how to get rid of rubber mulch

How To Get Rid Of Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch is a kind of mulch that generally consists of waste tires, synthetic rubber, or a combination of both. Gardeners commonly use it as an alternative for organic mulches such as old or fresh hay and grain straw.

Nonetheless, because it is highly flammable and doesn’t decompose, some people wonder how to get rid of rubber mulch.

It takes at least ten years for rubber mulch to break down. Rubber mulch is environmentally friendly. So, don’t throw it away. You can compost rubber mulch as it’s safe for flowers and pets. If you have no further use, dispose of it at the waste center. 

In this article, I’ll discuss in depth how to eliminate rubber mulch you no longer need. 

So keep reading.

Can You Throw Away Rubber Mulch?

Yes, you can throw away rubber mulch. Some would even choose to dispose of it in a landfill, but you shouldn’t.

Rubber mulch rarely says die, and there is usually always the next phase. Instead, you can choose other ways to get rid of it.

How To Get Rid Of Rubber Mulch

Some of the ways to get rid of rubber mulch include.

Sell on Craigslist

Did you know you can sell anything on Craigslist, including rubber mulch? All you need to do is post, sit back and wait for the buyer to reach out.

You might need to get rid of it, but someone is willing to give you some cash in exchange.

Use It For Your Landscape

Rubber mulch is a good option for landscaping. Not only is it good-looking, but it’s also long-lasting. It’s also eco-friendly compared to other ground cover options.

So if you need to dispose of rubber mulch, why don’t you use it to cover the ground surrounding your house.

It is also eye pleasing (it comes in different colors). You can even spice it up by dyeing it your desired color. Rubber mulch also reduces dust when used in landscaping.

Gift Friends And Family

You might no longer find the value of the rubber mulch, but maybe a family member or friend does. If you need to get rid of it, you can enquire if anyone else needs it and gift them.

With its many uses, there could be someone you know that will make good use of it.

Use It To Make Diy Knit Knacks

This option applies if you love knick-knacks and DIYs. You can make numerous things with rubber mulch, from colorful ornaments to outdoor beanbags and throw pillows.

If you’re a creative person, there are numerous DIYs you can make from it.

Use it to fill up beanbags and pillows and use them to decorate your home or gift them to loved ones.

Sell It At The Local Rubber Recycling Businesses

Any rubber product, including rubber mulch, is gold for recycling businesses. They are always willing to pay no matter its condition. After processing, it will be back to its valuable form.

So go ahead and make some money from it. Approach the local recycling business, and they will for sure buy the rubber mulch.

Use It As Compost

This is one of the most common uses of rubber mulch. If you need to get it out of your way, chop it up into small pieces and use it as compost.

However, note it doesn’t decompose, so make sure the pieces are small enough to easily break down.

The positive side of using rubber mulch as compost is that it retains moisture and lasts long. So, if you grow plants, use it as compost and watch them thrive from not losing moisture anymore.

Is Rubber Mulch Terrible For The Environment?

Rubber mulch is environmentally-friendly. Compared to wood and other organic mulches, it allows a 2 -3 degrees higher moisture. The reason why it retains moisture is that it insulates the soil from direct heat.

Rubber mulch also doesn’t absorb moisture and is non-porous. This further helps moisture retention compared to other plant-based mulches.

More people choose to use their rubber mulch for gardening purposes for these reasons.

However, there are two sides to every coin. Although rubber mulches are cost-effective and eye-pleasing, they can have a toxic side.

Recently there have been debates on the issue of releasing toxins to the environment, especially when breaking down. It depends on how rubber is manufactured and what it is exposed to during its lifetime. It could have collected various toxins.

A typical example is the products used to make tires. One of which is 2-mercaptobenzothiazole that is used as an accelerator.

Such toxins are released into the environment when rubber mulch is used on the soil and contaminates the environment.

Once released, these environmental contaminants might lead to diseases and even death of the plants and animals that come into contact with the rubber mulch.


Can I Burn Rubber Mulch?

Yes, you can burn rubber mulch. You should, however, know that it burns hotter than wood. It also burns faster and has thicker smoke compared to wood.

In addition, its smoke is hazardous, so ensure you put on protective gear when burning to avoid inhaling dangerous fumes.

If you need to put it off, be patient as it reignites. It’s difficult to put out a fire caused by rubber mulch fully.

Is Recycled Rubber Mulch Safe?

Yes, recycled rubber mulch is safe. It’s particularly effective when used as soft landings of playgrounds.

Both the EPA and the Consumer Safety commission promote rubber mulch use.

The reason is that rubber mulch is proven to be safe and works well as playground cushions, and protects from injuries.

Moreover, it’s also safe to use in gardening and landscaping as it retains soil moisture and helps reduce dust.

How Do I Remove Rubber Mulch From My Lawn?

You remove by use of a rake or handpicking. Removing rubber mulch from your lawn can be time-consuming. Nonetheless, with patience, it’s doable.

Just ensure you scratch off your soil with either a rake or your hands.

First, pick the compiled rubber mulch piles with a shovel. Secondly, once you get out the top layer, continue to scratch the remaining rubber mulch with the rake by loosening the soil.

You can finally choose to rake up the remaining pieces or handpick until the soil is clean from the mulch.

Does Rubber Mulch Break Down Fully?

Over time rubber mulch breaks down into small pieces. It’s ‘sustainable’ as it doesn’t add offensive matter to the soil.

Even so, it only breaks down once exposed to certain environmental conditions such as heat, bacteria, and fungi.

Rubber mulch, however, never decomposes.

Its manufacturers take pride in their products that last for more than 10 yrs. Even though it has a longer lifespan than organic mulches, it eventually breaks down, and you need to refill it with time.


Knowledge is power, you now know how to get rid of rubber mulch. Well, by now, your choices are multiple. Options as discussed range from gardening to using it as soft cushions on playgrounds, DIYs, and even gift them to family and friends. Rubber mulch rarely reaches its end.

There are always several ways to get rid of it instead of disposing it off by burning or throwing it away. It’s advisable to get rid of it more profitably.

It might look like it has run its course, but most probably, there is always a gainful way to get rid of rubber mulch.

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