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What Happens To Old Car Tyres Once They Reach End Of Life?

What happens to your old car tyres once they’ve outlived their usefulness?

Tyre fitters may take them off your hands, but what really goes on behind the scenes after you bid farewell to those worn-out treads?

In this article, we’ll delve into the journey of old car tyres, exploring the eco-friendly practices of recycling, innovative solutions, and responsible disposal.

Recycling: A Sustainable Approach

The tyre recycling process is a remarkable example of sustainable environmental practices. Old car tyres are collected and transported to specialised recycling centres.

Here, they undergo a series of steps that ensure they don’t end up polluting our environment or taking up space in landfills.

Shredding and Sorting

The first step in recycling old tyres involves shredding them into smaller pieces. These pieces are then sorted into various categories based on their size, composition, and quality.

This sorting helps determine the appropriate recycling method for each tyre.

Crumb Rubber Production

Some tyres are transformed into crumb rubber, which is used in various applications, including sports fields, playgrounds, and even road construction.

This environmentally friendly alternative to traditional materials reduces waste and benefits the community.

Tyre-Derived Fuel (TDF)

Another innovative use for old car tyres is converting them into Tyre-Derived Fuel (TDF).

TDF is utilised as a clean and efficient energy source in industrial processes, such as cement production and power generation.

Innovative Solutions: Paving The Way

In recent years, the tyre industry has witnessed significant innovation in repurposing old tyres. These creative solutions not only reduce waste but also offer new possibilities for sustainable living.

Tyre Pyrolysis

One promising innovation is tyre pyrolysis, a process that uses high heat in the absence of oxygen to break down tyres into valuable resources like oil, gas, and carbon black.

These products find applications in industries such as energy production and manufacturing.

Tyre-Derived Construction Materials

Old tyres are being transformed into construction materials, including rubberised asphalt and noise barriers. This not only reuses the old tyres, but also enhances road quality and reduces noise pollution.

Responsible Disposal: The Last Resort

While recycling and innovative solutions are preferred, some old car tyres may not be suitable for these processes. In such cases, responsible disposal is essential to preventing environmental harm.

Landfill Disposal

When recycling or repurposing is not viable, old tyres are disposed of in controlled landfills. These landfills are designed to minimise the environmental impact, ensuring tyres are safely contained.


The journey of old car tyres after they reach the end of their life is a process aimed at preserving our environment and resources.

Through recycling, innovative solutions, and responsible disposal, the tyre industry is striving to minimise waste and pollution while creating new opportunities for sustainable living.

Louis from Tyre Geek


I'm Louis, an engineer passionate about helping Australians choose better tyres for their vehicles!