How to Safely Dispose of Tyres in the UK

Picture this: you’ve just replaced your old tyres with a shiny new set, but now you’re faced with the question of what to do with the old ones. You’ve heard about the environmental impact of improper tyre disposal, but where should you start? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of how to safely dispose of tyres in the UK, keeping both the environment and legal requirements in mind.

Short Summary

  • Be aware of when to replace tyres, as they typically have a lifespan of no more than ten years.
  • Legal methods for tyre disposal in the UK include repurposing and recycling through licensed facilities.
  • Adhere to legal requirements and sustainability guidelines for eco-friendly tyre disposal with potential fees or free services depending on local regulations.

Knowing When to Replace Your Tyres

First and foremost, it’s essential to know when it’s time to replace your tires. The lifespan of a tire is typically no more than ten years, but there are other factors to consider as well. For instance, it’s crucial to remember that in the UK, tread depth below 1.6mm can result in charges. To avoid any legal trouble, you can use the 20p test – a simple method of assessing tire tread depth by utilizing the rim of a 20p coin.

Aside from general wear and tear, infrequent use or improper storage of tires can also cause cracks. If you notice cuts, scrapes, excessive wear, punctures, or any other signs of irreparable damage, it’s time to replace your tyres with new tyres and dispose of the old ones responsibly. After all, ensuring your tyres are in good condition is not only a legal requirement, but also a matter of safety for you and other road users.

Tyre Disposal Options in the UK

Tyres disposal

When it comes to disposing of unwanted tyres, especially old tyres, there are several options available in the UK, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The key is to avoid illegal landfill dumping, which can have serious environmental and legal consequences.

In the following subsections, we’ll explore various methods for disposing of car tyres, ranging from repurposing them for DIY projects to recycling through licensed facilities.

Repurposing Old Tyres

One creative and eco-friendly way to dispose of old tyres is to recycle tyres by repurposing them for DIY projects. Rubber is both resilient and pliable, making it a fantastic option for various do-it-yourself endeavors. You can transform your scrap tyres into something new and useful, such as furniture, garden pots, or even swings made from recycled tyres.

For instance, you can give your garden a unique touch by using old tires as planters or decorations. Paint them in vibrant colours to create a visually appealing feature in your garden, deck, patio, or porch. The possibilities are endless, and repurposing old tyres not only saves them from landfill sites, but also adds a personal touch to your home or garden.

Tyre Dealers and Garages

Another option for disposing of your old tires is to rely on tyre dealers or garages. These establishments often provide tyre recycling services, collecting and recycling your old tyres when you purchase new ones. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the tire dealers and garages you use are licensed waste carriers.

Companies like Kwik Fit, for example, recycle old tyres, including end of life tyres, when customers acquire new ones. If the tire dealer or garage you’re working with does not have a recycling program in place, you may contact a certified waste carrier to arrange for disposal.

Recycling Centres

Recycling centres are another environmentally friendly way to dispose of old car tires. These centres often accept tyres for recycling, but it’s essential to adhere to specific guidelines and fees depending on the location. For example, Kent’s tire recycling scheme only permits a maximum of five tyres to be deposited per visit and accepts car and motorcycle tyres only.

Before disposing of your tires at a local recycling centre, it’s a good idea to contact your local council to obtain all relevant information regarding their rules and charges. Keep in mind that some recycling centres may have restrictions on the types of tires they will accept, and fees may apply for the recycling service.

Donating Used Tyres

Donating used tires is another way to contribute both to charity and environmental responsibility. Institutions such as schools, parks, outdoor centres, animal sanctuaries, and zoos may accept used tires for reuse and repurposing. For example, old tires can be used as playground apparatus or obstacles for children to engage with.

Old tyres can be used for animal enrichment in zoos and animal sanctuaries. They can be hung up as swings to keep the animals entertained. By donating your used tires, you’re not only disposing of them responsibly, but also providing valuable resources to organizations that can put them to good use.

Costs and Free Tyre Disposal Services

When it comes to tire disposal, costs can vary. The cost of tyre disposal services is usually very low. Generally, it costs somewhere between £5 and £10. However, you might be able to find free tyre disposal services by inquiring with your local council or searching online for “free tyre disposal near me”.

It’s important to note that every council may have distinct regulations and fees for tyre disposal. To ensure you’re fully informed and prepared, make sure to acquire all relevant information regarding the rules and charges for disposing of your tires at a local recycling centre.

The Tyre Recycling Process

Now that we’ve discussed various ways to dispose of your old tyres, let’s take a closer look at the tyre recycling process itself. Recycling tyres involves separating and disintegrating the rubber, which is then utilized for alternative purposes such as carpet underlay, sports tracks, and roof tiles.

The process of separating and disintegrating rubber begins with shredding and grinding the rubber from tyres, resulting in a new material known as crumb. This rubber crumb can be used for a variety of applications, including the production of moulded rubber components or other repurposing processes. Examples of repurposing processes include the fabrication of rubber mats, the development of playground surfaces, and the production of rubber mulch.

Environmental Impact and Legal Requirements

The environmental impact of tire disposal is an important consideration. Improper disposal of used tires can have serious consequences, as they often end up on roadsides or in fly-tipping sites. Disposing of old tyres in landfill sites can occupy a substantial amount of space and lead to the propagation of contaminants, thus polluting surface and groundwater.

In the United Kingdom, both businesses and private households are obliged to adhere to the waste tyre regulations in the disposal of their tires. Drivers and tire companies, such as Continental, have been assuming greater responsibility for the sustainable disposal of tires.

By following the guidelines and recommendations outlined in this blog post, you can contribute to a cleaner environment and adhere to the legal requirements in the UK.


In conclusion, responsible tyre disposal is crucial for both the environment and legal compliance. By exploring various options such as repurposing, recycling through licensed facilities, or donating your used tyres, you can ensure that your old tyres are disposed of in an eco-friendly and responsible manner. By doing so, you’re not only contributing to a cleaner environment, but also setting a positive example for others to follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Halfords take old tyres?

Yes, Halfords offers a service to dispose of old tyres for you. They also have a wide range of tire brands and all prices include fitting.

How much does it cost to dispose of tyres UK?

The cost of disposing tyres in the UK may vary depending on the local council. Generally, a nominal fee of around £3 per tyre is charged.

It is best to check with your local council for their policy and any recommended disposal methods.

How should used tyres be disposed?

It is best to have your used tires disposed of by a certified waste management and disposal company as they have the dedicated facility to ensure proper disposal in a legally compliant and environmentally sound manner. If you change them at home, tire companies may be able to dispose of your tires for a small charge.

Unwanted tires can also be taken to Recycling Centres.

How can I tell when it’s time to replace my tyres?

To ensure your tyres are safe, check them regularly for wear and tear, punctures, cracks, and tread depth to ensure they meet legal requirements.

If you find any of these issues, it’s time to replace your tires.

What are some creative ways to repurpose old tyres?

Old tires can be repurposed into useful items such as furniture, garden decorations and planters, giving them a new lease of life.

These items can be used to add a unique touch to any garden, and can be made to fit any style. They are also a great way to reduce waste and help the environment.

Creating these items is a process.