Business Waste

Bike Tyre Recycling

Recycling bike tyres when they’re worn down or have a puncture you can’t repair is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of them. After all, cycling is a green activity, so recycling bicycle tyres at the end of their life makes sense to stick with the eco-conscious theme.

Once the tread of any bike tyre is too low you’ll need to change it to ensure enough grip and safe riding. Unfortunately, in the UK around 30 million bike tyres go to landfill sites every year. Bicycle tyre recycling is possible and a much greener solution.

Discover how to recycle bike tyres from your home or business on this page. If you run an organisation with many old bike tyres for disposal, contact us today for a free quote for commercial bike tyre waste collection and disposal – contact us online or call 0800 211 8390.

flat bicycle tyre.
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Bicycle tyre recycling 
for businesses

All businesses must arrange commercial waste collection of any waste bike tyres they produce. If the tyres are from bicycles or motorbikes owned by an organisation then they classify as commercial waste. Only licensed waste carriers can remove and dispose of such bicycle tyres safely and legally.

The easiest way for any business to recycle commercial bike tyres is to arrange collection by a professional waste management company like Business Waste. Licensed waste carriers will remove your old tyres at a suitable time and date and transport them to an appropriate recycling facility. You receive a free duty of care certificate confirming the bike tyres are recycled.

Businesses and organisations that may produce bicycle tyre waste and need commercial waste collections include:

  • Bicycle shops
  • Bike repair centres
  • Delivery companies
  • Bike rental services
  • Charities (that sell or repair bicycles)
Learn about bicycle recycling

Where can you 
recycle bicycle tyres?

You can recycle bike tyres from your own personal bicycle at various places in the UK. Never throw away a punctured or worn-down bike tyre in your household general waste bin, as it could end up in landfill. Old bicycle tyres also aren’t accepted in most domestic recycling bins but check with your local authority.

A few places where you can recycle bicycle tyres are:

  • HWRCs – many household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) have a designated tyre recycling bin or point. Check with your local HWRC if they have a tyre recycling point where you can drop off your used bike tyres.
  • Council collections – some local councils provide services that include the collection of old bike tyres for recycling. This could be as part of a bulky waste collection service, which may include a charge.
  • Velorim – there are more than 600 Velorim collection sites in the UK where you can recycle bike tyres and inner tubes. Most of these are in cycle shops and centres. Find your nearest centre online.
  • Bike shops – many bike shops will take your old bicycle tyres for free and recycle them as part of their schemes. Ask your local store to see if they’ll take your old tyres.
  • Cycle charities – various charities refurbish old bicycles and may appreciate your old tyres, though it could depend on their condition. Some will fix bike tyres if possible, or they may repurpose them.
  • Business Waste – we can help arrange collection of your old bicycle tyres and send them for recycling, as we avoid any waste going to landfill where possible.
bike tyre on the pavement.

How are bicycle 
tyres recycled?

Bicycle tyres are recycled following the same processes as recycling car and other vehicle tyres. As tyres are made from a combination of materials, with the bead including metal and rubber compromising most of the tyre, it must be removed before recycling the bike tyre starts.

The general process to recycle bicycle tyres involves the bead, oil, steel, and any other materials being removed. Once the rubber that makes up most of the tyre is isolated it’s shredded, which forms crumb rubber. This is used as an ingredient to help create various products such as speed bumps, construction, and insulation products.

Other recycling options for tyres include:

  • Retreading – some companies and facilities can add new tread to worn-down old bike tyres. This reduces the need to source new materials and minimises the energy required to create fresh tyres.
  • Reuse – old bicycle tyres can be fashioned into a chainstay guard by cutting it to size and attaching it to your bike to protect the frame from the chain. Many used bike tyres find a home in gardens as DIY planters or being cut down and used to protect bedding.
  • Energy from waste – just like car tyres, scrap bike tyres can generate energy by pyrolysis in specialist facilities. Old bike tyres are incinerated in a controlled environment to provide a sustainable energy source.

Inner tube recycling

Recycling inner tubes is vital as around 150 million inner tubes make their way to landfill sites annually. You can recycle inner tubes at most of the same places where you recycle old tyres – bike shops, HWRCs, and waste collection services. However, they’ll then be processed and recycled separately.

Inner tube recycling is easier than recycling tyres as most inner tubes are made from just one material (such as butyl, latex, or TPU). The process varies depending on the material and facilities. Butyl rubber from inner tubes can be recycled through a de-vulcanisation process to form new inner tubes, by breaking chemical bonds and returning it to rubber.

Other ways you can recycle inner tubes include repurposing them to form:

  • Exercise bands
  • Cable ties
  • Protective guards
  • Bike stand
  • Chair seats

Motorbike tyre recycling

The disposal and recycling of motorcycle tyres follows a similar process to recycling car tyres. This is because both vehicle types use tyres made from similar materials, even though the rubber in motorbike tyres is generally softer. Businesses must arrange commercial collections of any used motorcycle tyres, from garages, shops, and other organisations.

To recycle your own old motorbike tyres the easiest option is to ask if your garage will take them if you’re getting a new tyre fitted. Many garages happily take your old motorbike tyres and arrange recycling for free, although some may charge a small fee.

Alternatively, check if your local HWRC accepts scrap motorbike tyres. Many have a dedicated tyre bin or collection point where you can dispose of any type of tyres responsibly. Some motorcycle shops also take old motorbike tyres and organise their recycling, normally for free, so it’s worth checking with any nearby.

back wheel and tyre of a motorbike.

Bike tyre disposal 
and landfill

Automotive and agricultural tyres are banned from landfill in the UK – but old bicycle tyres are exempt. It’s therefore currently legal for landfill sites to accept used bike tyres and inner tubes. These can take many years to break down and use up valuable space, and the chemicals in the tyres may leach into nearby water and ground.

However, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) looks set to start a consultation into banning bicycle tyres from landfill sites. This would lead to recycling and recovering bike tyres being even more important if new regulation is brought in. Stay up to date with the latest waste management news including any changes to bike tyre disposal.

Arrange bike tyre recycling

Book collection of any type, size, and amount of old bicycle tyres from anywhere in the UK with Business Waste. We can provide a free no obligation quote tailored to your needs. Collections are available as a one-off or regularly if you produce lots of used bike tyres.

All used tyres we collect are recycled and recovered where possible to protect the environment and save you money on landfill tax. You receive a free duty of care certificate confirming the safe and legal disposal of your old bicycle tyres. Contact us online or call 0800 211 8390 for your free quote today.

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red bike tyre.

Bicycle tyre recycling FAQs

  • AUTOMOTIVE Can you put bike tyres in the bin?

    You should not put bike tyres in the bin. They may end up in landfill if disposed of in a general waste bin and you can’t put them in many recycling bins. Instead, take your old bike tyres to your local HWRC or a bike shop that accepts and recycles old bicycle tyres.

  • AUTOMOTIVE Can you recycle bike tyres?

    You can recycle bike tyres at most bicycle shops and some HWRCs. Bike tyres are recycled by separating the materials they contain (such as steel, rubber, and oil). These are then recycled individually, with the rubber shredded and added to new products such as carpet underlay, mudguards, and running tracks.

  • AUTOMOTIVE When should you recycle bike tyres?

    When bike tyre treads get too low they lose their grip and become dangerous to ride on. See if there are any cuts or slashes on the tread and sidewall, as this signifies a need to change and recycle your bike tyres. Repeated punctures or irreparable damage also means it’s time to recycle your old bicycle tyres.

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Get a fast and free quote

Get a fast FREE quote for tyre waste collection

  • Free quote within 1 hour
  • Any type of used tyres
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK