Tire Recycling: How is it handled?

By:     Kieran Donnelly

An estimated 1 billion tires are disposed of every year. These discarded tires represent a significant global waste management challenge due to their non-biodegradable nature and environmental risks.

However, many countries are finding innovative ways to recycle and reuse tires in various applications, such as rubberised asphalt, construction materials, and even energy generation through tire-derived fuels.

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In this article, we’ll discuss tire recycling facts and how tire recycling is handled throughout the world, with a particular focus on tire recycling in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

As a leading manufacturer of tire recycling machinery, Gradeall seeks to contribute to the global effort of managing this type of waste, through efficient and profitable solutions. We aim to make tire recycling as feasible and convenient as possible for recycling operations across the world.

Are Tires Hazardous Waste?

Although tires are not innately hazardous, they do pose a hazardous risk to health and the environment when they are incorrectly stored and managed.

The risks associated with waste tires include:

Fire hazard

Tires are a combustible material, they can catch fire easily and once ignited, tire fires are incredibly difficult to extinguish. When tires burn they also produce toxic gases and oils which can contaminate the air, soil, and water.

Malaria risk

Waste tires can also create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, due to the stagnant water that pools in the base of the tire. This can lead to an increased risk of malaria cases and attract other disease-carrying pests.


Waste tires are not biodegradable, and when they are thrown into landfills, they will eventually leach toxic chemicals into the soil. Due to their large and bulky nature, they also take up a significant amount of space. Due to this risk, many countries have actually banned them from landfills entirely.

Illegal Dumping

Because tires are difficult and sometimes costly to dispose of properly, they are often the subject of illegal dumping which can also lead to environmental damage and public health risks. Those who are caught illegally dumping waste tires will also face significant fines.

For these reasons, many jurisdictions across the world have strict rules and regulations surrounding tire disposal. Businesses that manage end-of-life tires or produce new tires, also have a duty of responsibility and legal obligation to pursue tire recycling initiatives and limit their impact on the environment and public health.

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At Gradeall, we have supplied tire recycling machinery across the world in a bid to help businesses and organisations properly dispose of their waste tires, in an efficient and profitable way. 

If you would like to hear more about how the Gradeall range of machinery can enhance your tire recycling process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Gradeall team.

What To Do With Old Tires?

There are various methods for disposing of waste tires. The most suitable approach for you really depends on how many tires you’re disposing of, the legalities in your region and whether or not it’s business waste or personal waste.

Here are some ways that you can dispose of old tires:

Return to the retailer

When you buy new tires, the retailer will often accept your old tires for a small fee. They will then ensure that the tires are disposed of responsibly, usually through a tire recycling program.


Some tires, particularly larger ones used by trucks or aeroplanes, can be retreaded. This process involves removing the worn-out tread and replacing it with new rubber, making the tire usable again.


Old tires can be repurposed for a variety of uses around the home and garden. For example, they can be turned into planters, swings, or even used in DIY furniture projects.


The most environmentally friendly option for disposing of old tires is to recycle them by depositing them in local tire recycling facilities. You may have to pay a fee to the recycling centre, but you can check what the cost of this is beforehand.

Bale tires

If you are a business that handles a surplus of waste tires, then you may have to travel back and forth to a recycling centre regularly. This can be quite costly in transportation costs, due to the large and bulky nature of tires that take up a lot of room.

One solution for this is to bale the tires, this will ensure the optimum transportation of waste tires and help streamline the entire process. At Gradeall, we have developed various tire balers that can reduce the volume by up to 80%, meaning that you can save costs on transporting end-of-life tires.

MK2 Tire Baler: Can compress up to 110 tires into one single bale.

MK3 Tire Baler: Can compress up to 140 tires into one single bale, with 75 tonnes of force.

Truck Tire Baler: Can compress up to 12 truck tires into one single bale.

Portable Tire Baler: A portable baler used for remote locations.

Tire Recycling Uses

End-of-life tires are able to be put to better use, once they have undergone processing methods to extract valuable materials and make them suitable for recycling purposes.

Investing in and pursuing tire recycling methods is a much better option than placing them into tire dumps or landfills. There are many tire recycling uses, as every part of the waste tire can be utilised in some way.

Check out some of the ways that waste tires can be recycled below.

Extracting steel or alloy

The first step in handling waste tires is to extract the steel or alloy rim. This is particularly beneficial as the waste steel and alloy is a valuable material which can then be sold for profit.

You can extract the tire rim manually, but this is quite labour-intensive and it takes some time. Another alternative is to invest in a Tire Rim Separator – a machine that can remove the rim in just under 20 seconds.


Gradeall is a leading manufacturer of this tire recycling machinery, there is also another model of the Truck Tire Rim Separator that can handle larger tires from lorries or trucks.

Tire rubber recycling

The rubber part of the tire can also be turned into a rubber crumb, which is then used as a component for producing things like playground surfaces, road asphalt and even in the production of new tires. This process involves shredding the tires into smaller and more fine pieces.

Structural applications

Old tires are often integrated into the engineering of slope stabilisation projects, retaining walls, and in roadway embankments, where they can help prevent soil erosion. This usually involves shredding the tires into more manageable chunks, using specific tire recycling machinery like an Agricultural Tire Shear or a Tire Tread Cutter.

Silage covers

Old tires are often used to weigh down covers on silage pits or bunkers. This practice is quite common on farms around the world. The tires help to keep the plastic sheeting in place, preventing air from reaching the silage and thereby reducing spoilage.

The weight of the tires can help ensure a better seal on the silage pile, which can improve the fermentation process and the overall quality of the silage. This is typically done with a machine that can cut the sidewalls of the tires, leaving behind flat rubber circles that are then used as silage covers.

At Gradeall, we have manufactured tire recycling machinery that can do this efficiently. The Car Tire Sidewall Cutter is able to process 120-140 tires per hour, taking only around 20 seconds to shred the sidewall parts.

Gradeall Car Tyre Sidewall Cutter | Recycling | Recycling Baler Machines | Recycling Tyres

We have also manufactured and designed Truck Tire Sidewall Cutter which can handle larger tires with similar output results. At Gradeall, we consistently seek to create innovative solutions to handle the disposal process of tires in all shapes and sizes. 

Tire-derived Fuel

Old tires can also be converted into a source of energy known as tire-derived fuel (TDF). This process involves shredding the tires into small pieces and burning them in industrial facilities, such as power plants, cement kilns, or pulp and paper mills. Although it isn’t a green source of energy, it is still a useful commodity produced from tire recycling.

US Tire Recycling

There are approximately 280 million tires discarded each year in the U.S., which averages around one tire per person. Many states in America have now implemented strict regulations to handle this type of waste and promote alternative tire recycling methods.

Some U.S. regulations surrounding tire disposal include:

  • 38 states have banned whole tires from landfills.
  • 35 states allow shredded tires to be placed in landfills.
  • 11 states banned 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.

You should check what the regulations are in your state, ensuring that you can properly manage waste tires in an efficient and legally abiding manner.

Tire recycling fee in US

The average costs of tire recycling fees in the U.S. are around $2.50 per tire, although this will vary state by state.

At Gradeall, we have supplied industry-leading tire recycling machinery to many clients based in the U.S. Our machinery can also be adapted to meet the specific requirements of your operation and how your state requires the tires to be handled.

If you would like to speak to someone about tire recycling machinery contact the Gradeall team for more information and guidance.

Tire recycling Texas

Texas handles approximately around 50 million used and scrap tires per year. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing tire recycling and disposal.

The TCEQ operates a Scrap Tire Program to ensure that businesses and individuals adhere to environmental guidelines when disposing of and recycling tires. Check out some of the facts about tire disposal in Texas below:

  • Texas is among the states that have banned the disposal of whole tires in landfills.
  • When new tires are purchased in Texas, there’s usually a recycling fee included. This fee goes toward the cost of properly disposing of and recycling the old tires.
  • Despite the regulations, Texas has struggled with issues of illegal tire dumping, enforcement efforts have increased to combat this problem.
  • Some cities in Texas periodically host tire amnesty events where the public can dispose of old tires for free, however, this isn’t available to businesses or tire disposal operations.

Tire recycling Colorado

Colorado has implemented similar guidelines and regulations to Texas, but they have also adopted additional initiatives, including:

  • Tire Producer Responsibility: (EPR) programs for tire manufacturers and importers. These programs hold them responsible for the proper management and recycling of their products at the end of their life cycle.
  • Retailer Responsibility: Tire retailers in Colorado are often required to participate in tire recycling programs. They collect and properly dispose of used tires when customers purchase new ones, ensuring that the old tires are recycled or processed responsibly.

At Gradeall, we have delivered our high-performing tire recycling machinery to tire disposal operations across the U.S. states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, Utah, Los Angeles, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey.

International tire recycling equipment manufacturers

We have manufactured the best tire recycling machinery in the world, which is why we are regularly sought after by U.S. clients.

If you think your US tire recycling operation would benefit from industry-leading tire equipment, get in touch with the Gradeall team to discuss delivery options and machine specifications.

As international providers of waste management solutions, we also offer to send an expert engineer to commission the new equipment on your site. In addition to this, there are also lots of helpful resources including comprehensive instruction booklets and video guides for installation.

Check out these caste studies on the Tire Sidewall Cutter and the MK2 Tire baler that have both been delivered to international clients.

Tire Recycling UK

The U.K. approximately disposes of 55 million waste tires annually. This has led to a well-established process for tire recycling, with regulations and initiatives in place to ensure proper tire disposal and adherence to local regulations.

Tire disposal regulations UK

  • The key regulatory body responsible for waste management, including tires, is the Environment Agency (EA). The EA sets guidelines and monitors compliance with waste management regulations.
  • The UK operates under a producer responsibility system for tires. This places obligations on tire producers and importers to take responsibility for the collection, recycling, and recovery of used tires.
  • The majority of used tires in the UK are collected and sent for recycling. Various recycling methods are employed, including mechanical shredding, cryogenic freezing, and granulation.
  • The UK has strict regulations regarding the disposal of tires in landfills. Landfilling whole tires is prohibited, except in specific cases authorised by the EA.

Please note that specific details and regulations may change over time, so it’s recommended to consult the official website of the UK government, the Environment Agency, or other relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information on tire recycling practices in the UK.

Tire recycling fee UK

The tire recycling fee in the U.K. can range anywhere from £1.50 – £3. Although many local councils do not accept tires, or limit how many you are allowed to deposit.

UK tire recycling centre

At Gradeall, we have supplied our industry leading equipment to tire recycling centres throughout the U.K. and Ireland, including Scotland, Wales and England. We help them manage thousands of waste tires per week with innovative recycling machinery such as the Tire Baler Conveyor and the Inclined Tire Baler Conveyor.

If you would like to hear more about how our industry-leading equipment can support your operation, give us a call and we will help guide you with expert advice you can trust.

Tire Recycling Australia

Australia generates on average around 459,000 tonnes of waste tires annually. This has led to a significant focus on pursuing tire recycling alternatives to reduce waste and promote sustainable management practices.

Tire Stewardship Australia (TSA) is a non-profit industry-led organisation established to promote and improve the sustainable management of used tires. It operates the Tire Product Stewardship Scheme, which aims to increase tire recycling rates, reduce landfilling, and prevent illegal dumping.

Tire recycling regulations in Australia

Check out these tire regulations in Australia, although please note that they can vary depending on the region.

  • Tire recycling in Australia is governed by various federal, state, and territory regulations. The key regulatory body responsible for waste management, including tires, is the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment at the federal level.
  • Australia follows the waste hierarchy, which emphasises waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and recovery over landfill disposal.
  • Many Australian states and territories have also implemented bans on whole tire landfilling to reduce environmental impact and encourage recycling.

It’s important to note that specific details and regulations may vary across different Australian states and territories. For the most up-to-date and accurate information on tire recycling practices in Australia, it’s recommended to consult the relevant government agencies.

Tire recycling Dandenong

Dandenong, located in Victoria, Australia, is home to several tire recycling facilities and initiatives. There is a prominent tire collection service available, which offers a convenient way for individuals and businesses to dispose of their used tires properly and ensure they are recycled rather than being sent to landfills.

Tire recycling fee Australia

The tire recycling fee in Australia can range anywhere from $3 – $10 depending on the specific location it is disposed in, the type of tire and its current condition.

At Gradeall, we have delivered tire recycling machinery to clients based in Australia, helping them to streamline their waste management process without having to pay extortionate disposal fees to recycling centres.

Check out this case study of a MK2 tire baler that was recently dispatched to Australia, Melbourne.

International Distribution of Tire Recycling Machinery

At Gradeall, we are proud to be international distributors of tire recycling machinery. Check out these case studies of tire recycling equipment that we had previously delivered to operations based in Iceland, Spain and Italy.

As a leading supplier of this type of equipment, we also have a healthy stock of spare parts available, ensuring minimal downtime and direct contact with us, the manufacturer. We take great pride in contributing to the global effort of tire recycling. If you would like to hear more about how we can help your operation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

A Full Range of Tire Recycling Products

Whatever type of tires that your operation handles, we have designed and manufactured industry-leading tire recycling products to help manage and streamline the entire process. Our goal is to provide high-quality equipment that will enhance operational productivity and efficiency.

Gradeall tire recycling machinery can deal with anything from smaller passenger type vehicle tires, e.g.) Car Tire Sidewall Cutter to larger truck and lorry type tires, e.g.) Truck Tire Rim Separator.

We have even developed a range of tire recycling machinery that is capable of dealing with (OTR) Off-The-Road tires, including the OTR Tire Splitter, OTR Sidewall Cutter and OTR Shear. We manufacture machinery that meets your operational needs.

Tire recycling machine for sale, rent and lease

At Gradeall, we provide tire recycling machinery for sale, rent and lease. We aim to provide flexible solutions that benefit your operation as a long term investment. If you’re unsure of what equipment your operation needs, we recommend getting in touch with us to develop a solution that is bespoke and profitable for your tire recycling objectives.

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest Gradeall news by following our social media channels on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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