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Waste Tires To Be Recycled For New Trail At T.O. Fuller State Park

January 22, 2019  |  Permalink

MEMPHIS – On Monday, Jan. 21, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and local officials gathered alongside volunteers at T.O. Fuller State Park to collect waste tires to be recycled into material for a new pedestrian trail. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day service event was led by Tennessee State Parks and community partners, including Shelby County, the City of Memphis, Memphis City Beautiful, Leadership Memphis, Refurban, Clean Memphis and the Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park. More than 450 volunteers registered to participate in the day’s event, which resulted in the collection of more than 10,000 tires.

“Our overall goal is to convert a chronic waste issue of discarded tires into a valuable outdoor recreational resource for everyone to enjoy,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.

The cleanup event was part of Tennessee State Park’s Tires to Trails Program and the first of three similar volunteer activities at the park.

“There is no better way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy than with a day of service,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “It was great to see hundreds of people volunteering together to not only clean up the community, but to kick off the Tires to Trails Program to improve T.O. Fuller State Park.”

Eventually roughly 36,000 tires will be collected from predetermined locations in the Memphis metro area. The tires will be recycled by Patriot Recycling in Bristol, Tennessee into pavement-like surfacing for an approximately three mile trail for pedestrians and cyclists within the park.

“Environmental cleanups are important and I applaud the state for the financial support to involve businesses and the surrounding area towards protecting and maintaining one of Shelby County’s crown jewels,” said State Rep. Barbara Cooper.

“We honor Martin Luther King with a day on, not a day off,” said State Sen. Raumesh Akbari. “I want to thank everyone who came together with a volunteer’s spirit to make our city better. Their work building these trails will last for years to come.”

The Tires to Trails Program is supported by a $200,000 litter pickup grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Two additional grants from TDEC will go towards construction of the trail.


Volunteers collected more than 10,000 tires on MLK Day 2019

Pictured, left to right, are TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill; TDEC Commissioner David Salyers; Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris; Michael Meister, Tennessee State Parks; State Sen. Raumesh Akbari; State Rep. Barbara Cooper; City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland; Van Rutherford, president, Friends of T.O. Fuller State Park.

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Tennessee State Parks