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And the Pile Just Got a Little Smaller

The bad news ®€ƒ

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And the Pile Just Got a Little Smaller

The bad news ®ƒ

®′ 270 million scrap tires are generated annually

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®′ They weigh approximately 3.4 million tons

®′ 500 million scrap tires currently sit in "stockpiles"

®′ 15- to 20-million scrap tires are lying in legal dumps in West Virginia alone.

But the pile just got a little smaller.

The students of Liberty Union Middle School lost a fellow classmate last school year. He died from encephalitis, a disease carried by mosquitoes that often breed in tire dumps.

These well-informed students are trying to make a difference by raising $2,000, which they plan to use to eliminate 4,000 tires from 725,000 tires piled at the abandoned Phoenix Recycling Center in Fairfield County, Ohio.

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The kids know this won’t bring their friend back. And they’re realistic enough to know they won’t get rid of all the tires. "But if we get rid of 4,000 of them, then maybe the community will start to help and jump in on this project to clear them all away," said Matt Steinke, the 14-year-old spokesman for the group.

If they get rid of 4,000 of them, maybe another kid won’t die of this terrible disease.

A grassroots approach is about the best way to start a program of this kind, but too often these neighborhood efforts start because of an unnecessary death. The Liberty Union students formed "Tires Out of Town" – TOT for short ®“ in hopes of getting a cleanup movement started.

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The efforts of these valiant eighth graders caught the eye of the folks at Goodyear, which donated two rides on one of its blimps as prizes for a fundraising raffle. Additionally, the kids are selling bags of mulch made from shredded tires, another way they hope to encourage businesses and organizations to jump in and help.

Hopefully other businesses will. And not just in Fairfield County, if you get my drift.

Tire dealers can be proactive in the reduction of scrap tire dumps in your area. It’s a cause you can easily get behind, setting your dealership apart from the competition.

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Promoting your environmental efforts will return dividends from your customers. In fact, promoting some of the ways to increase tire life – longer-tread life tires, rotating tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, maintaining recommended air pressure levels, balancing tires when rotating them ®“ will not only build creditability, but build sales, as well.

This issue of Tire Review includes a review of our annual Tire Dealer Profile Study. The Study shows a high percentage of readers dispose of scrap tires through a tire recycling facility, use casing jockeys or return take-offs to customers. But there is still room for improvement.

Landfills should no longer be an alternative, and casing jockeys should be carefully scrutinized to make sure they’re a proven disposal resource.

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For today’s tire dealer, take-offs and scrap tires can be unique profit centers – and produce bottom line money on multiple levels. Lakin General, one of the nation’s largest tire recyclers, helps dealers not only make more money, but make a positive environmental statement, as well.

Civic-minded dealers can hold a special event during which all their take-offs would be converted into community-beneficial product – like playground cushion material. Goodwill goes miles towards building a favorable image.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Scrap Tire Management Council offers a considerable amount of information, and is a great resource to assist your efforts to make sure the pile gets smaller.

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Because it shouldn’t take a small band of 14 year olds to solve an adult problem.

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