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How to Get Rid of Old Tires

Typically when you purchase a new set of tires, you’ll see a small fee to recycle your old set of tires. However, for one reason or another, you may find yourself in possession of an old tire or two. If it sounds like a good idea to burn those old tires to get rid of them, think again.

Doing so can get you a fine upwards of $25,000 in some places. So how do you get rid of old tires? Let’s see!

How Old Is Considered Old For a Tire?

Typically anytime you have a tire over six years old, it’s time to replace it. While some higher-quality tires can last closer to 10 years, it’s important to note that rubber deteriorates with time.

The rubber compounds weaken as a vehicle travels down the highway for thousands of miles. This can result in an uncomfortable ride in a vehicle and be dangerous. A tire failure or a blowout while driving can create a dire situation. However, age isn’t the only important factor to consider.

Pro Tip: Is it time for new tires? You might be wondering Should You Replace All Your Tires at the Same Time? We uncovered the answer.

How Can I Tell if My Tires Are Too Old? 

While most auto manufacturers recommend replacing tires once they’re six years old, their tread level is also a factor. Tires typically come with a life expectancy in terms of mileage. This range can be anywhere from 30,000 miles to over 50,000 miles. Depending on where and how you drive, you’re likely to notice the tire’s tread wearing away over time.

Most tire shops have tools that can accurately measure the tread depth. However, you can test your tread depth at home using nothing but a penny. You’ll want to place the penny between the grooves in the tread, with President Lincoln’s head facing downward and his epic beard facing the sky.

If you can see Honest Abe’s entire head, it’s time for a trip to the tire shop. Anything from his nose down means you’re nearing the end of your tire’s life.

Old tires in junk yard
Replace your tires every six years.

How to Get Rid of Old Tires

There aren’t many options when it comes to getting rid of old tires. As we said earlier, incorrectly disposing of old tires can result in a hefty fine. You don’t want to get a massive fine trying to save a few bucks. So make sure you’re disposing of them responsibly and appropriately!

Disposal Center

There’s a pretty solid chance that your local city or county has a disposal center in the area. These disposal centers typically charge a small collection fee per tire to ensure they’re disposed of safely and adequately.

It’s a good idea to reach out to your local waste center and see if they can provide you with any information for your nearest tire disposal center.

Old vehicle with old tires laid next to it.
Disposal centers and tire shops can take your old tires.

Tire Shop

Even if you’re not purchasing your tires from a local tire shop, you can typically drop off your tires there. The local tire shop will likely still charge you the standard disposal fee, but it can be much more convenient to drop them off than hunt down a disposal center.

Before you waste your time and a trip, it’s best to call and make sure the shop will accept your old tires. Because all tire shops are different, they may have individual policies that prohibit them from taking tires not purchased from their shop.

DIY Projects

Another option for getting rid of old tires is to get your creative juices flowing. There are practically infinite possibilities for what you can do with old tires. We found one Pinterest board with hundreds of possibilities! Everything from playground equipment to yard decorations is possible with a little bit of ingenuity and paint.

Depending on how many tires you’re dealing with, you could create something unique that you’re able to sell. So instead of paying for them to be processed, you could have people paying you for your creation. Who doesn’t love turning trash into money?

Pro Tip: We took a closer look at how to prevent wear and tear by regularly rotating your RV tires.

Pile of old tires
Let your creative side shine with some tire DIY projects.

How Long Can Tires Sit Unused?

How and where you store a tire will significantly determine how long it can sit. If you’re storing a tire indoors in a climate-controlled space, they’re likely to be good for six to 10 years.

However, leaving them in the sun or an area with very high or very low humidity will cause the rubber compounds to deteriorate quickly. Tires exposed to the elements will have a much shorter lifespan and be a risk on the road.

Are Old Tires Worth Anything?

It may not be a good idea to trust old tires on a vehicle or trailer, but there are ways to bring new life to old tires. That pile of old tires doesn’t have to be an eyesore, but you can turn it into something new and exciting. If you get creative enough, there’s potential you can make a few bucks off your creation too. 

What unique creations have you seen used for recycling old tires? Tell us in the comments!

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