Burning rubber? Not on Bridgestone's watch.

That's what the world's largest tire and rubber company is saying by ratcheting up its tire-recycling program. Bridgestone Americas is looking to ensure that, by the end of the year, 100 percent of the used tires returned to its company-owned stores when new tires are purchased are recycled for other uses.

The effort is part of Bridgestone's One Team, One Planet Spent Tire program. In addition to enforcing recycling for its company-owned stores, the Nashville-based company will, next year, start pushing affiliate retail stores to recycle all used tires as well.

So far, the company appears to be pretty vigilant about its tire-recycling efforts, as it currently has a 98-percent tire-reusage rate at the company's 2,200 U.S. stores. That compares favorably to the 85-percent recycling rate for "spent" tires, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
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Bridgestone Americas Announces One Team, One Planet Spent Tire Program
Program aims to find valuable end use for all spent tires

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- During national Earth Day activities in Washington, D.C., Bridgestone Americas, Inc. announced a one-for-one spent tire program that sets a waste-free vision for the future of the tire industry.

Building upon the 98 percent rate of valuable reuse already achieved by the company's 2,200 Bridgestone Retail Operations stores nationwide, Bridgestone Americas is launching its One Team, One Planet Spent Tire Program, which is designed to eventually assure that for every tire Bridgestone Americas sells in the United States, one spent tire (a tire that has been removed from use) will be used for a valuable purpose. Currently, spent tires in the U.S. go to valuable end use at a rate of approximately 85 percent, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

"At Bridgestone Americas we are working hard to help preserve our environment for future generations," said Gary Garfield, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas. "We view this program as a major part of our responsibility to do the right thing for the world around us."
Bridgestone Americas has designed this initiative to be multi-faceted, with a program for its company-owned stores, a voluntary program for its extended network of affiliated retailers, and a community program that provides spent tire collection for neighborhood and river clean-up events.

"The purpose of this program is simple – to improve our environment by moving towards a waste-free tire industry where all spent tires are captured and sent to another valuable use," said John Sheerin, Environmental Director for Bridgestone Retail Operations and program spokesperson. "It's a lofty goal, but failure is not an option when it comes to ensuring the future health of our environment. And that's why we're not doing it alone. By working together with our affiliated retailers, community partners, academia, government entities and others in our industry, we can and will find even better solutions for our products at the end of their useful lives."

The company has committed, by the end of 2012, that 100 percent of spent tires from its network of company-owned stores in the United States will be sent to valuable use at end of life. This includes all Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus®, Wheel Works and ExpertTire® locations. Starting in 2013, the company will launch a voluntary program for its Bridgestone Affiliated Retailer Nationwide Network, which will encourage the company's sales partners to also strive towards zero waste of spent tires at their stores.

The community clean-up support program, which begins immediately, includes a new partnership with River Network. The Portland-based nonprofit leads a national watershed protection movement that includes more than 2,000 local, state and regional grassroots organizations whose primary mission is to protect rivers and watersheds. Bridgestone America's new community clean-up support program will recycle any spent tires collected during any River Network or other independently organized clean-up event – free of charge. Event organizers can request tire recycling support by filling out the form available at www.OneTeamOnePlanet.com/Americas.

Sheerin continued, "It is our goal to make tires found in our natural environment a thing of the past and no longer the poster child of trash. We are all part of One Team, One Planet, and together we will make a difference – one tire at a time."

One Team, One Planet. is the umbrella program for all of Bridgestone Corporation's environmental activities. Bridgestone's environmental mission is "To help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations." In 2011, the company revamped its environmental mission statement to better support its global environmental activities by including the company's three major objectives: Being in harmony with nature, Valuing natural resources and Reducing CO2 emissions. The One Team, One Planet Spent Tire Program is designed to encompass each of these goals in some way.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.