Special Collections Event May 3&4, Erickson All Sports Facility, 8am to 2pm

For Local Tire Recycling,
Recycle your old tires at Wal-Mart ($1.50 charge per-tire).

To Find Location nearest you, please use Zip Code Search Above

Scrap Tires

There are at least 275 million scrap tires in stockpiles in the US. In addition, approximately 290 million scrap tires were generated in 2003.

Markets now exist for about 80 percent of scrap tires — up from 17 percent in 1990. The states have played a major role in tackling this problem by regulating the hauling, processing, and storage of scrap tires; and by working with industry to recycle and beneficially use scrap tires, through developing markets for the collected scrap tires.

At the end of 2003, the US generated approximately 290 million scrap tires. Historically, these scrap tires took up space in landfills or provided breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents when stockpiled or illegally dumped. Fortunately, markets now exist for 80.4% of these scrap tires-up from 17% in 1990. These markets—both recycling and beneficial use—continue to grow. The remaining scrap tires are still stockpiled or landfilled, however.

In 2003, markets for scrap tires were consuming 233 million, or 80.4%, of the 290 million annually generated scrap tires:

Tire Recycling130 million (44.7%) are used as fuel

56 million (19.4%) are recycled or used in civil engineering projects

18 million (7.8%) are converted into ground rubber and recycled into products

12 million (4.3%) are converted into ground rubber and used in rubber-modified asphalt 

9 million (3.1%) are exported HYPERLINK "http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/tires/basic.htm" \l "exp" *

6.5 million (2.0 %) are recycled into cut/stamped/punched products

3 million (1.7%) are used in agricultural and miscellaneous uses

Another 16.5 million scrap tires are retreaded. After any retreading has been performed, 290 million scrap tires are generated. About 27 million scrap tires (9.3%) are estimated to be disposed of in landfills or monofills. (Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association, 2004.)

*Many scrap tires are exported to foreign countries to be reused as retreads, especially in countries with growing populations of automobile drivers such as Japan and Mexico. According to Mexico’s National Association of Tire Distributors, as many as 20% of tires sold in Mexico are imported as used tires from the US and then retreaded for reuse. Some foreign countries also import tires to be shredded and used as crumb rubber, or to be used as fuel. Unfortunately, not all exported tires are reused or recycled. The downside of exporting scrap tires is that the receiving countries may end up with a disproportionate amount of tires, in addition to their own internally-generated scrap tires.

Markets and Uses for Scrap Tires

“Over 75% of scrap tires are recycled or are beneficially used for fuel or other applications.” - Rubber Manufacturers Association, 2003

Scrap tires are used in a number of productive and environmentally safe applications. From 1990 through 2003, the total number of scrap tires going to market increased from 11 million (24.5%) of the 223 million generated to 233 million (80.4%) of the 290 million generated.

Landfill Disposal

Even with all of the reuse and recycling efforts, almost one quarter of scrap tires end up in landfills each year. Landfilling scrap tires can cause problems due to their uneven settlement and tendency to rise to the surface, which can harm landfill covers. To minimize these problems, many states require chipping or grinding of tires prior to disposal. Sometimes scrap tires are also incorporated into the landfill itself as part of daily cover, or in a landfill cap.

In recent years, the placement of shredded scrap tires in monofills—a landfill, or portion of a landfill, that is dedicated to one type of material—has become more common. Monofills may be used where no other markets are available and municipal solid waste landfills do not accept tires. Monofills are preferable to above ground storage of tires in piles, due to fire hazards and human health hazards.

State landfill regulations:

38 states ban whole tires from landfills.

35 states allow shredded tires to be placed in landfills.

11 states ban all tires from landfills.

17 states allow processed tires to be placed into monofills.

8 states have no restrictions on placing scrap tires in landfills.

Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association, 2003


Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/tires/basic.htm