What do you do with your old tyres?

What does everyone do with their old bike tyres? Rather than just put them in landfill, are there recycling services or businesses out there that re-purpose them?

With quite a bit of chat from the CT team of late about being more environmentally friendly with bike related products & manufacturing etc, is this something that can be addressed?

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My LBS always asks if they can have mine.

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I tend to squirrel them away in the garage somewhere for a year or two in the vain hope that I’ll find some way to recycle or reuse them before finally surrendering to the inevitable and tossing them in the trash before beginning the cycle again anew the next time I change a tire. :man_shrugging:


Haha - yep, me too!

My local MEC shop recycles them


Follow up question: What do LBSs do with discarded tires?

Or more specifically: Is it a burden they take to provide great customer service or behave in a responsible way (which would be great) or is there some financial value (which would be great as well) ?

Edit: the first option would be great only if they’ve found a way to recycle them instead of having them thrown away for you, of course.

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There’s a specific section in the council tip (Bolton, England) for tyres - anything from aeroplane tyres to kids’ bike tyres seems to go in there. I’d like to think they’re then recycled :thinking:

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FWIW tyres are normally part of the recycling trap I’ve mentioned before: there is no market for the product therefore it’s not commercially viable to produce it.

Many governments have responded to this by mandating a tyre disposal fee that is supposedly then used to generate a market for the byproduct by paying people to take it. The window dressing is the re-use of shredded tyre for things like playground surfaces but if you consider that in the West we produce an average of a dead car tyre per person per annum that’s a lot of kid’s playgrounds and we just don’t have that many kids.

Of course in a country that is run by the mates of dodgy property developers, the tyre bounty has devolved into a $300 million dollar a year scam for the well connected: take the money, dump the waste and run. Witness the tyre dump near Stawell; it is estimated that if it ever went up Stawell would be uninhabitable.


One bright point is a mob in NSW called GDTC who have worked out a way of turning butyl rubber back into the petrochemicals from which it was made, which then become a feedstock for other syntheses. Tyre Recycling in Australia - GDTC

I do not know whether they accept bike tyres but maybe if we clubbed together we could convince them to. I personally would be happy to pay a few dollars to ensure my dead tyres didn’t go to landfill.

IMO this is the sort of thing we as a community might be able to make happen.




:confused: about sums it up

My local council (Yarra, in Melbourne) accepts bike tyres and inner tubes at their recycling dropoff depo that are processed by TyreCycle https://tyrecycle.com.au/


Exactly what I do, usually after having cut a couple of boots out of them.

A few hang round as ‘just-about-useable-in-some-as-yet -inconceivable-emergency’ spares.

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I noticed a kid on the weekend that had a segment of an old tyre zip tied to the bottom of his downtube on my MTB - it looked pretty trick!

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After 30 years I have quite a collection of dusty old tyres hanging under the house all in various states of decay. Sometimes I think that I will look through them and use one or two. I did however use one for a shoulder strap for my brush cutter which is effective. I have also seen old tyres used as frames for pictures.

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I use inner tubes as a rubber damper/pressure divider when attaching a bell/child seat or other parts onto our bikes to protect the frame or prevent rattling. Sometimes I use it in the house for the same purpose.

Schwalbe recycles tubes: Schlauchrecycling - Schwalbe Professional Bike Tires
Just found out Schwalbe also “recycles” old outers: German pyrolysis operator to recycle Schwalbe’s end-of-life bicycle tires | Weibold – Tire Recycling & Pyrolysis Consulting

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Sometimes I give them to the kids to play with first. While we used inner tubes, latex ones made great material for slings.

Otherwise, landfill. Nobody recycles then around here. Think of it as carbon capture :wink:

I cut them up and use them to protect my frame when traveling

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I just toss them into the springs. I give them a home where the manatee roam and never look back.