Once and for All Tires, LLC opens $17.4M tire recycling plant in Yabucoa
Puerto Rican firm Once and for All Tires, LLC recently began operating in the eastern town of Yabucoa, following a $17.4 million investment in a plant dedicated to recycling tires and developing products for different uses.
The operation expects to create 51 direct jobs, with an estimated payroll of $1.8 million, as was announced during an inaugural event at the plant, which drew participation from Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) Secretary Manuel Cidre.
As part of its operations, Once and for All Tires LLC will separate tire components and crush the rubber to use in different applications, both for their own use and to supply to other companies.
The operation sits on a 300-acre lot owned by sister company Olein Recovery Corp. and has a 31,000 square-foot building where it will install the rubber grinder. In addition, it plans to build, next to this facility, a second 32,000-square-foot structure for molding finished products using recycled tires as one of the raw materials.
The list of products that it plans to develop includes mulch in different colors, mainly for gardening, slabs for parks and athletic tracks and granulated rubber in different colors for use on the pitch, sidewalks, cobblestones, and car stoppers, among others.
The government has already issued an administrative order to address the environmental and health emergency caused by the excessive accumulation of tires and a Joint Resolution was signed that aims to order the Highway and Transportation Authority, the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and the municipalities to use the largest possible proportion of pulverized tire to be mixed with asphalt, when paving public roads.
“Innovation is definitely not limited to a particular type of company, it can arise from any example of business operation, so that allows the development of a necessary strategy to compete, both locally and in international markets,” said Cidre.
“This new company is a creative example of addressing a problem and turning it into a new business opportunity,” he said.
Of the $17.4 million invested, $16.3 million were allocated for in machinery, including the heavy equipment needed to move tires, as well as a cogeneration plant; the remainder will be invested in infrastructure projects. The investment is being made in stages, over a five-year period, company officials said.
“This company is born from our commitment to help Puerto Rico solve the problem of used tires once and for all, as our name suggests. For this, we have acquired, with the support of the DDEC, the most modern technology available in the international market for the recycling of used tires,” said company President Jorge “Tato” González, referring to a $5 million economic incentive the DDEC provided to create jobs and purchase machinery and equipment.
“In addition to helping to solve the situation created with the accumulation of used tires, it also helps to solve the situation of landfills, eliminating the environmental impact, as well as the implications for health. But above all, we support the economic development of the Island, with new investments, job creation and contributions, among others,” González said.
This is not the only tire recycling operation in Puerto Rico, as there is at least one more — Eco Green Recycle Corp. in Juncos.