Tires are everywhere. There are tires for cars, for bicycles, there are big tires and small tires, soft tires and hard tires. Tires could be produced with many different ingredients and used for different things. But one thing they all have in common, the shape is round. But have you ever thought about, how tires are made and what products are used for? And what happen with the used ones? Are they recyclable? Therefore we want to find out, how tires are recycled and what products can be made of old tires.

1. Which materials are used for a tire?
A tire consist 68.5% of rubber, 16.5% of steel, 5.5% and 9.5% of residuals.

Result Survey Tire Graphic: Selfmade, Source:

2. Is “Kautschuk” needed?
Yes, in every tire is “Kautschuck” needed. The first step is to mix several sorts of “Kautschuck” with the rubber mixture of the tire. Later, the mixing proportion is deciding about the characteristics of the tire.

Natural rubber
For tires it also could be used natural rubber. Nowadays, the tire manufacturers use both, natural and synthetic materials. Natural Kautschuck grows on large plantations, it is extracted from the juice of the bark of gum trees. The advantage of synthetic Kautschuck is, that it can be adapted exactly to the needs of tire manufacturers. During the production of the tire, several natural and artificial rubber varieties are combined according to the desired mixture. Rubber types are selected which have the highest possible slip resistance. These are combined with materials that reduce the rolling resistance without affecting the skid resistance.


3. The Life Cycle of a tire

Product developments and innovations
Proper manufacturing and quality of delivery reduces waste at production
Direct distribution through retailers
Manufacturers and retailers set policies on return, retread, and replacement to reduce the waste generated from tires
Recycling tires by developing strategies that combust or process waste into new products, creates viable businesses and fulfilling public policies

Lifecycle of a tire
Source Picture:


4. Grey Energy
Here you can see the use of Grey Energy:

Grey energy

5. Are there any possibilities to reuse a tire after usage?
What can be gained from old tires?

tire powder (Poudrette)
Ripened granules
construction materials made of rubber or mixtures with thermoplastics / Elastomers
Old tires are sometimes converted into a swing for play or in Africa some People use old tires to make shoes! The innovative use allows for an easy way to find a purpose for an existing old tire not suitable for road use.

Re-purposed tires can also be harnessed as an affordable alternative building material used in the framework of rammed Earth thermal mass dwellings. This is beneficial across scales of production from individually sustainable housing, to life-saving tire bale walls that have the potential to alleviate suffering from natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes and tidal waves

For very creative people:

Source: ,

6. What other People knwo about their tires:

Do People know, how their tires are recycled?

Selfmade Survey

How often do they buy new tires?

Selfmade Survey

Not many People know how their tires are recycled. Just 21.1 % know how their tires are recycled. We think that is way to less. It is usual to buy new tires every two or three years. It depends on how many kilometers are driven per year (normally around 15’000 kilometers). To buy every year new tires is (4 people) not very beneficial for the environment and also for the wallet.
Source: Survey is selfmade

7. The danger of Recycling a tire
These tires are actually a problematic source of waste due to the large volume produced, the durability of the tires and the components in the tire that are ecologically problematic. Because they are highly durable and non-biodegradable, they can consume valued space in landfills. Due to their heavy metal and other pollutant content, tires pose a risk for the leaching of toxins into the groundwater when placed in wet soils. Research has shown, that very little leaching occurs when shredded tires are used as light fill material. However, limitations have been put on use of this material. Each site should be individually assessed determining if this product is appropriate for given conditions.


8. Recycle your tires
We would really recommend you, to recycle your tires. Ask your car garage if they recycle tires. In case not, we suggest you to have a look at this website:

9. Interview
We asked for two interviews, but unfortunately the car garages didn’t give us a reply. Because of that, we created a survey for our topic.

Our last words

Lukas, Claudia, Ladina

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »


  1. We find it very good that the composition of the individual materials in percent of the tire is shown as a diagram. So you can clearly see that it consists mostly of rubber.

    Appropriate pictures were used, which support the written text well.

    The entire content of the topic has been divided into logical paragraphs and the information has a pleasant length.

    They could have mentioned up to how many millimeters tires are worn down on average until it comes to the recycling process. Or whether it is better to have all-weather tires for the whole year instead of summer and winter tires.

    More pictures could have been included for the individual topics so that the reader could also get an idea of the newly created prdoucts (recycling).

  2. Dear Tire-Team
    Thank you for this very interesting post. Your post is very informative and i also learned a lot. The text is written in clear, understandable language and it\’s easy to read. The text is not too long but sufficiently informative.
    You wrote about the composition of a tire. I think it\’d be also nice to know, how a tire is built.
    Too bad that the interview didn\’t work out, would also be interesting, i think.

  3. Dear Tire-Team

    Your post is very informative and easy to read, good job!

    We were really suprised about the facts you wrote in your contribution, like that tires are sometimes used for making shoes. Something that we also didn\’t know about was that there are different kinds of rubber used for the manufacture of tires.

    Larissa, Valerio and Slavica

  4. Dear Tire Team

    Thank you for showing us that tires can be recycled. I didn\’t know that!
    It is a pity that the car garages didn\’t get back to you but your post is good anyway.

    Kadri, Dominique and Imre

  5. Dear Tire Team
    I think that your post is really informative and interesting to read.
    You also chose really good pictures for your post which make it even better!
    It\’s a pity that the interview didn\’t worked, would be very interesting.
    Have a nice day

  6. Thank you for this very interesting post about tires, I learned a lot because of your post. Carry on with your nice work.

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