Improper disposal of tires has become an ongoing concern for communities, threatening public and environmental safety. If kept somewhere at home, old used tires can pose a fire threat and become a home for rats or parasites or a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
On the other hand, because of their toxic qualities, disposing tires in landfills isn’t feasible either. Thus, you should prioritize tire disposal methods that focus on recycling the tires to bring them to safe use.
Recycling-Based Tire Disposal
Look around your area to see who you can hand over your tires to for recycling.
Here are a few ways to dispose of your old used tires.
Sell to Tire Sellers
When disposing of old tires, you’ll probably need new ones in exchange. This provides you with the easiest opportunity to dispose of your tires.
When you head to purchase your new tires, take your old tires with you. Tire retailers are often willing to take your old tires for a disposal fee between $5 and $20 per tire.
However, make sure that the retailer intends to pass on the tires to a recycler rather than dumping them into a junkyard. Simply ask them how they dispose of the tires and which recycler they pass on the tires to. If you have any doubts, go find a tire recycler yourself.
Even if you’re not looking to purchase new tires, call the local tire retailers and ask them whether they take old tires, how much they charge for each tire, how many are they willing to take at most, and how they dispose of the tires.
Give to Recycling Facilities
You can also drop your old tires at the closest recycling facility in your area. You can locate it by calling the environment protection department in your state or visiting the website of a local environment-friendly group.
However, do make sure that you contact the recycling facility before visiting to confirm whether they take scrap tires, what’s the limit per person (such as 4 tires per person), and how much do they charge per tire.
Shred Tires at Specialty Tire Processing Centers
There are specialty tire processors that shred the tires and use their materials to produce entirely different products, such as rubber mulch for use in playgrounds.
If a processing center exists in your area, you should be able to locate it online easily. Some centers may even agree to pick the tires from your location if there are too many for you to carry.
Give Back to Tire Manufacturer
Some tire manufacturers offer a take-back or mail-back program for scrap tires.
This program can be a way to responsibly dispose of your old tires. You can find the manufacturer’s name of the old tire itself. Contact them and ask if they offer any such option.
Hard-to-recycle events are a tremendous solution to get rid of troublesome junk at your home. Items such as scrap tires, TVs, microwaves, and other appliances that cannot be dumped into landfills can be brought to the event, where they will be collected and later recycled.
Visit local government websites or social media platforms and check local news to find out when and where these events are scheduled in your area. Since tires are not accepted at some of these events, make sure you confirm it on call before taking the tires.
Scrap Tire Haulers
If you’ve accumulated too many tires, another great idea is to have them picked by one of the scrap tire haulers in your vicinity.
However, you will need to be more cautious to make sure that the tires end up being recycled. When you call them to ask about the tire limit and charges, directly inquire how they ensure proper disposal and recycling of tires.
Upcycling Scrap Tires
Another responsible approach, which isn’t very common, is to put your old tires to good use.
Here are some ways to dispose of your used tires by upcycling it:
A Circular Planter
One of the most environment-friendly ideas is to use your scrap tire as a planter for edible plants or beautiful flowers.
All you need to do is lay the tire flat on your chosen garden spot, fill the center with the relevant compost or soil, and then plant the seeds.
As you wait for your plant to grow, you can decorate the outside of the tire by painting it green to match the plant color or pink to stand out in your garden.
A Tire Swing
Turning your old tire into a classic horizontal or vertical tire swing is another enjoyable option. Start by thoroughly cleaning the tire and then make some drainage holes in it.
Next, tie a robust rope onto a tree branch that’s firm at a safe distance from the tree trunk. If you wish to create a vertical swing, securely tie the rope at one end of the tire and let it swing.
Creating a horizontal swing requires some extra effort. You’ll need to fix three eye-bolts on the tire’s sidewall that must be equally spaced. You’ll need three ropes of equal lengths to connect the tire’s three bolts to the branch of the tree.
A Comfy Dog Bed
Another useful idea that can save you some bucks on the doghouse is to create a comfy dog bed out of your old tire. What you’ll need to do is to wash the tire thoroughly from both inside and outside.
Lay it in a sunny area to let it dry first. When it dries up, move it to a suitable dog spot and fill the tire’s center with pillows until the cushioning surface gets even with sidewalls of the tire.
However, a typical car tire will only be useful for a puppy or a small dog.
Believe it or not, if you have young kids at home, a scrap tire can save you some money on toys as well. Turn it into a circular sandbox for your kids. You can certainly manage a decent sandbox using a standard car tire, but a large truck or tractor tire will help you create a large sandbox.
Cut a sturdy plastic sheet into the shape of your tire and place it on a flat ground surface. Then, position your tire onto it, filling the center with play sand available at home improvement retailers. This is more practical for outdoors.
If you’re looking to place your tire sandbox indoors, such as on a patio, you’ll need plywood. Once you have a sheet, cut it into the circular shape of your tire.
Place your tire upside down to stick the plywood to its bottom using a strong adhesive. Let it dry for a while before turning the tire over to fill it with sand.
A Garden Table
If you have more than one scrap tires, maybe 2 or 3, you can even combine them to form a garden table. First, clean the tires thoroughly. Before moving on to decorate them, decide where you would like to keep the resultant table.
The painting and decoration of the tires should correspond to the surroundings or the intended setting for the table.
You may want to paint all three tires with the same color or different ones. Lay the first tire on the ground and run construction adhesive along its top sidewalls.
Then, firmly stack the second tire precisely on top of it. Again, run construction adhesive along the sidewalls of this second tire before staking the third one on the top. The tires should have reached a decent height by now so you can glue a round, wooden tabletop on top of them using construction adhesive. A glass tabletop can also be used.
Some people don’t prefer to glue the tabletop. If you’re one of them, keep in mind that water from rainfall may seep and collect into the tires. To prevent that, consider drilling holes into the tire bottoms to allow the water to find its way down into the ground. This way, the water won’t accumulate and you’ll have a clean table at all times.
Improper tire disposal practices are a health hazard, a fire hazard, as well as an environmental hazard. Unfortunately, dumping tires in landfills is not an answer.
Thus, it is imperative to look for ways to dispose of them legally and safely, even if it costs you some money. If you only have a few tires, you can either drop them off at a nearby recycling facility or a tire retailer or choose to upcycle your scrap tires by using them to create one of the items mentioned above.
If, however, you have a lot of tires to dispose of, the most viable option is to contact a local scrap tire hauler to have them picked from your place.
No matter which disposal method you go for, be sure to find out that what the organization, retailer, or group you hand over the tires to is going to do with the tires. If they are dumping them in a junkyard, it will kill the entire purpose of responsible disposal.
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