Del-Nat's 'Tires for Trees' program takes root
Del-Nat Tire Corp. recently donated a 14-foot sugar maple tree and $832 to the Memphis City Beautiful Commission.
The check and tree were the result of Del-Nat’s “Tires for Trees” program that was launched last spring.
In May, a volunteer team consisting of Del-Nat employees, their families and friends collected 832 used and discarded tires from an abandoned area in South Memphis. For each tire collected, Del-Nat donated $1 for the purchase of trees. Del-Nat also donated the sugar maple that became the first tree to be planted as a result of the program.
The cleanup was done with the cooperation of Memphis City Beautiful, Shelby County government and Shelby County Waste Tire Recycling Center. The trees will be planted in locations selected by City Beautiful.
“The tree planting brings our initial effort to fruition,” says Jim Mayfield, president of Del-Nat. “Our ‘Tires for Trees’ program is a perfect way for Del-Nat to contribute to our community – helping to beautify our city and remove a health hazard in a blighted area. Disposing of discarded tires eliminates places where mosquitoes breed.
“You could say we’re completing the cycle, from delivering new tires to properly disposing of used ones. We’re pleased with what has been accomplished thus far and plan to build on what we’ve started.”
The collected tires were recycled by Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire Recycling, one of the nation’s largest providers of tire recycling services in the United States. By reclaiming more than 33% of the nation’s discarded tires, Liberty Tire annually transforms more than 110 million tires into raw materials for sustainable products.
Mayfield says there are a number of studies indicating that urban areas with a greater number of trees have fewer instances of crime. Organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation underscore the positive impact trees have on the environment and well as creating a better quality of life.
Del-Nat has about 55 employees in its warehouse and administrative offices in Memphis.