• Car tires are not biodegradable, making them permanent fixtures in landfills. The problem of car tires in landfills is compounded by the fact that the tires rise to the surface of the landfill, causing instability in landfill piles. The problem is so significant that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, "38 states ban whole tires from landfills." The solution to the problem is reusing (giving the tires to others to use on their cars), repurposing (creating another use for the tires) and recycling tires (the tires are turned into things like fuel, shoes, road surfaces and playground mats).

    Tire Shops

    Ask the tire shop that replaced your tires if they resell or recycle old tires. Some tire shops sell used tires at a discount price to customers, and some tire shops send used tires to recycling centers. If the tire shop does not reuse or recycle the car tires, ask the shop to return the tires to you so that you can recycle them yourself.

    Classified Ads

    Place an ad in the classifieds offering your used tires for free, if your tires have any tread left on them. People who cannot afford new tires often jump at the opportunity to accept free ones. Most classifieds list free items at no cost to the person placing the ad.

    Recycling Centers

    Look for a recycling center in your area that accepts used car tires. Call your trash disposal company and ask them if they either recycle car tires or know of a place that does. Search for car tire recycling centers on the Environmental Protection Agency website or the Earth 911 website (See Resources).

    Make a Kid's Swing

    Make a kid's swing out of a used tire by securely tying one end of a strong rope around the tire and the other end of the rope around a large, sturdy tree branch. If you do not have children of your own to make the swing for or if you want to use up your other three tires, offer to make swings for your neighbors who have kids or for your local church, daycare center, school or after-school program.

    Use Car Tires in the Garden

    Put your used tires to use in your garden by turning them into a makeshift planter box. Stack the tires on top of each other and fill them with dirt. Plant things like flowers, tomatoes, lettuce or potatoes in your planter box. Expect a bountiful harvest when planting potatoes and other root vegetables in a tire planter box. The black rubber tires absorb the heat from the sun and keep the root vegetables warm, helping them to grow nice and big. Vegetables like lettuce are protected from rabbits when planted inside your tire planter.

    Turn Tires into Boat Dock Bumpers

    Bring your used tires to a boat harbor where boats are kept and offer them to boat owners for use as dock bumpers, unless you have your own boat in a slip--then keep them for yourself. Used tires make long-lasting dock bumpers that protect boats from the damage that results when they hit wood docks.


    Environmental Protection Agency: Basic Information on Scrap Tires

    City of Inglewood: Recycled Tires: The Tire Use Recycling Plan from Fleet Services

    More Information:

    Environmental Protection Agency: Find Tire Recycling Centers in Your Area

    Earth 911: Find Tire Recycling Centers in Your Area

    Sawgrassblog: How to Hang a Tire Swing in Your Yard

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