Recycling Used Tyres: A Green Way to Go

Recycling your old tyres is a green way to go. Did you know that every tyre recycled saves 1.5 barrels of oil? It’s a great way to reduce pollution and save the environment at the same time!

Recycling Used Tyres

Tyre recycling is a process where used vehicles tyres are recycled so that new products can be made out of them. If your tyre is not suitable for use on your vehicle due to wear and tear or if it cannot be re-grooved or re-treaded anymore, then it’s time to consider tyre recycling.

Why Is Recycling Tyres Important?

Globally, more than 1.6 billion tyres are produced per year. From this number, it is estimated that 1 billion waste tyres are produced. The challenge here is that there are only around 100 million tyres processed for recycling annually. As a result, more scrap tyres are taking up quite a large amount of space in landfills around the world.

In the UK, it is calculated that there are 486,000 tonnes of used tyres produced annually. Because of UK waste tyre regulations, almost all discarded tyres are recycled in some way. With the UK’s Landfill Regulations of 2002, whole tyres and shredded used tyres—except for bicycle tyres—have since been banned at landfills. Another regulation, the EU Landfill Directive of 2006, banned end-of-life tyres at landfill sites. These regulations are a part of the country’s ongoing efforts to mitigate pollution and its subsequent effects on the environment.

So why are scrap tyres bad for the environment? There are a couple of reasons why such as the following:

  • Contributes to pollution due to the chemicals they release
  • Can become a place for pests to thrive in
  •  Poses a risk because of their flammability

To comply with the regulations and reduce the environmental impacts that come with improper disposal of waste tyres, tyre recycling is critical. End users and tyre manufacturers share the responsibility of properly disposing of scrap tyres.

What Are the Benefits of Recycling Tyres?

There are plenty of reasons why recycling tyres is beneficial for the environment. Here are just some of the benefits that come with tyre recycling.

1. Prevents contamination and pollution

Tyres are constructed from natural rubber, synthetic rubber, metals, and other chemicals. Over time, as a waste tyre breaks down, it releases the chemicals and metals it contains into the environment. The release of these compounds can contaminate the soil and groundwater, which can be toxic for animals and humans alike.

Additionally, improper disposal of tyres contributes to water pollution, with waste tyres being one of the most common plastic polluters. Recycling reduces the number of waste tyres lying around in the environment, thus helping minimise contamination and pollution.

2. Prevents risk of fire

Tyres are highly flammable because of the chemicals they contain. Proper disposal of tyres reduces the number of waste tyres in a given area, which helps minimise fire hazards.

3. Preventing diseases

Waste tyres are a potential breeding ground for insects and pests, which carry viruses that can spread to people. Some of these diseases that people can get from insects include dengue fever and encephalitis.

4. Increases energy savings

Tyre recycling helps save energy. When you recycle four tyres, this can reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by around 323 pounds. Using recycled tyres to create new products is more eco-friendly and results in a lower carbon footprint.

5. Saves on landfill space

Tyres are big, bulky, and hollow. As a consequence of these characteristics, they can occupy a great deal of space in landfills and take away precious space for other non-recyclable items.

6. Turns scrap tyres into new products

The process of recycling turns waste tyres into something useful again. Through this eco-friendly process, new products can be created, from flooring and mats to sidewalks and pathways.

Tyre Recycling Processes

There are several ways to deal with used tyres. This includes the following:


Re-treading is the process of extending the life of your old tyres. If you’re taking your tyres to a mechanic shop for tyre recycling and their structural integrity holds up well enough, you may be able to have them re-treaded first. During re-treading, as the name suggests, your tyres get a freshly vulcanised tread.


Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of waste tyres, which uses proper heating to break down the molecules of the tyres. This process generates useful products such as carbon black and fuel.

Mechanical system

This process refers to the grinding of waste tyres into smaller pieces. It involves breaking down the tyre at ambient temperatures and using a granulator. The resulting products from this process are smoother rubber pieces.


This process also breaks down waste tyres into smaller pieces. But unlike mechanical grinding, however, cryogenic produces smaller rubber crumbs by utilising liquid nitrogen and low temperatures.

Tyre Recycling Ideas

There are many ways to repurpose your used tyres and make them into something more useful. Here are some of the ideas you can follow:

  • Furniture

Transform your used tyre into furniture you can place in your home. By covering the tyre with fabric or painting it and adding legs to it, you can easily make a coffee table or ottoman out of your old tyre.

  • Planter

Make a new decorative holder for your plants with your scrap tyre. Cut the tyre and reshape it to give it a more visually appealing look before you place your plants in the tyre. Or you can simply paint the tyres and stack them to make a holder for your bigger plants.

  • Swing

A classic use of scrap tyres, tyre swings are easy to make and fun for children. All you need to do is clean the tyre, drill holes for draining, tie a rope, and suspend the swing on a tree.

Making the Most Out of Your Tyres

Recycling extends the life of your tyres and turns them into something completely different. But before their inevitable retirement, you can make the most out of your tyres by keeping them in tiptop shape.

For quality tyres and tyre services in Swindon, contact Imperial Tyres today.