How To Cut Tires for Disposal

Do you have a used tire and don't know what to do with it? Believe it or not, tires can be recycled and used in a variety of ways. But before they can get recycled, reused, or properly disposed of, they need some preparation. One way to do so is by cutting them up. We did some research and here's what we found out.

When you have a tire that you need to discard, the best way to do it is by cutting it up into small pieces. You can either quarter the tire, or cut it out circumferentially before putting it in a landfill. In order to do this, you need some cutting tools and equipment.

Cutting tires for disposal makes it much easier to transport and it will take up less space. In this blog post, we will show you how to cut tires for disposal in a safe and effective manner. And, we'll answer related questions. Keep reading to learn more!

Mechanic Preparing the Nail Hole in a Punctured Tire by Cutting the Injection Moulding before Putting in the Crude Rubber Filler - How To Cut Tires for Disposal

How To Cut Tires

Tire cutting is breaking down a tire into smaller pieces for easier transportation and processing. With the right tools and some careful planning, cutting tires for disposal is a breeze.

Things You Need to Prepare:

  • Sharp Knife or Blade
  • Retractable Box Cutter
  • Hacksaw
  • Sturdy Pair of Scissors
  • Gloves
  • Dowels

Safety Precautions When Cutting a Tire

When cutting a tire, safety is essential. Here are some precautions you should take before and during the process:

  • Always wear protection when cutting and handling tires. This includes thick gloves and face coverings.
  • Make sure the blade you are using is sharp. A dull blade can cause slips and accidents.
  • Cut tires in a well-ventilated area. If it's possible, work in the open outside. If not, keep all the windows open in your work area. Cutting tires can produce burning rubber fumes and foul odors.
  • Keep a nearby first-aid kit nearby in case of wounds and other accidents. 

Now that you know what safety precautions to take, let's move on to the tire cutting process.

But one last reminder. Cutting tires may look easy, but it is a difficult task that requires strength and focus to avoid accidents and mishaps.

Cutting Your Old Tires

mechanic is repairing truck wheels

1. Remove Valve Stems or Caps

This is the first step prior to the actual cutting part. Make sure that there are no valve stems or caps left on the tire.

2. Remove the Sidewall

  • Use a sharp knife to puncture the sidewall close to the tread. Insert the tip of the blade an inch into the smooth surface of the rubber. 
  • Don't get too close to the tread because this may reinforce the steel belts and will make cutting even harder. Cutting directly through the steel belt will make your efforts futile. It may hurt your hand or damage your cutting materials. 
  • Use a sawing motion to cut along the outside of the tread. 
  • Place dowels in between the cuts to make cutting easier and give you more room to wiggle as you progress.
  • Once you finish cutting, remove the sidewall.

3. Cut Tires Into Smaller Pieces

  • Before getting to work straight away, double-check your work space. Ensure that your tire is secure.
  • Prepare your saw and make sure that its blade can cut through metal. Tires often contain steel belts to keep them steady.
  • Note that cutting tires will require strength and energy, so brace yourself.
  • Depending on your preference, you can cut your tires circumferentially or quarterly before cutting them into even smaller pieces.

4. Tidy Up Your Workspace 

  • After you finish cutting, it's time to clean your workspace. 
  • Collect your cut tires into one container before you discard or recycle them. 

5. Dispose or Recycle Your Cut Tire

  • The last step is to dispose of the tire properly. You can take it to a recycling center or a tire disposal facility.
  • You may also opt to recycle your cut tires for home projects.

Where Can You Take Tires for Disposal

Once cut, you can take tires to the following for proper disposal and recycling:

Aerial view of old tires. Many car and truck tires on dump site from above. Aerial view.

  • Auto shops
  • Dumps or landfills that accept used tires
  • Tire retail stores
  • Facilities that specialize in recycling tires 

How Can I Recycle Tires?

If you don't want to cut up your old tires, you can always recycle them or use them for other house projects. 

Here are some reasons recycling tires is important:

  • Reduces environmental pollution
  • Conserves energy and resources
  • Keeps old tires out of landfills

Recycling Projects For Your Old Tires

You can recycle or repurpose old tires in different ways. We've listed some of them:

Whole Tires and Half Tires Projects

There are many ways you can use whole tires for your home:

1. DIY Tire Swings

Tire and rope hanging from an old oak tree. Brill Hill, Buckinghamshire countryside. Heritage site and popular tourist attraction location.

Here's how you can turn your old tire into a swing for your kids, or even for yourself. 

  1. Find and pick the correct tree. 
  2. Clean your tire and drill some drainage holes in it. Also, make sure that there are no protruding metal parts from the old tire. 
  3. Using the correct size of rope, tie a double bowline knot around your tire. 
  4. Hang your rope on a sturdy branch, then suspend your tire.
2. Planter Tires

A tractor tire used as a flowerbed leaned up against a red barn.

Position your tire where you want it in your yard or maybe even inside your house. Then fill it with some stones and soil, and you have a brand new planter.

3. Tire Dog Bed

animal portrait - horizontal photogarphy of a brown Africanis dog with white muzzle and black nose, lying on a blanket on top of a tire, by a brick wall on a sand

Get creative with an old tire by spray painting it, then letting it dry. Put some old blankets to make your pet comfortable in its new tire bed.

4. Garden Stairs 

Stairs made of tires and rocks.

If you have enough tires, you can use them to create a garden project. Arrange the tires to add some height and levels in your yard.

4. Pavements or Driveways

three car tires stacked on top of each other on an empty track race track, no one, pandemic empty tracks

Old tires can give your driveways and pavements a new look and can even save you money! It might take you some time to do it, but it will be worth it in the end.

5. Outdoor Trashbag

First, stack 2 to 3 tires together. Then, place a trash bag inside the stack to contain your garbage. 

Rubber Scrap

If you're creative and resourceful enough, you can do the following projects with your rubber scraps. You'll just need a few other materials.

Indoor and Outdoor Flooring

Cut the tires into shapes that you like. With a little preparation and glue, you'll end up with brand new floors made from your old tires.


Outdoor flowerpot cut from a car tire.

Do you have a knack for arts and creativity? You can also turn your old tires into a masterpiece!

Mulch for Your Garden

Have your tires shredded into smaller pieces. Lay them in your garden area where desired. 

We can recycle tires in more than several ways. They are useful as new tires, playground surfaces, and even furniture. So, the next time you have an old tire that needs discarding, remember that recycling is the best option!


Why You Shouldn't Burn Old Tires

Thick black smoke released from burning tires can stay in the air for long periods of time. This contributes to global warming, so avoid burning tires. 

Small particles inhaled from burned tires are also dangerous to your health. They can lead to asthma attacks, acute respiratory symptoms, and put children, elderly adults, and pregnant women at risk. 

How Long Does It Take for Tires to Decompose

It can take anywhere from 50 to 80 years for a tire to decompose. But the fact is, it will take almost 2000 years for tires to revert back to nature. Therefore, it's so important to recycle or dispose of tires properly. 

How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

Depending on how often you drive and the type of roads you travel on will impact how often you need to change your tires. Typically, you'll change your car's tires every 3 to 5 years.

Final Thoughts

Cutting tires for disposal is a safe and effective way to recycle or dispose of used tires. Ensure that you properly prepare tires for recycling and disposal by following the steps above. Thanks for reading!

We hope this blog post was helpful! Feel free to share this with your friends who may have some old tires and don't know what to do with them.

If you're still here, you may be interested in reading the following articles:

How To Remove Studs From Tires

Do Tires Degrade Over Time? Even When Not Used?

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