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What to Do With Old Tyres

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Oct 2014 | comments*Discuss
What To Do With Old Tyres

If you have old tyres that you can’t use on your car anymore, there are a few ways you can re-use them.

Using Tyres in the Garden

Many people use tyres in the garden for growing things such as potatoes, flowers and fruit. Stack tyres up, two or three high, and fill the hole with soil. You can add more tyres as your plants grow and remove them one by one when you need to harvest.

You may want to add plastic sheeting underneath the bottom tyre to make it easy to move if necessary and to prevent weeds invading from underneath.

If you think black tyres look ugly in the garden, some people paint them with bright colours and patterns. To make the planter fit in with your garden a bit more, you could also decorate it by sticking rocks and shells to the outside.

Tyres are also useful for making compost bins. Just stack up the tyres and add your garden waste. The advantage of using stacked tyres is that you can add more as you generate more compost. You can cover the tyre compost bin with a piece of old carpet.

Place the compost bin on soil ideally so that it can absorb the nutrients and water from below. It also means that worms can get into the waste and break it down. You can find out more about how to compost here.

Using Tyres for Play

Tyres are popular for play equipment for kids. The most traditional use for a tyre is to make a swing. You can make a horizontal seat-type swing or a vertical swing where the user puts their feet through the tyre hole. You need to make sure the swing is safe – it must be secured properly, on a strong branch and have no chance of the child banging into things when they swing. You should supervise children on a swing.

Tyres also make great sandpits and are very durable. Children are very imaginative and will probably find lots of uses for a tyre in their outdoor games.


Some people even use tyres to make or mend shoes! After all, they are made to be durable and prevent slipping. You can make flip flops by cutting pieces if rubber from the tyre to fit your foot and adding holes for rope or ribbon. If you use rope, make sure it is padded or soft enough not to rub your feet raw or cut into them.

If your welly soles have seen better days, you may be able to patch them up by gluing on bit of old tyre on the areas where holes have developed.

Recycling Tyres

If your tyres can’t be re-treaded or refurbished and you can’t use them, they may need to be recycled. As an individual, rather than a business, you can probably drop your tyres off at a designated area of your local tip or recycling centre. Some garages will also accept unwanted tyres.

Tyre material can be recycled to make goods such as sports surfaces, rubber safety mats and carpet underlay.

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