Old tires take up huge amounts of space in landfills and can be a fire hazard. When old tires catch fire, they burn for a long time and release a lot of thick black smoke. These fires are particularly difficult to extinguish. Old tires also provide homes for disease carrying rodents and breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which can carry deadly diseases. To eliminate these problems, many innovative people have come up with clever ways to reuse tires. Here are six things that are made from old tires.


Fuel derived from tires isn’t the fuel you find at your local gas pump, but it is often used for large industrial products. Tire derived fuel is as efficient as oil and more efficient than coal. It also results in lower emissions than fuel from most coal.


Rubber is durable and comfortable, so it makes sense that people have used material from recycled tires to make shoes. Tires are already designed to grip surfaces and provide support, so shoes made from tires have some of the same benefits.

Rubberized Asphalt

One very common use for old tires is to recycle them and make rubberized asphalt. The asphalt is used to build new highways and repair old ones. There are many benefits associated with using rubberized asphalt including:

  • Reduced waste from old tires
  • Reduced road noise
  • More skid resistance
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Reduced pavement cracking

Railroad Ties

Scrap tires are used to create durable rubber-encased railroad ties. A steel beam core is enclosed in 80 pounds of ground up old tires and plastic bottles. Rubber encased ties last 60 to 90 years as opposed to wood ties that last 5 to 30 years. These ties are also 200% stronger than creosote-soaked wooden ties, so railroads can use fewer ties per mile.

Handbags and Wallets

Material from old tires is being used to create durable and surprisingly chic handbags and wallets. These bags are usually made from inner tubes of tires and they provide a simple way to protect the planet while stepping out in style.

Ground Rubber

Ground rubber is used for athletic turf, rubber mats, and trails. It is also sometimes used for playground turfs, garden mulch, and landscaping. Ground rubber provides some great benefits that you don’t get with traditional wood chips or other materials. Some advantages of using ground rubber include:

  • Ground rubber is heavier so it doesn’t get spread around or carried away with the wind as easily as wood does. As a result, it doesn’t need to be replaced very often.
  • Ground rubber can be installed on top of existing material like gravel.
  • Ground rubber is durable and easy to clean.
  • Ground rubber provides a cushion that makes playgrounds safer and athletic surfaces and trails more shock resistant. This reduces injuries and decreases stress on joints.

Next time you see an old tire, consider the possibilities. In a short time, it could be something you drive on, run on, or coordinate with your outfit.