These two Memphis projects just won Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards

What’s happening: Two Memphis projects – each related to mitigating the environmental hazards of old tires – have been named recipients of the state’s 2023 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. An awards ceremony is planned for Monday, Aug. 21, in Franklin.

What it is: Now in its 37th year, the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes those projects that improve or protect the environment throughout the state. The important distinction here is that these are projects led voluntarily, and not ones that are required by law or regulation.

Who won: The Tires to Trails project at T.O. Fuller State Park won in the Natural Resources category. The project collected more than 24,000 illegally dumped tires in and around Fuller State Park before recycling them into rubber crumbs, which were then used to build a 2.5 mile-long hard-surface walking and biking trail at the park. It’s considered to be one of the longest rubber-bearing trails in the country.

[Related: Read “From tires to trails: New 2.5 mile multi-use trail repurposes dumped tires at Fuller State Park” on High Ground News.]

And Memphis Tire Recyclers has won an award in the Materials Management category. The Memphis-based tire recycling company received a $461,610 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in 2022, and contributed its own $461,610 in matching funds, to make facility upgrades that would enable the company to recycle approximately 420,000 scrap tires each year.

[Related: Read “State awards Memphis Tire Recyclers $460K grant to help company recycle 420K scrap tires each year” on High Ground News.]

What they’re saying: “This year’s award winners display their care for the environment by taking action,” says Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers. “It takes commitment from all Tennesseans to protect our natural resources, and these recipients are especially devoted to the task. They go beyond what is required, and we honor their performance.”   

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