Environment

SJ company creatively recycling tires

Friday, November 14, 2008
tires

Old tires could soon get a second life as a fuel source thanks to a new company.

Your old tires could soon get a second life as a fuel source thanks to a new company in San Jose. Borgata Recycling is trying to save some of the 34 million tires Californians toss out each year. The company claims to be the only recycler in the Bay Area that doesn't send any tires to the landfill.

All of these tires were headed for a landfill -- or were already sitting in one. But Borgata Recycling in San Jose spared them from going to waste.

"I would say close to 80-percent of our tires here in California are still going to landfills," said Brian Chrisman, President, Borgata Recycling.

Recycling tires is nothing new -- but this company is aggressive about finding them and is creative with what it does with them.

"It's real exciting growing a company and doing something that's beneficial for my neighbors and the rest of the state," said Jeff Winters, chairman, Borgata Recycling.

The company goes to landfills and fishes out tires and then sends them to Asia where they are converted into diesel fuel. As they researched this new frontier -- the founders were shocked at how behind the United States seems to be in this effort.

"Our ultimate goal is not to just turn it into oil, but also open up a refinery right here in San Jose and be the first on the West Coast and the U.S. to take it from ground zero all the way to a finished product," said Chrisman.

Being located in San Jose will make a difference in reaching that goal. The city's support of green companies is why Borgata decided to set up shop here. The city helped Borgata cut the permit process in half, find this location and even gave the company its sign.

Local tire shops are also glad to have a new place to dump tires. Instead of driving to landfills several miles away, they're making a quick stop here, saving time and money on gas. And Borgata doesn't charge as much as landfills.

"We're probably saving $150,000 dollars in dump fees," said Dave Ynaez, owner, Roman Tires.

The company is half way through the permit process to start making its own fuel. The founders hope that by next year -- they'll be able to give these tires two lives right here in San Jose.

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environment, amy hollyfield
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