Waste tires are often cut into sections for easier transportation or burning, then turned into fuel in a combustion chamber or hauled to a recycling center. The exact method of waste tire collection depends on situational factors such as the amount of tires and the nearness of the destination facility.
Waste tires are tires that are no longer functional, but have not yet been manufactured into a secondary product. Large deposits of discarded waste tires are a fire hazard and take up disproportionate space at landfills, creating a demand for their collection. In addition, waste tire piles have the tendency to introduce toxicity into the ground they rest on, resulting in the passage of laws related to these environmental concerns. Various services exist to transport waste tires from the source site (such as a landfill) to the appropriate facility.
Waste tire collection is sometimes known as "tire hauling," and is regulated by states such as Florida and California. While individual waste tires may be transported freely in Florida, for example, moving more than 25 scrap tires requires a government-issued license. Both states also have specific laws regarding tire processing facilities.
Scrap tires are usually turned into fuel via combustion, and provide a significant contribution to the energy used by cement kilns, pulp and paper mills, as well as electricity-generating utilities in the United States. This process is considered by the EPA to be relatively environmentally friendly, though recycling is preferred. Nevertheless, waste tires are recycled for use in shoe materials, structural support in houses and basketball courts, and other applications.