What’s one thing that cars, semi trucks, and buses all have in common? They all have tires that need to be regularly replaced. Instead of hauling your tires off to the landfill, you might be able to recycle used tires for cash. In addition to not filling up your local landfill as quickly, you also become a little richer.
Recycling used tires might not be a side hustle you’ve ever thought about before. Whether you’re only looking to sell the old tires from your personal vehicle or you want to launch a new business venture, these tips can help you take the first step to recycle used tires that you might currently pay to dispose of.
In This Article
- Who Can Recycle Used Tires?
- Where to Recycle Used Tires for Cash
- 1. Sell Locally on Craigslist
- 2. List Your Tires on a Specialized Tire Classified Site
- 3. Sell Used Tires to Your Local Tire Shop
- 4. Haul Away Used Tires from Local Tire Stores
- 5. Sell Your Tires to a Retread Facility
- 6. Visit a Tire Recycling Center
- 7. Recycle Used Tire Rims For Cash
- 8. Retread Your Old Tires
- 9. Create Arts and Crafts from Used Tires
- Is It Legal to Recycle Used Tires for Cash?
- What’s the Most Profitable Way to Recycle Used Tires for Cash?
- Does Every Tire Recycling Center Pay Cash for Used Tires?
- Can I Recycle Used Tire Rims for Cash?
- When is the Best Time to Recycle Used Tires?
- Can I Start My Own Tire Recycling Business?
- Can You Recycle Tires for Free?
Who Can Recycle Used Tires?
Anybody can recycle used tires but there are a few tidbits you must be aware of:
- Many states require a special license if you recycle at least five tires per year
- Every state charges a tire disposal fee
You will need to factor these two potential costs into your profit margins if you plan on recycling tires for others. If you only plan on recycling the tires from your own car, you don’t have to worry about getting a special permit.
You will also need a truck or trailer to haul the tires away because tires are heavy and bulky. To maximize your profit, you will need to haul as many as possible to earn the best recycling rate and to maximize your time.
Where to Recycle Used Tires for Cash
The classic slogan for recycling is “reduce, reuse, recycle.” As you will see, recycling used tires can take many different twists as turns for how they will be used in their next life.
Not every recycling option is taking the tires to a processing plant to be reshaped into a new product. If the tire still has sufficient tread or the rubber is still in good condition, another person can use the tire for their own vehicle!
1. Sell Locally on Craigslist
The easiest way for anybody to recycle used tires is to sell your tires locally on Craigslist and these Craigslist alternatives. Single tires can sell for between $30 and $75 each on Craigslist. If the tire is still installed on the metal rim, you might be able to earn more.
2. List Your Tires on a Specialized Tire Classified Site
You can also list your tires on a specialty site like Sell My Tires. This is a good option if the tires can still be safely used by the next buyer. You earn some extra cash and the buyer saves money, it’s a win-win solution for both parties! Listing your used tires on as many platforms possible also increases the chances of making a sell sooner instead of later.
3. Sell Used Tires to Your Local Tire Shop
If a tire store near you sells used tires, they might buy your used tires from you. The tires will still need to have sufficient tread life remaining. Because the tire shop still needs to make a profit, you probably won’t earn as much per tire as selling them yourself to a private buyer, but it’s still more money than you had before.
4. Haul Away Used Tires from Local Tire Stores
If you don’t have a collection of used tires already but have access to a truck or trailer, you can get paid to haul used tires away from local tire dealers. Tire shops can’t throw old tires away in the dumpster that their regular garbage goes into. They must either haul the tires to the landfill or hire somebody to do it for them. In most cases, it’s more cost-effective to hire somebody to recycle their used tires for them.
You can ask your local tire shop how much they currently pay to dispose of their unwanted tires. If you can haul them away for a more affordable rate, you can create a steady stream of recurring income.
If you plan on taking these tires to your local landfill, don’t forget you will have to pay a disposal fee for each tire. Municipal landfills charge these fees because they have to pay another company to haul the tires to a large-scale recycling center that individual sellers (like yourself) might not be able to access.
5. Sell Your Tires to a Retread Facility
This option is especially popular with truck tires used for 18-wheelers. The tire will still need to be repairable to make money from this option. If your tires meet the retread facility’s criteria, you’re in luck!
Some of the largest tire retread companies include:
In addition to these three companies, you can also find a local retread buyer using the Retread Tire Buyer’s Guide.
You can expect to get paid up to $40 per accepted tire. How much you get paid depends on the overall quality of the tire remaining. Some retread facilities might even accept non-repairable tires and pay you money.
6. Visit a Tire Recycling Center
Whether you have one tire or one hundred tires, your local tire recycling center is where you can take used tires to begin the recycling process. This is the best option for tires that are unusable because you’ll at least get paid for each tire still.
Liberty Tire Center is the largest tire recycling center in the United States, but you can also find a local tire recycling center by typing “tire recycling centers near me” into your favorite search engine to find more possibilities. Not every recycling center pays cash, so call ahead to find out if one of your local centers does.
7. Recycle Used Tire Rims For Cash
If your local tire recycling center doesn’t pay you to recycle used tires, don’t forget you can still make money by selling your used tire rims for cash. This is because you can still make money by recycling aluminum. If you don’t already know, aluminum is the most common metal used to manufacture tire rims.
8. Retread Your Old Tires
Although you probably won’t make money from this suggestion, you can save money by retreading your current tires. Retread tires are cheaper than buying new tires. If you own semi trucks or heavy equipment with tires that can be retreaded, this can be an easy way to reduce operating expenses and boost your bottom line.
After all, you not required to make as much money if you spend less each month. As Ben Franklin would say, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
9. Create Arts and Crafts from Used Tires
If you’re artistic, you might able to repurpose used automobile and bicycle tires for handmade arts and crafts. The options can be limitless as you can sell locally and online. For example, the Alchemy Goods Belltown wallet is made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes and is now best-selling minimalist wallet.
You can sell your creations locally or online. Maybe you’ve driven by someone’s house and seen a used tire used for lawn art or even a children’s tire swing. Maybe the person made the item themselves, or they bought it from an artisan like yourself.
These are some of the most common questions about recycling used tires for cash.
Is It Legal to Recycle Used Tires for Cash?
Yes, but you should check your local regulations to see if you must acquire a business license or special permits to recycle used tires. You probably won’t need a license if you only sell five or less tires per year as many households might replace their tires once per year.
Obviously, you won’t want to recycle any tires you know or believe to be stolen. The same thing can be said for tires that have been illegally disposed of by companies that dump tires on vacant land instead of paying to have them properly disposed of.
What’s the Most Profitable Way to Recycle Used Tires for Cash?
The most profitable way to recycle used tires depends on several variables:
- Where you live
- Quality of the tires you can recycle
- Local demand for used tires
You will make the most money if you have tires that can be repaired or used “as is.” These are tires that the buyer can install on their own vehicle or can be easily repaired.
This is because there’s usually a large supply of old tires that are beyond repair. After all, most people wait to replace their car tires after the vehicle tires have reached their usable service life.
This means the next destination for most used tires is a recycling center where the tires will be shred and made into a new product or burnt to produce energy for an industrial facility.
Does Every Tire Recycling Center Pay Cash for Used Tires?
No. In fact, you may have to pay the tire recycling center to recycle your used tires. If this is the case and your disposing used tires for other companies, make sure you include the disposal fees into your recycling rate so you make money for your effort.
Can I Recycle Used Tire Rims for Cash?
In addition to making money by recycling your used tires, recycling the tire rims is another income stream. If the recycling center doesn’t pay you for the rim, consider removing the tire from the rim and selling each item separately. Scrap metal facilities pay the most cash for recycled tire rims.
If the rim is a specialty product and the market value is higher than the scrap value, take the time to sell the rims on Craigslist, eBay, or LetGo. You’ll make more money and you help protect the environment because the buyer doesn’t have to buy a brand new item.
When is the Best Time to Recycle Used Tires?
Like any recyclable commodity, supply and demand are cyclical. This means cash rates are higher in certain months of the year than others. If you have the storage space to hold the tires until you can earn more per tire, you might decide to wait instead of recycling them by the truckload.
Rates can vary more for recapped tires. In general, August and September are the two highest-paying months if you want to sell your tires to a recapping facility. This is because the vendors begin building up their winter inventory during the late summer and early fall months before the first snow arrives.
Can I Start My Own Tire Recycling Business?
Anybody can start their own tire recycling business. It’s a great side hustle opportunity if you own a truck or have a warehouse to store used tires until you have enough to make the trip to a recycling center worth the drive. If you already have experience with getting paid cash for recycling old car batteries or used appliances, you may already have connections to start recycling used tires for cash.
It’s possible to make $100 a day by recycling tires if you have a steady supply of good, used tires.
As long as people continue driving vehicles with rubber tires, there will always be a need to recycle used tires. For many tire dealers and garages, it’s not worth their energy to dispose of the tires with their own staff. Instead, they pay people–including savvy entrepreneurs like yourself–to recycle the tires for them.
Can You Recycle Tires for Free?
In many cases, you or somebody else has to pay a fee to recycle tires. This disposal fee is a state-mandated fee that funds the tire recycling process for local and state governments. Even if you pay the disposal fee, make sure you pass the fee onto the garage or landfill you are recycling the tires for. This way, you will still earn a profit for your effort.
Most people don’t think you can recycle used tires for cash. Recycling used tires in usable condition or can be recapped make the most money. Regardless of how many tires you plan on recycling at once, explore all of these options to make the most money per tire.