bicycle tube recycling and repurposing ideas

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

There are several recyclers that accept mail in tubes. Check out Cycle of Good in the UK or Alchemy Goods in the US. Together, these businesses have recycled over 800,000 tubes!

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.

bicycle tube recycling and repurposing ideas

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.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful! As always, you can support me and the site by buying me a cup of tea or sharing the site with a friend. Your support means the world to me!

Mia Hadrill
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