Liberty Tire Acquires Empire, McGee, Expands Presence in Florida Tire Recycling Market

Tires in the process of being recycled at a Liberty center

(Credit: Liberty Tire)

by | Jan 5, 2024

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Liberty Tire Recycling has acquired two major Florida-based scrap tire processing companies, McGee Tire and Empire Tire, further growing its presence in the Florida tire recycling market.

The acquisition allows Liberty to add additional scrap tire collections and grow its processing capacity, and the company said it will help in its goal of more efficiently moving end-of-life tires into higher-value markets. Liberty currently collects all types of tires from over 36,700 retail locations in North America and has collected over 1.56 billion tires in the last decade.

Liberty recycles and repurposes tires for a wide variety of applications, such as surfacing for playgrounds, rubberized asphalt, and tire-derived fuel.

“Adding Empire and McGee to the Liberty team has created a truly world-class operation here in Florida.” said David Cannon, regional vice president of Liberty. “We are going to be able to keep hundreds of thousands of tires out of Florida landfills each year by finding more opportunities for reuse and recycling, all while optimizing our route collections and customer service.”

About 300 million scrap tires are generated in the United States each year, and the global tire recycling market is expected to generate $18.1 billion by 2032 according to an Allied Market Research report.

Tire Recycling Expansion May Help Address Increasing Tire Waste

Liberty Tire said that the volume of scrap tires has exceeded the growth of scrap tire recycling markets in the past few years. Despite the many environmental benefits of electric vehicles, their heavy batteries contribute to quicker tire wear, exacerbating the issue as more EVs are sold.

Some companies are considering additional options to address the growing amount of tire scrap, such as implementing recycled carbon black or oils and making tires from entirely new, bio-based materials like paper and wood residue or silicate from rice husks. The tire recycling market will reportedly need to continue to expand in the near future to make use of end-of-life tires and divert waste from landfills throughout the country. Liberty considers its acquisition of Empire and McGee a step towards this goal.

“These are great companies who have served their clients and employees well,” said Thomas Womble, CEO of Liberty Tire Recycling. “We are thrilled to continue their legacy of excellence. This is a real opportunity for Liberty and Central Florida to leverage our scale and financial position to expand operations, create new jobs, improve collections and recycling efforts, and provide sustainable solutions for end-of-life tires.”

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