Three easy ways to reuse and recycle old tires
When you’re focused on getting the next set of tires for your vehicle, you might not think much about the old ones you’re leaving behind. We’ve all committed to recycling cans, glass, and paper, but used tires are often still an afterthought. The truth is that used tires can have a harsh impact on the environment – they fill already crowded landfills, release toxins into the air when burned, and are a risk for fires and pests when left out as litter (1). We regularly remove junk tires from the beach in our hometown of Seattle, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
We can all contribute to making the world a cleaner place – in that spirit, here are three useful and environmentally-friendly ways to reuse and recycle old tires.
1. Take them to a recycling center
Tires are designed not to break down easily – great for cars, not so great for the environment. That’s why the easiest way to safely dispose of tires is to take them to the nearest recycling center (3) where they can be shredded down and reused for anything from playground cover material to garden hedging. And if you don’t want to make the extra trip to the recycling center, check to see if your local mechanic or car service center can recycle the tires for you.
2. Start a DIY project
Used tires are good for more than just tree swings. Do a search for “recycled tire projects” and you’ll find dozens of fun ideas for that old set of tires.
- Paint the outside of a tire and fill with a cozy pillow to create a dog bed
- Cover with yard or rope and fill with dirt to make a potted plant
- Build a coffee table by stacking two tires, painting, and covering with a glass top (or check out our DIY table/ottoman that we made in the TireBuyer office!)
- Build a sandbox by painting the outside and filling the inside with sand
- Craft a wreath by mounting to a wall and filling with flowers
3. Donate to a school or a charity
If you don’t have time for a project, there are plenty of schools and organizations that might like to take old tires off your hands. Anything from community gardens to school landscaping projects needs tires. We recommend checking with groups in your area to see if they might have a use for a few old tires.