Driveway leads to business venture

When Ron Bristow came across an ad for rubber paving, he decided to try the product on the driveway of his Innisfail home.

When Ron Bristow came across an ad for rubber paving, he decided to try the product on the driveway of his Innisfail home.

His level of satisfaction can be gauged by his reaction: Bristow bought a pair of franchises for the system, including one for Central Alberta.

A year later, he sees nothing but potential for his Enviropaving businesses, which use recycled tire crumbs to create a rubber covering on all types of surfaces.

“We can put it over asphalt, concrete, paving stone, sidewalk blocks,” said Bristow, adding that there’s a recycled plastic product that can be used to create the necessary base for the rubber coat elsewhere — such as on bare ground.

“It’ll support over 100,000 pounds per square foot.”

Guaranteed for five years, Enviropaving provides a seamless alternative to concrete and other materials. It can be laid in virtually any colour, is permeable so water migrates away, and materials like gas and oil can be washed off of it.

“It stays soft, even when it’s 30 below,” said Bristow.

Rubber paving is not new, as evidenced by such surfaces at places like the Rotary Park playground. But the process and product have improved, he said.

“The technology has really advanced.”

The Enviropaving system was developed by tire recycling company Shercom Industries Inc. of Saskatoon. It’s now being franchised out, with Bristow owning the rights to the north Okanagan as well as for the area from Airdrie to Leduc.

“They’ve been doing it in Saskatoon for like 12 years, so it’s a proven product,” he said.

Bristow’s franchises have done driveways, patios, pool decks and even the fitness room at the Innisfail Arena.

“We’re actually going to do the Chinook Playground in Innisfail,” he said, noting that playground applications require a cushioning underlay to satisfy CSA fall protection regulations.

For most jobs, installation involves cleaning and edging the surface, cold-mixing and colouring the tire crumb product. and then applying and rolling it to a compressed thickness of about three-quarters of an inch to an inch (two to 2.5 cm).

“Twenty-four hours later, you can drive on it.”

Bristow developed specialized equipment and perfected his application process this year. The wet weather hurt business, but he’s optimistic about future demand.

“I think we’re just touching on it now.

“Now’s the time to let it blossom.”

Bristow believes it will serve as a nice complement to an oilfield construction company that he operates with his brother. Staff from that business will be able to do rubber paving during slow periods.

Additional information about Enviropaving can be found online at www.enviropaving.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com