Lt. Governor Phil Scott's "Wheels for Warmth" program sees record-breaking ninth year

October 31, 2013 – Thanks to an all-volunteer statewide effort, the ninth annual “Wheels for Warmth” tire recycle and resale event raised a record $35,000 for emergency fuel assistance programs this year. All of the funds from tire sales, disposal fees and contributions go directly to emergency fuel programs at Central Vermont Community Action Council, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, and BROC Community Action in Southwestern Vermont.

Since Lt. Governor Phil Scott established the program in 2005, “Wheels for Warmth” has raised more than $213,500 for emergency fuel assistance, sold more than 11,000 safe, donated tires, and recycled almost 18,000 unsafe, unusable tires.

This year “Wheels for Warmth” sold 1,350 safe, donated tires, and recycled 2,400 unsafe, unusable tires, a significant jump from the 1,700 tires recycled in 2012.

This jump is due in large part to additional tire drop-off locations at Bond Auto stores in Bradford, Rutland, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury, as well as drop-off locations at Sen. Dick Mazza’s Store in Colchester and Village Grocery in Waitsfield. All of these drop-off locations were operating for two weeks before the tire sale at DuBois Construction in Montpelier on Saturday, Oct. 26.

“The footprint of Bond Auto stores allows us to collect tires from other areas within the state, so we can extend the program outside of the central Vermont region,” said Mark Mast of Bond Auto. “This translates into even more tires being resold and recycled.”

“Thanks to the many volunteers at ‘Wheels for Warmth,’ we had a record year, which means that we will be able to keep so many more families warm this winter,” said Hal Cohen, executive director of Central Vermont Community Action Council.

Tires were also donated on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25, at Casella Waste Management in Williston, and DuBois Construction in Montpelier.

“It is great to help communities recycle tires with 100 percent of the funds raised going to help Vermonters heat their homes,” said Michael Casella of Casella Waste Management. “I am from Rutland and expanding the program to Rutland and other areas increased our tire recycling efforts by 45 percent. We are proud to help do our part in the communities we serve.”

Tires meeting inspection standards were sold for a maximum of $25 each on Oct. 26. Vermonters began arriving at DuBois Construction as early as 11:30 p.m. the night before to be first in line for available tires when the sale began at 7:00 a.m.

“It was a cold day, I was lucky to be under the tent grilling food,” said Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle). “Phil and I may be from different political parties but I’m so impressed with what he’s accomplished over the last decade. I’m proud to be a member of his ‘Wheels for Warmth’ team."

Tires that didn’t meet state inspection standards were recycled through Casella Waste Management. Casella donates 100 percent of the $4 recycling fee to the home heating program.

Bond Auto donated $2,500 to be used toward media and advertising expenses, ensuring that all sale and recycling proceeds will go to the fuel assistance fund. The company collected $2,660 in recycling fees at their four drop-off locations, a big boost for the fund. As a result of this state-wide effort, a portion of the total funds raised will go to community action councils in those regions.

Thanks to the generosity of business sponsors: Bond Auto, Casella Waste Management, Radio Vermont Group, Troy Kingsbury and the Village Grocery in Waitsfield, Dick Mazza’s Store in Colchester, Accura Printing, Always on Time Signs and Design, Capitol Grounds, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, Associated General Contractors, DuBois Construction, Inc., WDEV, and individual volunteers, all costs associated with promoting and implementing Wheels for Warmth are covered without using program funds.

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