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Tennessee unveils trail made out of tires

June 6, 2022 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials say one of the longest rubber-bearing trails in the U.S. have opened at T.O. Fuller State Park.

According to a news release, Tennessee State Parks, the Department of Transportation and local leader cut the ribbon on the on the new 2.5 miles hard-surface walking biking trail.

Volunteers and local contractors gathered more than 24,000 tires that had been illegally dumped in the park to make the trail. Patriot Tire Recycling in Bristol transformed the tires into crumbs, which were then returned to the park for trail construction.

“This is a quintessential example of recycling in full circle, collecting dumped material then converting it into positive use,” said David Salyers, commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation. “It’s exactly the kind of responsible environmental activity Tennesseans can be proud of, where an area can be cleaned up then have people enjoy the benefits in a new way.”

State officials say T.O. Fuller State Park was the first state park open for African Americans east of the Mississippi River.