Discontent surfaces over city, county contract with tire recycler

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Whispers of discontent are surfacing inside Memphis City and Shelby County government over their contract with MAC's Tire Recyclers.

They come after Memphis/Shelby County Tire Redemption grant money, which paid people a dollar a tire to remove blight, ran out.

When the tire redemption program ended, people who'd spent hours collecting tires were turned away.  And property owners say some of those people illegally dumped tires to avoid the usual recycling fees.

Now, people inside government are complaining about the recycling company's $40,000 fee, which is close to half of the $100,000 put aside for the program.

MAC's Tire Recyclers already receives $550,000 per year to recycle tires in Memphis and Shelby County as part of a state mandate.

Supporters of the tire program tell Action News 5 when talks began, it appeared the tires collected in the program would fall under that contract.

But something very different happened after it was to late too turn back.  The recycling contract says the tires must be delivered by the city and county. But since citizens dropped off the tires, the program could not fall under the contract.

That means on top of the $550,000, MAC's received another $40,000.

"MAC's gave a service to the city of Memphis," a company representative said from Nashville. "Other than that, we have no comment."

Though MAC's representative did not mention it, the company's contract also includes Shelby County.

Insiders say MAC's is making a killing because on top of the two contracts, their tires can be sold to fuel companies.

But one MAC's worker told said under anonymity that the tire program should have been planned better.

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