When it’s time to fit new tyres on your car or another vehicle, you might find yourself wondering how to dispose of tyres responsibly.

In most cases, the mechanic who fits the new ones will do this for you, but if it is something you’ll need to handle yourself, it’s important that you understand how to do it in an environmentally friendly way.

Why do tyres need to be disposed of responsibly?

Old tyres are a bulky waste item that takes up a lot of space and sometimes the need to get rid of them quickly leads to irresponsible actions.

Those who aren’t sure how to dispose of tyres responsibly will often burn them. When burnt, rubber releases toxic smoke and chemicals that can cause air pollution and be harmful to the environment.

It is also worth considering the positive impact you could have if you choose to dispose of your tyre in an environmentally friendly way.

Whilst an old and damaged tyre may seem like junk to you, you’d be surprised at all the creative ways people in your community (and across the country) are putting them to good use.

How to dispose of tyres responsibly

Reuse or recycle

Following the 2006 EU Landfill Directive, tyres are no longer accepted to landfill sites.

Because tyres consist of a mix of synthetic and natural rubber, fabric, wire, carbon and other chemical compounds, they’re very difficult to recycle.

Because of this, they will more than likely be reused as they are, in their full form. If we’re talking about just a few tyres that can be put to good use within the local community, consider the following options:

  • A tyre swing
  • A raised planter
  • Boat buffers
  • A dog bed
  • An ottoman
  • A mirror frame
  • A garden table
  • A coffee table
  • Half-tyre hammocks
  • Garden stairs or stepping stones
  • A sandbox for children

Commercially, tyres that are recycled can be shredded into flakes (known as crumb rubber) and used for such things as:

  • Sports surfaces
  • Surfaces for playgrounds
  • Asphalt for roads
  • Equestrian arenas
  • Carpet underlay
  • Automotive parts and tyres
  • Landscape, trails and walkways
Contact your local council

If you’re not sure how to dispose of tyres responsibly yourself and you can’t find a way to reuse them, contact your local council to find out if they can help.

Each local council will have their own rules and regulations, so you’ll need to visit their website or call them if you want to get all the facts. You may be able to take an old tyre to your local recycling centre or they may offer a collection service. Be aware that there will likely be a fee.

Choose a trusted and respected waste disposal company

Back in 2012, the Telegraph reported on an investigation that showed how criminal gangs were undercutting legitimate recycling firms to dispose of waste tyres and dumping them illegally.

Andy Higham, of the Environment Agency, told the BBC’s Panorama: “We’re talking about serious and organised criminals. These aren’t people that just dump a few tyres. We’re talking about major, major money that can actually be made from this type of illegal activity.”

Whether you’re a business or an individual, you have a moral responsibility to seek out genuine, reliable companies who are serious when it comes to caring for our environment.

Skip It makes sure over 90 per cent of the waste we handle avoids landfill thanks to our continued commitment to recycling everything we possibly can.

Whilst most waste disposal companies won’t take tyres off your hands, at Skip It, we’d be more than happy to help for just a small additional fee.

You can also learn how to recycle other old household items in our helpful guides below: