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How to Recycle Car Tyres

How to Recycle Car Tyres

There is no reason to ever see this - especially on a place like Fraser Island in Queensland where this pic was taken.

The retailer or service centre who sells and fits your new tyres will take and recycle your old tyres for you. Most council transfer stations will also take your car tyres, but will usually charge you a fee.

Companies like Tyrecycle collect old tyres from tyre retailers, take them away and recycle them.

If you have spare tyres around your property that you can’t use, take them to your local tyre retailer or check the location finder here for your local drop off point.

You might also choose to repurpose old tyres into DIY ponds or garden beds, mulch, animal feeders, or swing for the kids.

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Science Notes

A tyre is made up of around 1.5 kg of steel, 7 kg of rubber and 0.5 kg of textiles.

When tyres are recycled, they are firstly shredded into very small pieces of around 3 centimetres long.

The steel is then stripped out and separated for reuse. The rubber is then ground into various sizes, to be used in different ways like insulation, sound absorption, and drainage systems.

A different process reduces tyres to smaller pieces of rubber – it is ‘crumbed’ at very low temperatures to make playgrounds matting, indoor tiles and pavers, new tyres and moulded products. Some tyres are ground down even further into finer pieces and turned into spray-on sealants and waterproofing materials.

Recycling of tyres is improving in Australia, but has been slow, considering the size of the industry. Australia uses around 18 - 20 million tyres every year and only around one quarter of them are recycled.

Related Tip

Tyres are often commercially repurposed as a whole item to enjoy a new life as playground equipment, ponds, garden holders, swings, fenders for boats, furniture and sculptures – all kinds of things.