<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Firestone Tire&Service Centers Cleanup Environment
Firestone Tire & Service Centers Contribute to Successful Environmental Cleanup Campaign

Bloomingdale, Ill. - Thanks in major part to the efforts of Firestone's company-owned stores, almost a million scrap tires have been removed from parks and roadsides to be recycled into a variety of new uses as part of Keep America Beautiful's (KAB) Great American Cleanup 2003.

"The men and women of Firestone's company-owned stores remain committed to strengthening our communities and protecting our environment, and we are proud of all of our associates' efforts this year that helped collect a record number of stray tires - almost one million," said John Sheerin, Retail Environmental Manager, BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, LLC (BFRC), which owns and operates Firestone Tire & Service Centers. "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."

During this year's event, more than 918,000 tires were collected for recycling. This represents a 143 percent - or more than double - increase from 2002's efforts, which yielded 377,000 tires collected, and was the highest increase of all recycling efforts during the 2003 campaign. This also represents one of the largest private collections in a single volunteer campaign, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which served as an educational partner with Keep America Beautiful. BFRC is a subsidiary Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., which is a long-standing and active member of the RMA.

"The recycling efforts of Firestone Tire & Service Centers are wonderful examples of Keep America Beautiful's mission in action," said G. Raymond Empson, president of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. "The Firestone Tire & Service Centers' commitment to product stewardship and to the issues of recycling, litter abatement and community improvement is apparent in its support of the Great American Cleanup. We are very proud to have Firestone Tire & Service Centers as a National Sponsor of our 2003 Great American Cleanup. The involvement of the men and women of Firestone's company-owned stores certainly helped ensure the incredible accomplishments of the 2003 Great American Cleanup program."

During the 2003 event, company-owned stores across the country participated in locally organized clean-up, beautification and community improvement programs. Company-owned stores served as drop-off locations for scrap tires and worked with their respective cities' local KAB affiliates to remove scrap tires from area parks and waterways. More than 3/4 of the collected and recycled tires have received a new life. They have been or will be used as playgrounds and tire swings as well as in erosion control for gardens and for interstate crash barriers, among other productive uses.

"This year's campaign exceeded our expectations, and I know its success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our associates, many of whom spent countless hours devoted to championing this cause," said Larry Magee, BFRC president, CEO and chairman. "They deserve to be commended for their willingness to volunteer to work toward a clean and safe environment."

BFRC is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH), which, through its various subsidiaries, has a long tradition of supporting the environment and conservation. This is the second consecutive year that Firestone Tire & Service Centers and the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund partnered with KAB as a national sponsor of the beautification and community cleanup program. In addition, the company-owned stores recycle tires, oil, oil filters, antifreeze, air conditioning refrigerant, batteries and lead wheel weights, among other items.

Further, BSAH companies have received recognition from many well-known and respected conservation and environmental groups for its environmental programs and commitments. The companies have been honored by KAB, Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Conservation Fund, the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma, the Iowa Governor's Office, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the National Geographic/Eastman Kodak Company/Conservation Fund.

Firestone Tire & Service Centers are owned and operated by BFRC, which operates the largest number of company owned automotive retail generalist stores in the world and employs 22,000 associates. MasterCare® technicians perform part repairs and replacements, routine scheduled maintenance services, and a variety of diagnostic services covering major systems within a vehicle. For more information on MasterCare® Car Service or Firestone Tire & Service Center locations visit www.MasterCareUSA.com.


©2003 Rockcrawler 4x4 and Off-Road Magazine. All Rights Reserved