The CuttingEdge Tire Recycling plant in Ponoka County is ramping up production following the installation of new equipment.
Sunvault Energy Inc., a partner in CuttingEdge’s parent company CleanGen Inc., said the plant just north of Ponoka will add a second shift, beginning Monday.
This follows the acquisition of mulching equipment and construction of a 2,700-square-foot building on the site this spring.
A release issued by Sunvault said final adjustments to the equipment have been made with favourable results.
“The product being produced for the landscaping industry as a rubberized ‘bark’ mulch product is exceptional,” said Mark Roseborough, a director with Sunvault.
Sunvault said it’s developing contracts for product from the plant, which is expected to be sold for various uses, including landscaping and road construction.
CleanGen CEO Bill Hunter said in an email to the Advocate that staff at the plant has increased to 15 from 10, with training occurring over the past two weeks.
CleanGen has operated a tire collection and shredding plant at the site for about seven years.
It was leasing 12.5 acres from Ponoka County, but recently purchased that property and another 17.5 acres from the county.
Hunter said the plant now consists of a shipping and receiving area, an office and weigh scale, a shredder plant that’s been on site since 2007, and the new steel building and mulch plant.
The new facilities have a buffing unit, a metal separation unit, and screening, bagging and weighing systems.
Sunvault said in March that the expanded plant will be one of only a few in the world able to mulch giant mine tires and off-the-road agriculture tires.
CuttingEdge is one of three tire-recycling plants registered with the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.
Hunter said it’s been processing about 20,000 tons of tires a year for the authority, with this work financed by the recycling fee collected upon the sale of new tires.
CuttingEdge also provides a tire disposal service for mining and other companies with large tires.
The Elizabeth Metis Settlement south of Cold Lake also owns a share of CleanGen, which is based in Edmonton.