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Recycle old tires so they can be used in playgrounds and as asphalt for roads

County residents can dump up to five regular sized tires per year for free
Posted at 10:49 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 12:16:43-05

TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — Pima County wants to remind you to recycle your old tires to help save the environment.

Natalie Shepp with the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality says if you have old tires that you need to get rid of you can drop them off at their recycling facilities. County residents can dump up to five regular sized tires per year for free.

“This is a good way to take something old and put it to good use,” Shepp said.

Shepp says in 2020, the number of tires coming in dropped because people were confused about what services were open and closed. They also had a hard time finding drivers to pick-up and deliver the tires to their recycling center run by Crumb Rubber in Mesa for processing.

In 2020, just over 13,000 tons of tires were taken in and in 2021 the numbers started to go back up. Drop sites received nearly 15,000 tons of tires from locations across the county and the tires get put to good use.

"It's taken by a third party, and it's recycled and used in places like fields and playgrounds. It's also used as rubberized material at the bottom of playgrounds or put in asphalt for roads,” Shepp said.

If you drop off commercial sized tires there will be fees that can vary depending on the number of tons brought in.

If you have more than 5 standard tires it can cost 30 dollars a ton with a $15 minimum fee. Off road tires are $150 per ton and have a $30 minimum fee and you drop off tires with rims an extra $75 dollar fee is added.

“We want to make sure that we’re trying to keep those tires from illegally dumped or put in a trash can,” Shepp said.

On average at least 950,000 tires are recycled by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality every year.

To find a tire collection site near you, visit azdeq.gov.

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