-A partnership between Bridgestone/Firestone and a national litter prevention program has resulted in the removal of about 918,000 scrap tires this year from U.S. parks, waterways and roadsides.
The company's 1,600 Firestone Tire & Service Centers joined Keep America Beautiful Inc. in its Great American Cleanup 2003 campaign for a second year of scrap tire cleanup. The 2003 total was more than double the 377,000 tires collected in 2002, according to BFS Retail & Commercial Operations L.L.C.
More than 75 percent of the scrap tires collected have been put to good use, BFS said, including playground surfacing, interstate crash barriers, tire swings and as erosion control materials for gardens.
Gail Cunningham, vice president of Keep America Beautiful and executive director of the Great American Cleanup, gives much credit to BFS for its participation in the campaign.
``We have a wonderful, wonderful relationship with them,'' Cunningham said, adding that Firestone Tire & Service Center employees have pitched in personally to clean up illegal tire dumps. ``Their hands-on involvement has made all the difference.''
Stamford, Conn.-based Keep America Beautiful, which has more than 530 state, local and international affiliates, wanted a tire industry partner for the scrap tire portion of the Great American Cleanup, and approached BFS last year, according to Cunningham.
Firestone Tire & Service Centers across the U.S. joined the activity to organize cleanup, beautification and community improvement programs, with the stores serving as drop-off locations for scrap tires.
Besides the used tires collected, the Keep America Beautiful campaign cleaned up more than 3,500 illegal dumps and removed 10,000 junked cars and 148 million pounds of litter and debris.
Cunningham said the Rubber Manufacturers Association served as the educational adviser to the project, disseminating materials about the importance of scrap tire abatement and the useful products made from scrap tires.