Asheville Greenworks collects record-high of 2,880 tires at biannual Tire Amnesty Days

photo courtesy of Tiffany Narron

Press Release:

In partnership with Buncombe County’s Department of Solid Waste, local environmental conservation nonprofit Asheville Greenworks holds free biannual tire collection events, Tire Amnesty Days, intended to increase awareness around tire recycling and provide an affordable outlet for the public to rid their properties of unwanted tire piles. This past November the local nonprofit collected an all time high in the open-to-the-public event, pulling in over 2,455 tires in two days, beating their previous record of 853 tires in last spring’s collection event. The weekend of May 14, 2016 they collected over 2,880 tires on and off rims from area residents, topping their previous record once again and proving the growing necessity of awareness and education around tire recycling and an affordable opportunity for western North Carolina.
“The majority of the tires we see at these collections are from old farms and properties that have either been recently purchased or have now fallen to a family member to cleanup. With only one tire disposal location in Buncombe County, we seek to offer an easier method for residents to recycle these burdensome tires.”

Tire waste has long been an issue in North Carolina which is why the state imposed an additional tax in the early 80s to be collected annually on all new tires sold. The money collected from sales is then distributed to individual counties to help with programs such as these. Through Buncombe County’s landfill, residents are able to recycle up to 10 tires sans rims at no-charge, however each additional costs $2. GreenWorks volunteers locate and remove an average of 1,000 tires from roadsides and rivers through cleanup events each year. Tires left in the river photo-degrade and release heavy metals that harm fish, wildlife and drinking water. They hold these events to make it more convenient for residents to safely shed unused tires from their property and to educate the public on the importance and necessity of keeping them out of our environment.
“I bought an old farm back in 2013 and found that the previous owner had collected several piles of tires to hold down his silage. I work through the week and I can’t make it out to the County Landfill to dispose of these tires,” says Leicester resident Tommy Williams. “I’m glad y’all are doing this for the community.”
The city’s health department is teaming up with Greenworks as well to help promote the importance of eliminating free-standing water sources as well with new campaign ‘Tip and Toss’. Tires, bird baths and other large open containers are natural breeding grounds for mosquitoes which pose serious health risks.  The next Tire Amnesty event will be held in November 12th & 13th at the Sears Asheville Mall. If you’re interested in lending a hand to help keep local roadsides and rivers clean, Asheville Greenworks hosts cleanups throughout the year as well as outdoor educational activities.
Please contact Director of Operations Eric Bradford at with any questions. For more information, or to volunteer visit

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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