State awards Memphis Tire Recyclers $460K grant to help company recycle 420K scrap tires each year

What’s happening: The fight to control tire waste, and the blight that results from illegal tire dumping, scored a major win in Memphis late last week, as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced a $461,610 grant for Memphis Tire Recyclers, a Memphis-based tire recycling company. The grant comes as part of Tennessee’s Tire Environmental Act Program. The company itself will contribute an additional $461,610 in matching funds.

What it does: Memphis Tire Recyclers will use the funds to make facility upgrades and to purchase and install the equipment necessary for scrap tire reclamation and recycling, allowing the company to recycle approximately 420,000 scrap tires each year. Recycled tires will then be reproduced as tire-derived fuel and tire-derived aggregate, the latter of which can be used as filler in a variety of construction projects.

Why it’s important: “This TDEC partnership with Memphis Tire Recyclers comes at a critical time for our state as tire dumping has hit levels we've never seen before,” Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis, says in a statement. “This project is really what families have come to expect: government solving problems and creating jobs with homegrown Tennessee businesses.”

Real world applications: Recycled tires can be used in a variety of ways. Earlier this summer, for example, state and local officials celebrated the completion of a 2.5 mile-long hard-surface walking and biking trail at T.O. Fuller State Park in Memphis. While any new trail news is good news, this particular trail was made from recycling more than 24,000 illegally dumped tires collected from areas in and around the park. Money from the Tire Environmental Act Program also helped fuel this particular project.

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

What they’re saying: “TDEC is proud to support the business community in its efforts to implement environmentally responsible actions,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers says in a statement. “TDEC is a resource, not just a regulator. We are proud to be a resource in working with our communities through the grant process while working with the Tennessee General Assembly to obtain the funding for grants that help protect our natural resources and grow local economies throughout the state.”

Memphis Tire Recyclers is located at 1566 Havana St. in Memphis.
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