Not only is the idea of recycling used tires brilliant for the fact that it is extremely environmental friendly, but it can also help you earn extra cash.
We create a massive number of used tires each and every year. Just in the state of Illinois, “citizens produce more than 14 million used tires annually. That’s more than one used tire per person every year!” That’s according to the IEPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.)
Thankfully, we have gotten very good at recycling old tires, so most of these old tires are being recycled in some shape or form.
And that opens up a world of possibilities for those of us looking to cash in.
Can You Turn Recycling Tires into a Profitable Business?
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And the way you can do this is by partnering with local auto shops and taking their tires to recycling facilities where you will be paid for each tire.
Couldn’t auto shops just do this on their own?
Well, when it comes to disposing of old tires through recycling facilities, an average auto shop has only two possibilities:
1. They can transport the tires themselves
If the auto shop didn’t charge you the fee, it would be at a loss, as the fee is used to cover the expenses of transporting the tires to the closest recycling facility. It covers time, gas, and the possible fee charged by the facility. The fact that the auto shop is here left with neither loss nor gain is one of the reasons they don’t like to do this themselves.
2. Or they can schedule a pickup
Most of the recycling facilities are more than happy to drop by your auto shop and pick up the tires for you. But scheduling a pickup usually involves a special requirement: A minimum of 100 tires. Which would mean that the auto shop should have a storage place.
That would be a really simple solution if it weren’t for the scrap tire storage laws and regulations many states have. That’s why most auto shops try to dispose of the tires as soon as they can.
This is where you can come in handy.
Your advantage is the lack of free space in auto shops.
Now, to make money, you have two options, each with different requirements.
1. Option One: Requires a Pick up Truck
If you already have a pickup truck you’re halfway there.
Your job will be to simply pick up the used tires from local auto shops (which you will charge a per-tire fee for) and take them down to the local recycling facilities.
Start by letting local mechanics know that you’re in the business, hand out business cards and become known for your good and quick service.
2. Option Two: Requires a Big Empty Space (Garage, Barn, Etc)
Now, the above options requires you to have a truck or some form of transportation that lets you haul more than a few tires.
Just because you don’t have a vehicle large enough doesn’t mean that you should be out of business.
Do you have an empty garage or any kind of empty space that could be good for storage?
Let me explain…
You see, most tire retreading centers will come and pick up your used tires if you have at least a 100 tires. Which is why most auto shops can’t simply call them up and schedule a pick up -they lack the space necessary to store a 100 tires.
This is where your big empty garage comes in handy.
Use your car to pick up as many tires as you can and store them until you reach the required minimum of 100. Then call the nearest recycling facility to schedule the pick up.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Auto shops usually pay $3 for every tire you take away, and recycling facilities are known for charging a flat fee of $1 per tire.
So you are left with $2 per tire. Take into account your gas expenses and where and tear on your truck, and you are looking at about $1.70 or so (give or take a little) per truck.
This can be a nice little side business for you.
Or if you really want to take it to the next level, you could turn your small tire recycling business into a full time six figure making business, like this guy who makes $100 a day recycling scrap tires. He picks up old tires from gas stations and car dealers and sells them to the local retreading and recycling centers.
So you can make this a steady income if there’s enough auto shops in your surrounding.
Why You Should Register Your Business
If you want to take this seriously, you want to make sure you do everything the right way, starting with registering your business.
If you want to be recognized as a professional and further develop your business, I strongly recommend that you register your business. Go and make it official!
Registering can cost you around $50 in most states. Visit your city hall to find out more about the procedure.
This might seem like a big and unnecessary step at this point, but it will actually help your reputation. Making your business official will show that you can actually be considered reliable and responsible in the eyes of your customers.
How to Find local Tire Recycling Centers
The best way to locate them is via RecycleNation.com (former 1800Recycling.com).
This is like a directory of all recycling facilities in the US, letting you locate nearest facilities by simply entering your zip code.
Where to Check for Relevant Rules & Regulations
EPA.gov – which will give you all the relevant technical details you need to start a recycling business in the US.
3. Bonus Option: Using Old Tires to Make Stuff to Sell
Ok, not everybody wants to deal with storing and hauling 100s of tires. But you still want to make some money from the few old tries laying around your garage.
Well, the good news is that you have, yet, another option–making things out of used tires and selling them.
Here is an example — making a tire swing;
- Do you have an old tire in your garage? Check it for possible wires sticking out. If there are any, fix them. You don’t want a child getting hurt on a swing you made.
- Drill several smaller holes on the side of the tire that won’t be used for sitting.
- Thoroughly clean the tire. Make sure to scrub off any possible dirt from either side of the tire. Dry it properly with a towel.
- Find a rope strong enough to support a decent amount of weight. Ask the seller at the local store for recommendation, as this is a very important part of your project. If you are the one who does the hanging, measure the length you’ll need and add an extra two feet (you’ll be needing them for knots).
- Choose on the number of chain ropes you’ll add: One for the traditional vertical style, or three if you want the tire to be placed horizontally. Make sure to tie extra secure knots both to the tire and the branch.
You can see a much better step by step instruction with pictures on Instructables.com
And tire swing is not the only thing you can make. There are many other things you can make. Juts take a look at Pinterest for more tire craft ideas.
Or better yet, since you want to make things to sell, check out Etsy to see what kind of items other sellers are making out of their old and unwanted tires, and which ones sell more, so you can focus your time and efforts on making things that actually sell.
Where to sell?
You can sell your art works on sites like Etsy and even eBay.
Amazon has also just launched their Handmade at Amazon service where only handmade stuff are sold.
However, if you think that you are better at leaving impression in person, try out your luck at a local flea market or craft fair.
The Bottom Line
Whether you recycling old tires by taking them down to the local facilities or making art work out of them, you are contributing to the health of our planet, as well as your wallet.