MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - From across Shelby County, people brought truckloads of tires to exchange for money early Monday morning.
Joshua Minor lined up with his load of tires about 14 hours before the gates actually opened at 7:00 a.m. at the tire redemption center, located at Mac's Tire Recycling Center on Elvis Presley.
"It was quit a bit of effort," he said. "We just looked and picked (tires) up wherever we could find them."
Tire salesman Robert Scales lined up even earlier than Minor.
"Yeah, the early bird always catches the worm," he said.
In the program, participants receive one dollar for every tire they bring in. Participants are limited to 100 tires per visit, and two trips per day. The tires are counted by Department of Correction inmates.
The program, now in its second iteration, was a big success the first time around.
"Last time we got 57,000 tires off the street," Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy said.
County officials teamed up with city officials to re-fund the program as a way to generate funds for people who really need them. Along with paying participants for the actual tires, $100,000 has been allotted to pay Mac's to dispose of the tires.
"We have almost 11 percent unemployment in our community, and this is an opportunity to give people work for an honest day's pay," Memphis City Council member Harold Collins said.
Scales said he would be back with more tires on Tuesday.
"I can't give you my source because it would be too competitive," he laughed.
Scales and many others said every tire redeemed is one less tire to become trash somewhere else in the city.
Officials said 14,314 tires were collected Monday. The center will re-open at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, and will run daily, weather permitted, until the program's funds are depleted.