Waste Tire Program

In response to a growing concern for increased stockpiles of waste tires and past experiences with waste tire stockpile fires, the Utah Legislature passed the Utah Waste Tire Recycling Act in 1990. Consequently, the waste tire recycling program is first and foremost a recycling program for used truck and passenger vehicle tires.

Prior to 1990, various waste tire piles, some comparatively large in size, existed throughout the state. Also, some landfills were stockpiling waste tires rather than placing them into the disposal cell because of the significant space they consumed within the landfill. With the establishment of the waste tire recycling program, waste tire piles have been cleaned up, stockpiles generated at municipal landfills are removed on an ongoing basis, and newly generated waste tires are being recycled.

Funding for the waste tire recycling program comes from a fee assessed on the purchase of a new tire, including those associated with a new vehicle purchase. Currently, the fee is $1 per new tire. Tire retailers and new vehicle dealerships collect the fee and transfer it to the Tax Commission. Fees collected are placed into the Waste Tire Recycling Fund.

Revenues from the fee are used for:

  • partial reimbursement of the costs of processing, recycling, or disposing of waste tires;
  • partial reimbursement of the transportation costs from the clean-up of waste tire piles; and,
  • payment of administrative costs of local health departments, tire dealers, tax commission, and DEQ.

Program Highlights

Through the combined efforts of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC), the waste tire recycling industry, and local health departments, there currently are markets in Utah for all waste tires generated annually within the state. This has been the result of a successful partnership in establishing a network of waste tire transporters, processors, and end users.

Specifically, DEQ’s role in the management of waste tires in Utah primarily consists of two components. First, the agency serves as a regulatory/enforcement agency. DWMRC registers and monitors waste tire recyclers to ensure all are operating in compliance with applicable statutes and regulations. The Division surveys the state for tire piles and oversights tire storage facilities. Where tire piles that are not part of a permitted tire storage facility are found enforcement action is taken. Second, DWMRC oversees the activities to clean up and remove waste tire piles—those considered abandoned as well as those created at municipal landfills. The waste tire recycling program is effective in managing waste tires generated in Utah due to the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders as well as the dedicated funding the Legislature has provided through the $1 per tire recycling fee collected from retail customers.

Five waste tire recyclers are currently operating in Utah:

  • Two industrial kilns use waste tires as fuel.
  • Three crumb rubber manufacturers.
  • One municipal landfill using chipped tires for daily cover material.

Key Program Accomplishments

Waste Tires Recycled

FY 2020Cumulative (FYs 1990-2020)
53,292.28 tons803,329.28 tons
[4,529,820 tires (approx.)][68,282,988.8 tires (approx. )]

Recycling Reimbursements Paid

FY 2020Cumulative (FYs 1990-2020)

Waste Tires from Abandoned and Landfill Stockpiles Cleaned Up

FY 2020Cumulative (FYs 1990-2020)
3,164.22 tons42,526.25 tons
268,958.7 total tires[2,876,121.25 tires (approx. )]

Tire Recycling Documents


For more information about the Waste Tire Program, please contact Bryan Woolf (bwoolf@utah.gov), (385) 454-8060.

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