Waste Tires

The Waste Tire Management regulation apply to your facility if you store more than 500 waste tires on your property at any time, or if you process waste tires into tire-derived fuel (TDF) or other products for reuse.

Properly recycling waste tires assures that Iowa landfill space is used for wastes that more readily and safely decompose. The rubber used to make tires is a valuable source of fuel (tire-derived fuel for power plants) or reusable rubber for additional products such as material for filtration systems, construction fill, playground and trail surfacing, as well as molded rubber products such as belts, mats and tile. Waste tire storage site requirements ensure the safety of workers and surrounding businesses and residents through reducing the risk of fire and vector (rodent and mosquito) proliferation.


  • Disposal of waste tires into Iowa Sanitary Landfills is prohibited.
  • Open burning of waste tires is prohibited.
  • Facilities processing waste tires, or storing more than 500 waste tires are required to obtain a permit from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and remit an annual fee of $850.00. Failure to remit the annual payment will result in termination of the permit.
  • There is an exception for authorized automobile recyclers; they may store up to 3,500 tires without obtaining a permit.

Generator Requirements

Businesses that generate waste tires are required to properly dispose of them through a permitted waste tire hauler or processor. Waste tires are banned from disposal in Iowa sanitary landfills. Additional outlets that may accept waste tires for a fee include recycling centers and sanitary landfills (for recycling). Transportation of more than 40 tires in a single load must be conducted by a registered waste tire hauler, or may be self-transported.

Waste Tire Collection Site Requirements

If you store more than 500 waste tires on your property or any combination of properties owned by your business, you must apply for a Waste Tire Processing/Collection Permit from the IDNR. For details concerning the permit requirements, see the section entitled 'Permit Requirements' below.

An authorized vehicle recycler, as licensed by the Iowa Department of Transportation, may store up to 3,500 tires without a waste tire stockpile permit. Any storage beyond this amount shall require full compliance with the Waste Tire Stockpile Permit. This sub-rule is applicable to the indoor, outdoor, and underground storage of waste tires. If the site cannot meet the conditions to obtain a waste tire stockpile permit, the waste tires must be removed from the site and properly disposed of within 30 days.

Owners or operators of new waste tire collection sites should apply for permits prior to beginning operation. Existing waste tire collection sites should have applied for permits by September 20, 1996. If your facility is currently in operation and does not have a permit, it can apply for a permit using the Iowa Self-Audit Law, which allows for penalty protection.

Storage of waste tires usually occurs aboveground, but occasionally occurs underground. Underground storage requires that the area be protected from water seepage or direct entry of surface or ground water. The area must be secure from entry of unauthorized people and cannot be used for storage of combustible or volatile chemicals.

Aboveground storage occurs in either an open or enclosed area, the most common being open. Open storage must meet the following requirements:

  • No single pile can exceed 50,000 cubic feet of waste tires;
  • The highest point of the pile cannot exceed 10 feet;
  • The length of the pile cannot exceed 100 feet;
  • The largest surface area covered by a waste tire pile cannot exceed 5,000 square feet;
  • Fire lanes at least 50 feet wide must be maintained between any two tire piles, and lanes at least 50 feet wide must be maintained between any tire pile and any other structure, property line, public right of way and/or street;
  • The perimeter of the storage site must be posted with signs prohibiting burning within 300 feet of a tire pile. The signs must not be more than 100 fee apart with lettering that is readable from 100 feet;
  • The storage site must be secured from unauthorized access by a chain-link fence and gates or similar method;
  • The site must be graded and bermed to prevent any run-off of precipitation and to prevent any standing pools of water.

Aboveground storage in enclosed areas has similar requirements as above, in addition to more specific requirements. For more information on enclosed storage areas, contact the IowaWasteReductionCenter.

Waste Tire Processing Site Requirements

Waste Tire Processing Sites must comply with the storage regulations described above. The waste tire processor does not need to apply for a separate waste tire storage permit as long as the number of tires in storage does not exceed the amount that can be processed in 100 hours of operating time and as long as the processing equipment has successfully processed tires for a minimum of 500 hours in the past six months.

Processed tire product onsite storage may not exceed six months' processing capacity unless a different limitation has been specified in the permit. Waste tire processing permits are issued for five years and the holder of the permit must reapply 90 days prior to the expiration date.

Permit Requirements

Application for permits must be made on forms provided by the IDNR and must be accompanied by the following:

  • A map showing the site used for waste tire storage, collection and/or processing, the property boundaries and the location of any structures or improvements within 1000 feet of the site boundary;
  • A site closure plan describing the actions to be taken to remove all wastes, including processing residuals and unprocessed tires, and the final disposition of all these wastes should the site cease to operate;
  • A vector (rodent and mosquito) control plan detailing the methods and procedures to be used to prevent and control infestations;
  • A financial assurance instrument (see section below entitled 'Financial Assurance Requirements'); and
  • A certified check in the amount of $850.00 for the first year of operation.

Financial Assurance Requirements

No permit can be issued by the IDNR to the owner/operator of a tire collection/processing site until a financial assurance instrument is submitted to the department. Financial assurance may be submitted by cash, surety bond (entails additional requirements), letter of credit or a secured trust fund. The amount of financial assurance to be provided and maintained by a permit holder is as follows:

  • An application for a waste tire storage site must have financial assurance equal to 85 cents per tire listed as the maximum storage capacity being requested in the permit application. For example, if the maximum storage capacity requested is 800 tires, the financial assurance is $680.00.
  • An application for a waste tire-processing site must have financial assurance equal to 85 cents per tire for each tire on site that is in excess of 72 hours of capacity of the processing equipment. For example, if the 72-hour capacity of the processing equipment is 1000 tires, and the facility has an additional 2000 tires onsite, the financial assurance is $1,700.00.

If the method of financial assurance is cancelled or terminated for any reason, the owner/operator must provide the department with an alternative method for financial assurance within 30 days. If a means of continued financial assurance is not provided, the department will suspend the permit. If the permit is suspended, the owner/operator must properly close the site (remove all tires and related products) within 30 days. Likewise, if the owner/operator elects to cease operation under the permit, the site must be properly closed within 30 days.

Waste Tire Hauler Requirements

Registration for waste tire haulers is handled through the Iowa Secretary of State's office. Application for registration requires a $10,000 surety bond and $50 fee. Registration renewal and fee submittal must occur annually, although the surety bond only needs to be submitted the first year.

Waste tire haulers are companies who haul more than 40 waste tires per load. Tire haulers can only dispose of the waste tires at permitted waste tire processing facilities. Equipment used to haul waste tires must have the following marked on both sides of the vehicle in type that is easily readable from a distance.

  • Name of the registered waste tire hauler under whose authority the equipment is being operated
  • Address of the registered waste tire hauler
  • Registration number of the waste tire hauler