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Firestone Tire & Service Centers Band Together with 2.3 Million Volunteers to Collect Record-Breaking Number of Scrap Tires

Submitted by: Keep America Beautiful

Categories: Environment

Posted: Nov 14, 2004 – 11:00 PM EST


Nationwide Effort To Clean, Beautify and Improve Communities Is Part of
Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup(tm)

Nov. 14 /CSRwire/ - STAMFORD, ConnCT. (November 12, 2004) - There are visible improvements in our country's streets, highways, playgrounds, forests and waterways, thanks to 2.3 million volunteers and Firestone Tire & Service Centers who took part in Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup™ 2004.

In what is the nation's largest annual community improvement effort, Great American Cleanup™ volunteers working with Firestone's company-owned stores removed a record-breaking 1.2 million scrap tires from vacant lots, parks and roadsides - helping to create cleaner, safer and more beautiful community environments across the nation.

"We made a commitment at the beginning of this year's Great American Cleanup campaign to help reach the 1 million tire mark, and the program success has certainly exceeded our expectations," said Larry Magee, CEO and president of BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, LLC (BFRC), which owns and operates Firestone Tire & Service Centers. "Our teammates deserve to be commended for their volunteerism and dedication to community improvement."

This is the third consecutive year that Firestone Tire & Service Centers and the Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund have partnered with Keep America Beautiful as a national sponsor of the beautification and community cleanup program. Last year's tire collection yielded approximately 918,000 tires collected for recycling; this year's 1,220,000 tires collected represents nearly a 33 percent increase.

"Not only did the men and women of Firestone's company-owned stores help collect a record number of stray tires, they also improved quality of life in our communities," said G. Raymond Empson, president of Keep America Beautiful. "Stray tires are an eyesore and they can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as well as potential fire and water pollution hazards. The collection and recycling effort of Firestone Tire & Service Centers was a tremendous community service and a wonderful example of Keep America Beautiful's mission in action."

The Great American Cleanup™ is the nation's largest annual community improvement program. Each spring, volunteers rally together from coast to coast to improve the quality of life in their communities, creating healthier, cleaner and safer environments across the nation. This year, more than 2.3 million volunteers worked for more than 7 million hours cleaning, beautifying and improving 15,000 communities during 30,000 Great American Cleanup™ events. Examples included:

  • Sweeping statewide and big city programs: Notably, beautification and responsible solid waste practices were promoted in Kentucky, where the "Commonwealth Cleanup Program" collected hundreds of thousands of tires from along Kentucky river banks, highways and communities. Additionally, massive volunteer efforts were mobilized in Cincinnati and Milwaukee, where thousands more tires were collected.

  • Restoration of waterways and natural habitats: In other communities, including Rhode Island's Blackstone River Valley, teammates of Firestone Tire & Service Centers worked with community groups and the State's Department of Tourism to remove more than 3,000 tires from the Blackstone River, helping to restore the river and clean the adjacent marshlands. Firestone's efforts are all part of helping residents maintain the river to be able to swim and fish in it.

  • Community Beautification efforts: From Lincoln, Nebraska, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, local Keep America Beautiful affiliates helped organize efforts that resulted in thousands more tires collected, as well as cleaner and more beautiful public spaces, highways and water sources.

  • Litter hot spots identified: Smaller communities, like Dorchester County, South Carolina, and Wilson, North Carolina, tackled litter hot spots along highways and waterways through their scrap tire collection efforts.

    According to a majority of community leaders who organized and reported on the 2004 Great American Cleanup™ events, volunteers feel communities are safer as a result of activities like the Great American Cleanup. Safety increases in clean communities on several levels, according to the community leaders, in many ways, including:

  • People involved in the Great American Cleanup™ experience an increased sense of unity in the neighborhoods, and feel more at ease;
  • Communities are "healthier" because cleanups help eliminate illegal dumpsites, reducing the risk of mosquitoes, rodents and the threat of West Nile disease;
  • Children can play more safely in parks and recreation areas where dangerous objects and trash have been removed; and
  • Water cleanups help remove health hazards from drinking water.

    This year's Great American Cleanup™ results for cleaner, safer and more beautiful communities also include:

  • Collecting 150 million pounds of litter and debris;
  • Planting 5 million flowers and bulbs; and
  • Cleaning 6,500 miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines.

    "Keep America Beautiful has been the nation's leading community improvement and beautification organization for a half century and we are proud to be a part of this effort," said John Sheerin, retail environmental manager, BFRC.

    About Firestone Tire & Service Centers
    Firestone Tire & Service Centers are owned and operated by BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, LLC (BFRC). BFRC operates the largest number of company-owned automotive retail generalist stores in the world. MasterCare® technicians perform part repairs and replacements, routine scheduled maintenance services, and a variety of diagnostic services covering major systems within a vehicle. To learn more about driving tips and maintenance or Firestone Tire & Service Center locations,visit visit

    About Keep America Beautiful
    Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (established in 1953) is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. The Great American Cleanup™ is one of its many programs that encourage people to care for communities through volunteer participation. To learn more Keep America Beautiful and its Great American Cleanup™, visit

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: +1-203.323.8987, Ext

    For more from this organization:

    Keep America Beautiful


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