Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Depleted funds end Memphis, Shelby County used tire program

From today's Commercial Appeal...

Depleted funds end Memphis, Shelby County used tire program
By Amos Maki

After just three days in operation, the Memphis-Shelby County Tire Redemption Program will end today after an overwhelming community response drained the $100,000 in funding.

"We're victims of our own success," said Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, who created the program along with City Council chairman Harold Collins.

People in line by noon today at Mac's Tire Recycling Center at 3000 Elvis Presley will still be given vouchers to redeem for payment, but that will end the program, which began Friday. People who show up after noon today will not get a voucher, but they can still dispose of their tires at the facility.

Mulroy said his passion for the program was "untiring" and that he and Collins would probably ask the council and commission for more funds to continue the program when they reconvene in January.

Under the program, which was designed to get citizens to clean up illegal tire dumps that mar many inner-city neighborhoods, Memphis and Shelby County residents could get $1 for each used tire they disposed of properly.

On Friday, there was a two-hour wait to enter the tire facility and 14,000 tires were collected. Collins said that as of 8 this morning, over 40,000 tires had been collected.

"It provided some much-needed help to residents who were struggling to make ends meet, and it helped clean up our neighborhoods," said Collins. "Those are things government can do if it is done right."

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