Tires and Motor Oil

Used automotive tires and used motor oil are generated from SJSU's Auto Shop, the department of FDO responsible for maintaining the pool of campus work vehicles. Both tires and motor oil must be properly handled to avoid environmental hazards such as large scale fires and contamination of water sources.

Where Do They Go?

Tires from the Auto Shop are collected by a local recycler and those that meet safety standards are resold as used tires. Most tires are not suitable for reuse and are shredded into crumb rubber for use in a variety of manufacturing applications.

Motor oil is collected by a local company and recycled into other products or reused in other applications.

Did You Know?

California has dramatically increased the number of waste tires diverted from landfill disposal and sent to beneficial end uses since 1989. From 1990 to 1999, the number of tires recycled in California increased from 9.2 million to 20.1 million, achieving a recycling rate of 65 percent!

Source: CIWMB Tire Recycling

Used oil can be suitable as a fuel in, for example, a power plant with little or no treatment or used for heating. If some treatment is needed it usually involves removing water and particles so that the oil can be burned and used as fuel to generate heat or electricity. Today, 74-percent of all oil re-use in the U.S. is for burning in turbines, incinerators, power plants, cement kilns and in manufacturing asphalt, steel, etc. Two gallons of used motor oil can generate enough electricity to power the average home for one day. An additional 11-percent of used motor oil is burned in specifically designed industrial space heaters especially in colder climates. The country's approximately 75,000 space heaters use about 113 million gallons of used oil per year. Uncontaminated oil is reprocessed into bunker fuel and delivered to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as ship fuel.

Source: Recycling Motor Oil by William D. Siuru, PhD, PE