Following an almost four year odyssey, the mess of tires north of Ponoka may be crumbling to the ground.
Nearly a year ago, National Tire Recycling Group owners Yarolslav Stetsyuk and Vasyl Bilavych were able to purchase the former Cutting Edge Recycling property located just east of Highway 2A along Bobtail Road.
With some financial assistance from Ponoka County to go alongside deals struck with the county and the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA), the company will soon begin full scale shredding of tires at the facility.
“A lot of work has been getting done, cleaning up quite the mess that was left on the site and getting both the new shredder and conveyor operational,” said Stetsyuk, during a tour of the facility June 30.
The shredder, at a cost of $207,000, was bought from North Carolina while the conveyor was purchased from Quebec. The money for each piece was provided by Ponoka County earlier this year as part of an agreement that will see the county paid back as revenue comes in. Some of that revenue will come from ARMA through a contract to process passenger vehicle tires with money also coming in from selling processed products.
“There is about 2,000 tons of shredded material on site already, so we have a good amount to start processing with,” he stated.
“With some retail prices coming in at about $800 per ton and us having more than 30,000 tons of tires, the market is definitely there and we have about two years worth of inventory here.”
And the big money is in the mining tires, as each tire is about 80 to 85 per cent natural rubber whereas passenger tires are about 25 per cent.
“It’s just not cost effective to simply process the program (passenger) tires without the ARMA contract, even though there is still a market for them,” Stetsyuk said.
While the plan is to just process the program tires for now, Stetsyuk explained there are bigger plans ahead.
“Right now, we want to make things happen and finish off the contract. Once that’s done, we will move onto the big mining tires plus look at using the only mobile tire shredder in Canada to process passenger tires on site as well as work on making a profit. We also will be looking into plastics recycling by refurbishing the old warehouse and using it,” he explained.
“But, we could not have done this without the help from Ponoka County. We still would have done what we could, but it would have been a much longer period of time and we thank them for helping make all of this happen.”