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Money Maker: Recycle Tires for Cash

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In the past, I have written about the many ways you can actually make money recycling.  Yes, not only can you help the environment, but there are a lot of local businesses that will pay you in doing so.

According to EPA, close to 300 million tires are thrown away in the United States.

In today’s post, I wanted to talk about the many ways you can actually make money recycling tires.  From your car tires or even maybe one you often find on the side of the road, some of these tires actually have value.  Since tires need to be disposed of in a unique way, you actually may find people who willing to hand them over for free.

As always, while you won’t get rich, it’s yet one of the many ways you can make a few bucks on the side in life.

Let’s get started…

How to Recycle Tires for Cash

First, Consider Creating a Business

Before I even jump in as to how you can make money recycling tires, I first want to advise you that you should actually consider creating a business as well as look into the local legalities as to how you can store these tires when you do pick them up.

Since every state has its own rules and regulations, it’s important to be certain that you’re following the law to avoid any hefty fines.  And since there’s a good chance you’re going to store your tires while looking to sell them, you want to make sure that you’re following the local laws to know your limitations.  I just recommend you search a little more extensively to see what your state allows.

Not only do you not want to break the laws, but you will also want to make sure that you create an LLC.  That way, you can protect your private assets, look professional to those you work with and simply make it easier to keep track of finances.  Creating an LLC is extremely simple, but if you need help, you can either hire someone at LegalZoom, an very cost effective attorney service or even do it on your own via  Again, highly recommended in this regard.

And, creating an LLC isn’t as expensive as you think as doing it on your own can often cost less than $100~.

Whichever path you choose, money can be made, but I just wanted to recommend this point to make yourself appear more professional to maximize your earnings.

With that out of the way, let’s jump into the ways you can make money recycling tires…

Network with Local Businesses

One of the best ways to start making money recycling tires for cash is simply by networking with your community.  From local auto body shops to mechanics, you may be surprised as to how many of these businesses will actually hand over the tires they are looking to recycle.

Since most recycling centers charge upwards of $10 per tire to properly dispose of them, this is where you can come in and undercut your competition to haul them away.  In many cases, not only can you make a few dollars picking up these tires, but you can make even more money when you build your tire inventory.

So, you’re probably wondering, “How the heck do I make money with tires a shop doesn’t want?”


Find a Local Recycling Center

If you want to turn this into a very lucrative side gig, networking with your local businesses are almost always the way, however, regardless of how you can come across a tire, money can be made.  You just need to know which recycling center in your area is looking to buy or recycle your tires for a small fee.

To find these centers, I highly recommend a few search aggregators such as Recycler’s World, Recycle Nation, Earth911 or even searching for “recycle tires near me” via Google and/or Bing.  There are a lot of resources so it won’t be too hard to find something.

Generally, these methods will almost always spit out a few results, but of course, it will depend on where you live.  As with anything, a major city may have a handful of recycling centers whereas someone in a rural area may need to travel two hours to one.

Scroll through the listings, look at the reviews and then even call one to ensure that they are paying for tires before you waste your gas.  In many cases, you should expect a few dollars per tire.

As a note, do keep in mind that it can be very hard to find a center offering money, so instead, just make sure your pickup fee offsets the recycling fees.  It’s also wise to know that depending on the state you live in, you may be limited to how many tires you can dispose of at a time and anything more than the maximum amount could require a special hauler’s license.

Find a Retread Facility

A retread facility a pinch different than a recycling center as they are often looking for a tire that still has some tread left.

If you feel the tire is still in great shape, then these facilities will often pay you, sometimes as much as $40+.  Just inspect the tire closely to ensure there’s some threading left and no cracks, etc are noticeable.

As long as the tire is in great shape, this is one of the better options to consider if you want a hands-off approach.

To find a retreading facility, this buyer’s guide via is pretty handy.

Sell Them Personally

A lot of the times, the tires you find can often be in great shape and can still be used for another 10,000+ miles or so.  In some cases, some people often want to replace all four of their tires at once, often leaving a relatively new replacement behind.  This is your best option if you don’t mind dealing with the public.

To sell them, you can either consider selling directly to the tire shop if you find the tires elsewhere or if you so choose, you can sell them on your own online.

This can often be done either via a simple Craiglist ad, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or you could even consider setting up your own business website and using SEO strategies to rank locally.  There are a lot of places to sell just about anything, yes, including tires.

Generally, as long as the tires are puncture-free, in decent shape and have a good enough thread on it, you could make a lot more than recycling.  How much you make will really depend on the type of tire you’re looking to sell.

Granted, you won’t find these good tires as a tire shop will often want to flip for profit, but this isn’t always the case.  Again, reach out to local businesses to see who wants to work with you and what kind of tires you get.

Be Creative

Look on Pinterest and you will find many ways to turn an older tire into a treasure.

From creating a tire swing to even shredding it into rubber mulch, you could easily recycle tires and turn it into something up.

It’s really up to you decide if there’s a market as they all vary, but let it be known that you can make a lot more than just picking up tires and dropping them off.   It’s going to require more work, but hey, it could be worth your time depending on your local market demand.

Aside from Pinterest, Instructables has quite a few how-to guides as well that can help you brainstorm what you could turn your tires into.

Don’t Forget the Rims!

If the tires still have the rims intact, which usually isn’t the case, you can take them to a scrap yard as most rims are made of aluminum.

To learn more about how you can make money with anything aluminum, be sure to check out my how to make money recycling aluminum post.

However, if the rims are still in great shape, then you may be able to market them on eBay, etc to make even more.

Final Thoughts

Recycling tires can make you some money, but as mentioned in the beginning, don’t expect to make a lot in doing so.  The price really depends on the quality, the demand, where you live and the type of tire you’re selling.

While your money is often found in re-selling tires, it’s hard to actually find these types unless you have your own tire shop or you’re replacing tires for others.

Unless you want to create your own business, buy a truck and recycle older tires for some cash, it’s really not worth the effort.  Don’t forget about the store, either.

However, if you feel you can network with the local community and really feel you could turn it into a part-time or even full-time venture, then I’m not stopping you!  As always, I try to include the many ways to make money in life, whether it’s a few bucks or even thousands.

If you have the equipment already and a larger truck and the space to store everything, then at least brainstorm a gameplan.  Even without the equipment, you could always resort to plan B and be creative in making something.  It could be a great way to burn some time.

Other than that, you will find it’s quite pricy to get started only to make a few dollars per load.  Plus, there may come a time when you have a hard time unloading specific tires and may have to pay a local center to get rid of them.

As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below.  Have you recycled tires before for cash?  Is it worth it?  Let me know!

In the meantime, consider recycling tires for money as one of the many ways to make some cash in life.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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