FAQs About Recycling Tires

Why do we encourage tire recycling?

  • Used tires often end up being illegally dumped and become an eyesore, which encourages additional dumping.
  • Tires are banned from many landfills.
  • Disease-carrying pests such as rodents can inhabit tire piles.
  • Mosquitoes also breed in the stagnant water that collects inside tires. Several varieties of mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases, including encephalitis (caused by the West Nile Virus) and dengue fever.
  • Tire fires can result in air pollution and in oily runoff that can contaminate soil, surface water, and ground-water. The oily material is also highly flammable. Tire fires result in thick smoke throughout the surrounding area which can contain pollutants harmful to human health including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, styrene, phenols, and butadiene. Tire fires also threaten nearby water supplies with harmful contaminants such as lead and arsenic contained in the oily runoff.

What happens to the tires I bring to local special tire collections?

  • Lawrence County has partnered with Tri-County CleanWays, a local charitable organization, on tire recycling programs since 1997. This program has been expanded into Butler and Mercer counties as well.
  • The tire collection program is registered and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).
  • The tires are collected and hauled by Liberty Tire and taken to their facility in Minerva, OH where they will be recycled into crumb rubber. The crumb rubber will ultimately be used for many applications such as molded rubber goods, civil engineering projects, athletic fields, and landscape projects.
  • More information about tire management in Pennsylvania can be found by visiting the PADEP website at: www.dep.state.pa.us and typing in the keyword: “tires.”

Why is there a cost to recycle tires?

  • All waste and recycling programs have costs associated with them. Tire programs are no exception.
  • The CleanWays fee structure is set up to cover approximately half of the cost of the program. PADEP and grant funds make up the other half of the costs. If a profit is realized, it is used as seed money for the next program.
  • Costs could be higher. Fortunately, communities realize the need for this type of service and work together with us to help keep the costs as low as possible. Many of our municipalities and organizations have helped spread the word about the event saving valuable advertising money.  And finally, volunteers significantly reduce the cost by eliminating the need for paid contractor staff.

Tire Recycling Options

  • We recommend always recycling your old tires when you get new tires for your vehicles. Most tire dealers offer this service.
  • You don’t have to wait for a special collection day to recycle your tires. A few tire dealers will accept tires from the public. Remember that fees will apply as tire recycling does have a cost to it. Most dealers will limit the number of tires you can bring in to around 10-12 tires. Check with your tire dealer or contact the Recycling/Solid Waste Department for dealers accepting tires.
  • Frequently check our calendar of events page for special tire collection programs in our area.