Officials hope tire redemption program will return - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials hope tire redemption program will return

45,825 tires were collected through the tire redemption program. 45,825 tires were collected through the tire redemption program.

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - South Memphis is the new home to a huge mountain of tires - 45,825 to be exact, according to county officials.  

All of the tires were collected during the Memphis/Shelby County Tire Redemption program. While the tire collection center was shut down Wednesday because of rain, county officials expect to collect about 7,000 more tires from individuals who received vouchers before the program concluded.

The program officially ended Tuesday when its funding ran out.  According to county officials, nearly $43,000 of the program's $100,000 operating budget was used for operating fees, including tire disposal.  The program was charged nearly 59 cents per tire collected, in order to have each tire shredded, processed, and shipped out of state.

Additionally, participants in the program were given $1 for each tire collected, up to 250 per day.

At a Tuesday news conference, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy described the program as a huge success.  Mulroy said he hoped it would get a second chance, but with a better deal in place.

"Long term, I think we ought to be looking at an opportunity for us to pick up these used tires and then turn them into something useful, where they can generate revenue rather than cost us revenue," he said.

Originally, the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission considered offering 50 cents per tire, but members of both bodies felt $1 per tire would offer people more incentive to turn tires in.

Both legislative bodies are expected to consider re-starting the program.

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