How to Start a Tire Recycling Business

One of the biggest environmental hazards we have today isn’t the chemicals that can be found in the average home. It’s the build-up of used tired that are beginning to fill up landfills to their capacity. Used tires don’t degrade well and they are a dangerous fire hazard. It is illegal in most communities, therefore, to dispose of used tires in an improper fashion. That’s why knowing how to start a tire recycling business can become profitable wisdom.

Recycled tires have the ability to be turned into new products. They’re even a substitute for the use of fossil fuels when conditions are carefully controlled. Many communities have a need for a local tire recycling expert, so if you believe that could be you, here is what you’re going to need to think about to get this type of business off the ground.

1. Get to know the industry in an intimate way.

You’ve got to know the ins and outs of the tire recycling industry before you start moving towards the creation of a new business within it. You may need to become a registered tire transporter or find one within your community with whom you can contract to make sure tires are going to come your way.

Once you’ve got the tires at your location, you can begin to learn the processes of how to recycle the tires. The most common method of tire recycling is to shred the tires into sizes that are 3/8 inch or less. These bits of crumbled rubber can then be used for a number of transportation and engineering products. Recycled tires can also become flooring, mud guards, running tracks, playground materials, or even brand new tires if they’ve been retreaded.

2. Make sure you have a solid business plan.

There are three main things that you’re going to need for your tire recycling business: vehicles, a location, and equipment to recycle the tires. Make sure to shop around for these items, including online resources, to make sure that you get the best deal possible. Don’t forget to look at bead removers in case you receive tires that still have them installed.

You will also want to look at grants or low-interest loans that may be available to you. A business like this often qualifies as a “green” business, so grants that are awarded to environmentally friendly businesses may become available to you. Community grants may also be available or assistance with possible zoning issues may be a higher priority for this business.

3. Secure your insurance.

Don’t just settle for the first insurance quote that you receive from an agent. Prices for commercial insurance can vary widely from agent to agent, so setup several meetings with local providers to discuss quotes. You may also consider getting a surety bond, but surety bond rates are based on your credit profile and history of business, so they’ll be virtually the same from all insurance agents.

Focus your insurance on general liability, plus any riders or additional insurance that may be needed for your vehicles and your equipment. If you plan on hiring employees for this business, you’ll want to secure some form of worker’s compensation coverage as well.

4. Document the approvals received to run your tire recycling business.

Tire recycling typically requires specific zoning, so you will often need to establish your new business outside of a residential neighborhood unless you are very rural. You may also need to secure a permit for tire storage that is separate from your business licenses. Because there is a great risk of environmental impact with a tire recycling business, there may be extensive fees associated with some of these permits.

5. Begin networking with tire providers.

There are some natural businesses with which you’ll want to network once you open up your tire recycling businesses. Anyone that sells tires is likely to have used tires that need to be recycled. Mechanics are an often overlooked part of the industry. Junk yards, department stores, and even local dealerships may all have used tires that they need you to take care of for them. Make appointments, go shake some hands, and leave some business cards behind so that your network will know who to call when they have used tires on hand.

You might also want to network with your local waste management agency. It is not uncommon for people to deliver their used tires to a landfill as a way to avoid the tire disposal costs that are often mandated by a local jurisdiction. Relationships with them may help you get a few extra tires every month or at the very least get you into contact with those who have tire waste disposal needs in your local community.

6. Never burn old tires.

Not only is burning old tires illegal today, but it can be very dangerous as well. If the tire has not been processed, then the burning rubber can become unpredictable and this could create an uncontrolled fire that could ruin your business before it every gets started.

7. Use personal protective equipment.

If you’re grinding rubber or dealing with tire recycling on a daily basis, then you’ll want to make sure that you are always wearing some personal protection equipment. Breathing in crumbled rubber is not a good thing for your lungs and you’re not going to want it in your eyes either. Gloves can help to protect your hands from the wires that are potentially exposed in the tire as well.

Knowing how to start a tire recycling business essentially boils down to location, wisdom, and supply. You will need to make sure your business is placed in an area that is properly zoned for recycling or waste disposal purposes. You will need wisdom in the area of applying the proper recycling technique to each used tired that comes into the business. Supply is necessary because without it, you’ll have no tires to recycle.

These tips are designed to help get your tire recycling business started and secure your first customers. Use them today and you will have an entrepreneurial advantage against the local competition.