NASHVILLE, Tenn.—An additional 8,000 Firestone tires will make their way to waste-to-energy plants in the Chicago and Memphis areas in the coming months, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. officials said.
The Jan. 2 recall of 8,000 Firestone Wilderness LE tires—size P265/70R16—has yielded 1,226 tires from company-owned stores as of late February, company spokesman Joe Quinn said. The tires, most of which were installed on about 4,700 General Motors Corp. sport-utility vehicles, will meet the same fate as many of the 6.5 million Firestone tires recalled in August 2000.
Bridgestone/Firestone is paying to have the tires recycled into energy at a combustion plant run by KTI Inc. in Ford Heights, Ill., and burned as supplemental fuel at two Tennessee Valley Authority power plants, said Michael Blumenthal, executive director of the Scrap Tire Management Council.
"Bridgestone/Firestone decided that when it comes to disposal, they were going to do the right thing and really police this," Mr. Blumenthal said. "There is too much at stake, and they paid a premium to have the tires taken care of. They hired the most reputable companies in the industry, and they spent a lot of resources to make sure they track each and every tire."
BFS has not disclosed its costs for tire disposal. The industry average is about $1 per tire, but BFS is a big client and may have received a reduced rate, Mr. Blumenthal said.
BFS' 16-inch Firestone Wilderness tires, which were recalled Jan. 2, were made at its plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The company is concerned about a batch of 150 tires manufactured April 24, but decided to recall the entire week's worth of tires to ensure that all are recovered, the company spokesman said.
The tires were installed on new GMC Yukon XL 1500 vehicles and were an optional tire choice on the Chevrolet Suburban 1500. Almost all of the tires were installed on vehicles shipped to the U.S., but BFS is tracking about 500 tires that remained in Mexico, Mr. Quinn said.