Bridgestone recycles the majority of tires it collects after a product recall. In 2012, the company started its Tires4ward program, which is committed to recycling unusable tires, including those acquired through recall, routine replacement and community cleanup projects.
The company recalled 6.5 million defective tires in 2000 and got back over 5.5 million of them for disposal. About 70 percent of recaptured tires were shredded and reused in compliance with the company's Recalled Scrap Tire Management Plan. The plan received commendation from the Environmental Protection Agency. Customers who have recalled tires are able to return them to Bridgestone at any time for replacement free of charge. Bridgestone stores recycle all used tires removed from a vehicle.
The EPA reports that over 110 consumer products contain recycled tire rubber, including gaskets, washers, belts, shoes and tire-derived fuel. While burning a tire pollutes air, soil and groundwater, tires produce as much energy as oil and 25 percent more energy than coal when recycled as fuel. The most widespread form of recycling for unusable tires is road construction. Ground-up rubber is mixed with asphalt to create rubberized paving material. Old tires are shredded for use in constructing playgrounds, making flooring material and preparing components for new tires.