Waste tires

Our tire program provides funding to local governments to clean up illegally discarded tires and prevent tire dumping. Tire retailers can learn more about the tire retailer fee. Find out if your tire collection or storage business needs to obtain a license.

How to dispose of unwanted tires

  • Leave your old tires at the tire store when you buy new ones.
  • Ask your local transfer station if they accept tires.
  • Call 1-800-RECYCLE or visit 1800recycle.wa.gov to find a disposal location in your area.

The waste tire program

In 2005, the Legislature created the Waste Tire Removal Account to help clean up illegally discarded tires. We manage this account by collecting fees on the sale of new tires. The account has an annual budget of $500,000, funded by a $1 fee charged for each new vehicle tire sold in Washington. With these funds, we provide resources to communities and landowners who discover unauthorized waste tire piles. We also oversee businesses that handle new and used tires. The waste tire program:

  • Provides funding to public entities to clean up illegally discarded tires through the Waste Tire Removal Account.
  • Assists local governments in waste tire pile prevention and education.
  • Manages the fees collected from the sales of new tires.
  • Licenses businesses that haul, store, or dispose of used tires.

Waste tire cleanups

Year Tons of Tires Dollars
2007 32,671 $4,300,079
2008 8,112 $1,882,295
2009 11,608 $2,617,249
2010 3,161 $762,019
2011 352 $112,415
2012 1,900 $476,661
2013 1,720 $314,458
2014 2,278 $487,151
2015 1,649 $275,154
Total 63,451 $11,227,481

This table summarizes our funding for waste tire removals from 2007 to 2015.

This graph shows reported tire recycling, reuse, and disposal data from 2005 to 2014. Excel file of chart data.

Tire fees and licenses

Tire retailer fee

Most tire dealers in Washington are required to collect a $1 fee for each new tire sold. This fee does not apply to:

  • Tire sales to the federal government that are exempt from sales tax.
  • Tire sales to tribal members delivered to the enrolled member's reservation.
  • Sales of retreaded vehicle tires.
  • Tires provided free of charge under the terms of a recall or warranty service.

If a customer returns a tire and is refunded the entire selling price, the $1 fee is refundable, as well (WAC 458.20.272).

Waste tire carrier license

Most businesses that haul waste tires are required to obtain a license. We maintain a list of these licensed tire carrier businesses.

Waste tire carrier requirements:

  • Entities that haul five or more tires must obtain a waste tire carrier license from the Washington Business License Service.
  • An annual license fee of $200 per location and $50 for each transport vehicle. The business must also post a $10,000 bond.
  • Licensed waste tire carriers must deliver waste tires to licensed storage, disposal, or processing facilities.

A license is not required for:

  • Entities transporting five tires or fewer.
  • Transporting used tires to a retail outlet for repair or exchange.
  • Solid waste collection companies regulated under Chapter 81.77 RCW.
  • Federal, state, or local governments, or contractors hired by these entities, when involved in cleaning up illegal tire piles.
  • Tire retailers associated with retreading facilities that use company-owned vehicles to transport waste tires for the purposes of retreading or recycling.

Waste tire storage license

Businesses that store waste tires are required to get local permits and may also need a state license.

Waste tire storage requirements

  • Storage of more than 800 waste vehicle tires (or the combined weight equivalent of eight tons of all types of waste tires) requires a solid waste handling permit from the local health department and a waste tire storage license issued by the Washington Business License Service.
  • An annual license fee of $250 per location for the business.
  • Storage site owners must keep reserve funds sufficient to cover the cost of cleaning up all of their stored waste tires. These funds must cover the cost of hiring a third party to remove the maximum number of tires permitted to be stored at the site. It also must cover delivery of those tires to a facility permitted to accept tires.
  • Owners of waste tire storage sites must file annual reports with their local health department and with us, listing the amount of tires accepted. It must also include the amount of tires removed and their end use and the amount stored. This report is due April 1 annually. Annual report forms can be found at Annual Reports for Recycling Facilities.

Permitting and/or licensing for waste tire storage is not required for:

  • Waste tires stored inside mobile containers, so long as the containers are used primarily for transport and are moved at least annually on- and off-site of the associated facility.
  • Storing fewer than 800 waste automobile tires, or less than the combined weight equivalent of eight tons of all types of waste tires.

Penalties for unlicensed transporting, storing, or disposing of waste tires

  • Disposing of waste vehicle tires on public or private property can result in a $200 to $2,000 civil penalty for each offense (RCW 70.95.500).
  • Transporting or storing waste tires without a valid waste tire carrier license or waste tire storage license is a gross misdemeanor (RCW 70.95.560). The penalty for a gross misdemeanor could include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both (RCW 9A.20.021).
  • A person transporting waste tires without a license is liable for the costs of cleanup of any and all transported waste tires (RCW 70.95.555).

Laws and rules regarding waste tires

  • RCW 70.95.500 - 70.95.565 — Solid Waste Management, Reduction and Recycling. Waste Tire Sections. This law describes tire storage and tire carrier requirements.
  • WAC 173-350-350 — Solid Waste Handling Standards. Waste Tire Storage and Transportation. This rule details the tire storage and tire carrier requirements.
  • RCW 70.94.775 — Washington Clean Air Act: Outdoor burning fires prohibited. This law describes the prohibition of burning tires.
  • WAC 173-425 — Washington Clean Air Act: Outdoor burning. This rule details the prohibition of burning tires.