Tire recycling is not a new business it first accelerated during the the second world war when there were mass shortages of available rubber. Citizens were encouraged to turn in there used and unneeded tires to help in the war effort.
After the war tires became cheap and plentiful. The average citizen didn't think twice about throwing used tires in the trash. This now has turned into a major problem. There are literaly piles of tires illegaly dumped all over this country, also millions of ton of recyclable material is dumped into our cloged landfills every year.
There is a great opportunity to do the right thing and also make good money doing it.
What is a tire is made of?
Car and light truck tires are made from rubber compounds, steel wire, and sinthetic and natural fibers.
All of these materials are recyclable. Currently scrap steel is at around $300.00 per ton, there is about 3 lbs of steel in a car or light truck tire that equates to $0.40 per tire just in scrap steel value.
That leaves the rubber this can be processed down to crumb #40 mesh and smaller (#40 mesh equates to material that will pass thru a screen with 40 holes per square inch). The crumb rubber is used for many purposes some of which are asphalt additives, doormats, revulcanized rubber products, building material fillers, ect. Crumb rubber resells for around $0.17 per pound. Thats about $2.00 per tire.
Rubber mulch is another profitable use of the tire rubber. rubber mulch consists of wire free tire chips sized to minus 3/4". This product can be colored or shipped black. It is generaly used for mulching around trees and shrubs. Another great use for this is around playground equipment it acts as a cushion should a child fall. Rates for mulch vary greatly but it averages between $0.14 - $0.21 per pound. Sidewall rubber is a conveinent source for wire free material.
Tire derived fuel (TDF) . TDF is generally tire chips sized to minus 2" with minimal exposed wire. This material is sold to power plants and cement kilns to supliment the burning of coal. This material varies greatly in size requirments and price paid, also some states don't allow it to be used. It can prove profitable to resell a percentage or all of your material for TDF if you don't have the equipment or space to process the tires down further. Prices paid for TDF are in the realm of $40.00 per ton.
Tire disposal fee's are the bread and butter of this industry. You can expect to be paid between $0.75 - $3.00 per tire to pickup and dispose of waste tires. A good minimum scenario a one person operation that can dispose of 500 tires per day can generate $375.00 gross. If you can recycle recycle 6lbs of sidewall ruber into mulch per tire thats an additional $250.00 per day. Pulling the beadseat wire to be recycled as steel scrap can produce and additional $125.00 per day. This adds up to $750.00 per day gross profit. Thats $195,000 per year for a one person operation. This is at the minimum rates for disposal fee's and processed tires, most areas are in the $1.25 per tire range.