By Seth Schmidt
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has given preliminary permit approval for a tire recycling facility in Tracy.
The business, to be called Ron’s Tire Recycling, will be located at 101 South St. in what is commonly known as the former Coronado Stone building. The building, located on the south side of the street and north of the railroad tracks, has 24,000 square feet. The site is zoned for industrial uses.
Two Walnut Grove area farmers—Ron VandeKieft and Randy Brandt—are spearheading the planned waste tire recycling business.
Brandt, who is the enterprise’s CEO, said that all tire recycling operations will be conducted indoors, with plans to recycle up to one million tires annually at the center. Waste tires will be brought in from a roughly 200-mile radius service area. Tires will be accepted in both small consumer levels (two car tires, etc), and large commercial quantities (farmers’ old implement tires).
There will be a recycling charge for users, Brandt said, but the fees will be low enough to save consumers money, compared with disposal costs at a landfill.
The recycling operation will remove steel from rubber, and shred the rubber into 2×2-inch chips, which then would be sold for a variety of commercial markets. Hopes are that the plant will also make other recycled rubber products, such as railroad ties that have a 40-year life, or rubber ingots.
Brandt said that the facility, which they purchased specifically for the tire recycling, will not need any major remodeling. A major investment in machinery will be made inside the building once final approval is received, he said. Brandt indicated that he has been working with the MPCA for two years to comply with all state requirements.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.