Company History

Our Company History

A family-owned business since 1919

Lakin General is a Chicago-based company dedicated to tire recycling. Since the early 1900s, Lakin has served as a collector of tires and a producer of parts and products using the take-off tire as raw material. Today, the company is one of the largest and most efficient tire recycling organizations in the United States and a producer of parts and products with national and international distribution.

The value of tire recycling has increased during the past few years as scrap tire disposal problems continue to escalate. According to industry figures, approximately 260 million passenger and light truck tires are generated in the United States each year. The design of a tire and its virtual indestructibility has made it an unwelcome component of the nation’s solid waste stream.

Of these 260 million tires, approximately 30 million, or over 10%, will flow through the Lakin network processing centers.  In other words, the tires from one vehicle in ten will be properly recycled by Lakin.

Lakin General’s nationwide network ensures the proper management of all the tires we collect. This network serves the tire recycling needs of some of our nation’s largest retailers who recognize the value of managing the flow of scrap tire material. Furthermore, our program is frequently cited by environmental organizations as a positive example for resolving our nation’s scrap tire disposal problem.

The Lakin business began as a scrap tire and battery operation in 1917. Abraham Lakin and his son, Nathan, formally incorporated A. Lakin & Sons, Inc. in 1935. At that time, the company focused on producing tire liners that extended the usable life of a tire.

Shortly after the end of World War II, Nathan Lakin developed a process for creating die cut products out of tire sections. This process, known by the TICOR brand name, has been used extensively in automobile and agricultural equipment production ever since. These parts continue to be produced at Lakin’s rubber division in Chicago.

Under the guidance of Lewis Lakin, Nathan Lakin’s son, Lakin General grew to become a national collector of tires. Since then, the processing center in Chicago has been joined by similar facilities in Birmingham, Alabama. By the end of 2005, the Lakin network was recycling over 32 million tires a year.

For over 100 years, the Lakin family has been committed to tire recycling, an ethic that has created a company recognized throughout the industry for its quality, integrity and leadership. Lakin has also won the prestigious Governor’s Corporate Recycling Award for “… for your exemplary and progressive efforts in providing a direct contribution to achieving the goals of the Illinois Solid Waste Management Act.”