Tire Recycling

Did you know? In New York State, an estimated 18-20 million tires are disposed of each year (approximately one tire-per-person-per-year).[1]

With so many tires being disposed of on an annual basis, New York State is left with the challenge of figuring out what to do with them. And since recycling hasn’t been much of an option over the years, a number of waste tire stockpiles have appeared across the State. In fact, an assessment of each known noncompliant waste tire stockpile was conducted between August 2003 and May 2004, which identified approximately 95 locations, containing an estimated 29 million tires.[2]

Although it may be the most cost-effective means of dealing with tires, stockpiling can pose a serious threat to the environment. Due to their ability to catch on fire, tires can pollute the air, soil, and water. And once ignited, tire fires are extremely difficult to extinguish often resulting in extensive damage to the surrounding environment.

To ensure the proper management of waste tires in New York State and to establish a waste tire stockpile abatement plan, New York enacted the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act of 2003. Among other things, the Act prohibits land burial of waste tires, requires noncompliant waste tire stockpiles to cooperate with remedial measures necessary for abatement, and mandates tire service centers to accept used tires from customers in exchange for a recycling fee.[3]

In FY2012, LIU Post recycled 5,820 pounds of tires. Collected by our staff at Facilities Services, the tires at LIU Post are stored separately in their own 30-yard container, where they are later picked up on an as-needed basis by our waste hauler, Jamaica Ash. Once picked up, the tires are brought to a facility where they are shredded to be used as mulch, protective bedding for playgrounds, and protection for buried gas lines.

Tires often serve many other purposes as well, so recycling them makes sense. In fact, the 3 largest scrap tire markets are tire-derived fuel, civil engineering applications, and ground rubber applications. In total, over 75% of scrap tires are recycled or are beneficially used for fuel or other applications.[4]

Waste tires are slowly becoming a very important commodity and recycling them has provided a variety of new uses for what was once considered useless. LIU Post is committed to making sure that all of its tires get recycled because when we recycle tires, we keep the process going round and round just as if they were still on a vehicle.

To learn more about the tire recycling process, please enjoy this video sponsored by the EPA.


[1] From the New York State DEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8792.html

[2] According to a study done by the NYSDEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8792.html

[3] Title 19 – Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8792.html

[4] According to a 2003 study by the Rubber Manufacturers Association http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/tires/basic.htm

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