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10 Alternative Ways to Recycle Your Car Tyres

There are many options for recycling old car tyres. When dumped in landfills or by the side of the road, car tyres can lead to toxic chemicals leaking into the Earth, and can also become hazards for children and animals. Around 290 million tyres are believed to be thrown away each year, with many ending up in rivers and streams. Over time, the constituent chemicals within tyres can enter the atmosphere, while remaining an eyesore and health problem for ecosystems. Burning tyres are particularly problematic in terms of their emissions. However, there are ways in which tyres can be recycled and reused to make the most of their components, while also ensuring that they don’t simply become another form of waste:

Practical Uses

1 - Planters

Old tyres can be used as planters for vegetables, and can also be used as soakwells. Tyres should be carefully cleaned before being used for this purpose, and should be painted white to discourage spiders if using without a cover. When covered with clear polythene, tyres also make useful seed growing pods.

2 - Camping Toilet Seats

Tyres can be easily adapted to act as toilet seats for camping trips. Make sure though that they are clean, and that they can be easily carried when transporting as parts of trips.

3 - Livestock Feeders

When cleaned out, tyres can be converted into feeders for livestock, and can be cut to suit different sizes of animal.

4 - Sandboxes and Swings

Long term uses for tyres might include being converted into sandboxes for children, albeit after being sterilised and placed in a safe space where they won’t attract wild animals. In the same way, vertical tyres can be hung from trees to create rope swings.

5 - Other Uses

Many people also use shredded tyres as the basis for artworks, and also use them as parts of obstacle courses and hanging plants around the garden. In this way, tyres can be easily repurposed for little to no cost. Be careful to check what condition a tyre is in, and how long it has been left in the open if dumped. Tyres can act as hubs for virus and disease if dumped into woodland areas, so never reuse a tyre, particularly around children, if you are unsure of its background.

Recycling and Reprocessing

Tyres can be reprocessed and recycled as part of various schemes. Organisations like the Tyre Recovery Association work to best dispose of and reuse older tyres. Some uses include:

6 - Stripping Rubber

Rubber from tyres can be shredded and used for other purposes, from noise reduction services to being used to retread other tyres.

7 - Recycling and Retreading

Many developing countries will use old tyres as an alternative to cheaper ones, with the retread value high enough to justify resale.

8 - Rubbers and Tyre Fuel

Tyre rubbers can be broken down and stripped to remove any dangerous chemicals, and can also be used to contribute towards tyre derived fuel (TDF).

9 - Selling Directly to Wholesalers

Another option is to simply sell your old tyres to a local scrap yard and retailer. They might be able to offer you money for your tyres, as well as guarantees that they will be responsibly recycled, rather than simply being dumped.

10 - Using Recycling Schemes

Contacting the Tyre Recovery Association will mean that you can increase your options over what to do with old tyres. Excellent solutions can be found for recycling, with the ultimate benefit of reducing the amount of unsightly and toxic waste found on the sides of roads and in rivers.

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A motor enthusiast turned technology evangelist. Passionate about all things tech, with a need for speed. Sharing tips on everything, from development, to how to scrap your car.