old Car Tires

There are thousands of innovative ways to lead a more sustainable life. You can shop for local food and products and you can reduce your carbon footprint by biking and walking. As a general rule for green living, always keep in mind the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. The EPA estimates that over 90% of recyclable material never makes it to a recycling center. Most of that bulky trash ends up in polluting landfills where space is already at a premium. If you do a little research, you’ll probably discover that many of the items you’ve been throwing away are actually considered recyclable.

Car tires are one of the recyclable items most often overlooked. Most drivers dispose of tires long before those tires turn bald. These lightly used tires can easily be reused, gifted or resold. Tires with worn down treads can still be dealt with in a more sustainable fashion than throwing them away. These spent tires can be taken to recycling centers where they’re melted down for their raw materials or resold to farmers as tarp weights.

No matter what condition your vehicles’ tires are in or what kind of tires they are, there’s always a better option than leaving them on the side of the road. Consider the myriad benefits of recycling tires:

You’re saving the Earth

Okay, maybe not entirely. But sustainability is an incremental game. One of the ways you can do your part is making sure your recyclable waste doesn’t end up in landfills or as litter. Why be part of the problem when you can be part of the solution? The greatest threat to our planet is diffusion of responsibility. If everyone assumes that waste is everyone else’s problem then no one will take the steps necessary to address it. Take one big step down the path to a greener future by recycling tires.

You can probably make money

As mentioned above, most drivers outfit their vehicles with new tires before their old tires are completely spent. You can easily sell lightly used tires using websites like Craigslist or simply by taking them back to the store where you bought them. Most tire shops buy back viable tires and sell them at a discount to new customers. Store resale tends to be easier, but you’ll usually get a better price online.

You’re helping the economy

Auto mechanics and recycling centers are much better equipped to deal with used tires than you or any landfill might be. Unless you yourself own a tire shop, why not support the resale economy by helping some of your neighbors score some discount tires? Mechanics love buying back lightly used tires because they can resell them at a price that pads their bottom line and provides a bargain to the customers that need it. Recycling centers melt the tires down for their raw materials. Rubber is not indigenous to North America; many domestic manufacturers depend upon the availability of recycled material to fuel their rubber machinery. You can help foster economic growth just by recycling tires.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

1 Comment

  • My brother will be bringing his old car to a recycling facility one of these days. It is the vehicle that my father passed down to him, so it’s really kind of old and also damaged. He will also buy a new one this year, so it’s only fitting to dispose of it. I like his idea of getting it recycled. Like you said, reducing the waste that is dumped in landfills can help the earth have a greener future. Thanks for the information!

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