TDEC Awards Memphis Tire Recyclers Grant of $461,610 From Tire Environmental Act Program

Friday, July 22, 2022 | 11:17am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a grant of $461,610 for Memphis Tire Recyclers LLC from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program.

Memphis Tire Recyclers will provide matching funds of $461,610 to implement an operation that will serve West Tennessee as a scrap tire reclamation, recycling, and producer of tire-derived material, namely tire-derived fuel, and tire-derived aggregate. Memphis Tire Recyclers is applying funds toward purchasing and installing equipment and making facility upgrades.

The project will cost an estimated $863,221 and allow Memphis Tire Recyclers LLC to recycle approximately 420,000 scrap tires annually. The company sees a need for a tire processing facility in West Tennessee. The project would meet part of that need.

“TDEC is proud to support the business community in its efforts to implement environmentally responsible actions,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “TDEC is a resource, not just a regulator. We are proud to be a resource in working with our communities through the grant process while working with the Tennessee General Assembly to obtain the funding for grants that help protect our natural resources and grow local economies throughout the state.”  

“This TDEC partnership with Memphis Tire Recyclers comes at a critical time for our state as tire dumping has hit levels we've never seen before,” said Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis. “This project is really what families have come to expect: government solving problems and creating jobs with homegrown Tennessee businesses.”

"Every effort to combat waste tires in our community is helpful,” said Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis. “The grant from the state of Tennessee is a positive step in the right direction, however, there is much more work and effort needed by all to turn the corner on proper disposal of waste tires in our state. “

“West Tennessee is home to some of our state’s most remarkable natural assets,” said Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis. “This important project will help protect that by recycling hundreds of thousands of used tires each year. I am thankful to TDEC and Memphis Tire Recyclers for their major investments in our community and our environment.”

The purpose of the Tire Environmental Act Program is to select and fund projects that best result in beneficial uses for waste tires. Projects must qualify for one of three categories: tire processing/recycling, tire-derived material use, or research and development. The program provides grant funding to the eligible entities, including: local governments, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and for-profit entities.

Tennessee established the Tire Environmental Fund in 2015. Upon the first retail sale of a new motor vehicle to be titled and registered in Tennessee, a flat fee based on the number of a vehicle’s wheels is assessed. The fee goes into the fund, which is used for projects creating or supporting beneficial end uses for waste tires.

Since 2015, grantees have been awarded almost $4.5 million, and approximately 3.6 million tires or nearly 42,476 tons of scrap tires have been diverted from landfills. The tires are repurposed for use in rubberized asphalt, tire derived aggregate, tire derived fuel, granulated rubber porous flexible pavement, and other beneficial end uses that result in tires being diverted from landfill for a higher and better use.