Easy Bicycle Tube Recycling and Repurposing Ideas
Avid cyclist or not, at some point you will likely need bicycle tube recycling and repurposing ideas. Although most bike tubes are similar to plastic as they come from polymers, they can’t be recycled in your normal household recycling. Since the polymers used to make household plastics are different from those in bike tubes, they must be kept separate. Here’s what you can do instead!
How to Separate the Tube from the Tire
If you aren’t big into cycling, you might not know that a bicycle tire is made of both a rubber exterior and an inner tube. Since the rubber tire can’t hold air, it requires the inner tube to do so. While the exterior tire is firm and solid, the interior tube is soft and pliable. This video is a great visual to learn how to separate the two before recycling or repurposing.
8 Bicycle Tube Recycling and Repurposing Ideas
1. Reach out to your local recycling facility
Some recycling facilities can take bicycle tubes and tires, so research online or call your nearby facility to check.
2. Talk to local bike shops
Local bike shops often offer take-back programs, though there might be a small fee. Reach out to the bike shops in your area to find out!
3. Mail them in
4. Check with car tire shops
Some car tire shops may also accept tubes for recycling. Call around or look online to find out if this is an option in your area.
5. Reuse it as an exercise band
A clean bicycle tube can act as an exercise band. Since it’s soft, it’s very similar to a glute band and can be used in the same way!
6. Use it in the garden
If you’ve got a garden, bike tubes can withstand most weather and help hold stakes and plants up! Keep it whole or cut it to use as a long rope – either way, it can help tack up and hold things together outdoors.
7. Make mudguards
If you’re crafty, you can easily make mudguards to protect the fenders on your bike. Follow this tutorial to learn how!
8. Make a tool roll
If you have tools that need a protective case that also offers organization, this is a great way to repurpose your bike tubes. Check out this tutorial to DIY it.
How will you use these bicycle tube recycling and repurposing ideas? Let me know in the comments below. If you want to support upcycling, check out my blog on how one brand is making bags from bike tubes.
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