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What to Do With Old Tires

Many old tires stacked up awaiting recycling.

If you’re wondering what to do with old tires, then we have the answer. Tires are consumable, like brake pads and wiper blades, but they account for significantly more waste. Estimates have the number of tires discarded each year at 290 million! This once meant piles of old tires in landfills or abandoned, but now up to 80 percent are recycled. Here’s how you can make sure your old tires are disposed of properly.

Why You Should RecycleRecycled Tires

Tires are not biodegradable. If you illegally dump them, they’re going to sit there for hundreds of years before they decompose. While the tires are breaking down, toxins are released into the soil and air, which isn’t good for the environment.

Landfills aren’t a good option either. Tires take up a lot of space, so throwing them into landfills isn’t a practical long-term solution. Additionally, they attract insects and other pests, which can cause health hazards, so be responsible and recycle your old tires.

Contact Your Local Trash Collection Service

Don’t just put your tires in the bin at the curb when trash collection day arrives. If they’re in there with the rest of the trash, there’s a good chance they’ll end up mixed in with household waste, which is not where they belong.

Instead, reach out to your trash collection service or your town’s waste management department. They can tell you what to do to ensure that your tires are recycled properly. There may be a nominal fee, but even if you have the work done at a garage, the tire disposal fee is figured into what you pay.

Search for a Tire Recycling Center

You can skip the middleman and go directly to a tire recycling center if you aren’t sure what to do with old tires. The tires do need to be removed from the rims, so make sure you have all the tools for the job, including a tire iron. A tire recycling center can generally take any tires, even commercial tires that are often not accepted by typical trash collection services.

What Happens to Recycled Tires?

Recycled tires have many use cases that don’t pollute the environment. They can be turned into rubber mulch to control weeds in plant beds, into asphalt or into soft playground surfaces to help reduce the number of scraped knees kids get every summer. They can also be used to construct the ubiquitous tire swing—something you can make all on your own.

When your tires wear out, it may be tempting to toss old tires out with the trash or into a landfill, but proper disposal of tires matters. Be sure to recycle old tires the right way so they can find a new life instead of becoming a polluting eyesore.

Check out all the tire care products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about what to do with old tires, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy Flickr.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

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