Gerdau Manitoba mill helps to recycle millions of tires

SELKIRK, MANITOBA April 11, 2017 – What do you do with millions of tires?

Recycle them.

Gerdau North America, a steel manufacturer in Selkirk, and Reliable Tire Recycling, in Winnipeg, have partnered for over 10 years to recycle tires in Manitoba.

Reliable Tire Recycling drops off tires at Gerdau, where Gerdau recycles the tire rims. Gerdau is one of the largest recyclers in North America, and 98 percent of its steel is made from recycled scrap metals.

In turn, Reliable Tire Recycling takes from Gerdau a load of tires to be made into rubber products, such as mats for hockey rinks and gyms.

The partnership increased its tire numbers in 2015, when Gerdau had a surplus of tires in its yard.

“I contacted Reliable Tire and asked if there was interest in taking more tires,” Chad Webster, Gerdau’s division manager, said. “It turns out they had a need for more tires, and we certainly had a need to get rid of the tires we had onsite. We set up dedicated runs each week, and we were able to eliminate our tire surplus.”

Reliable Tire Recycling began picking up tires two to three times per week in May 2015 to reduce Gerdau’s tire inventory. Since then, Gerdau has shipped 433 tons of tires to Reliable Tire for recycling.

“It’s important to recycle tires as they take anywhere from 50 to 80 years for a single tire to decompose,” Webster said.

In the past year, Gerdau has recycled 173 tons of steel rims from Reliable Tire. The steel rims go into a shredder and then are sent to the melt shop to be made into steel products used in transport, agri-business, and mining equipment, and in the construction of buildings.

Reliable Tire recycles over 1.5 million tires a year from various sources, including Gerdau.

“We do a plethora of products. The most popular would be rubber matting,” Jarrett Wiebe, Reliable Tire’s sales manager, said.

In addition to hockey rinks and gyms, rubber matting is used in horse stalls.

Other projects include rain splash pads and rubber mulch, which is used for landscaping instead of wood mulch. Rubber mulch is found in the Manitoba Legislative Building.

Rubber parking and sidewalk curbs are also popular. An 8-foot concrete curb weighs 350 pounds, whereas, a rubber curb of the same size weighs 100 pounds.

“We have a very good relationship with Gerdau and would like to continue that,” Chris Middleton, logistics manager for Reliable Tire Recycling, said. “We work hand in hand to facilitate their needs.”

Webster agrees.

“A real win-win,” Webster said.

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