In June 1991, Auburndale Recycling Center was established by purchasing equipment, land and buildings from an existing corporation in Auburndale, Wisconsin. Our main focus in 1991 was to be a dedicated scrap tire processing plant for producing high quality Tire Derived Fuel (TDF). The first year of business we processed approximately 100,000 scrap tires. Currently, we produce about two million scrap tires into TDF and other growing markets such as playground and horse arena materials, landscape mulch and feedstock for other rubber products.
In March 2000, a fire destroyed our company's processing facilities. We instantly rebuilt and expanded our processing facility during the summer and fall of 2000. The destroyed facility was replaced by two new structures along with new and rebuilt equipment to make our operation more efficient.
We feel strongly that all scrap tires should be processed, to the fullest extent possible into usable products to eliminate them from our landfills. Landfills have always had their place for receiving trash but scrap tires have become a useful commodity that should not be included in this trash.
Our markets for end use far exceed the amount of material that we can acquire, in part because we compete with programs that allow landfilling of these tires, whether in whole or rough shred form. Since the conception of Auburndale Recycling Center's operation, we have strived for 100% reuse of scrap tires and currently have less than 1% of our flow going to landfills. This mainly consists of bead and tread wire that has too much rubber attached to it to be remelted. Achieving this goal may be a little more expensive, but it protects people and the environment from future liability and health problems.
We currently collect tires from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio. We hold permits in Wisconsin and Michigan as a processing facility and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan as a licensed hauler.
We have a variety of equipment for the collection and processing of waste tires including over 100 semi trailers, some being open tops, semi dump trailers, walking floor trailers, trailers with loaders incorporated into the unit, back hoe type loaders with clam buckets, and front end loaders. We use the services of local trucking firms to move trailers, equipment and end product in addition to our own trucks.
Our shredding operation utilizes three Mac/Saturn - Granutech Saturn System shredders with a total of 900 hp. One of these shredders, Model 7246, is a slow speed, high torque unit used for primary shredding of material. This is a hydraulically driven machine with 300 hp, designed specifically to handle the extreme torque required in primary shredding. This unit is capable of shredding any and all sizes of tires from wheelbarrow tires through mining tires, including forklift and solid rubber tires instead of having them landfilled. Pre-processing of the large oversized tires that cannot be shredded in their whole form are sheared onsite with a LaBounty shear prior to being introduced to our shredding operation. Any of the tires that contain rims are segregated from the flow to remove the rim with a rim crusher and then returned to the shredding line. The final units, two Granutech Saturn Systems Model 80 Grizzly Shredder with 600 hp combined. This is a high-speed grinder with integral screening which grinds the material from the primary shredder into finished product with a size no greater than 3/4 inch. This is the most high tech equipment available for processing scrap tires. We also have magnets incorporated into the shredding operation, whereby the wire that is freed up during the operation is removed from the chip stream. All of the equipment that we use to process the tires is stationary, so all of the tires have to be brought to our facility in Auburndale, Wisconsin. This maybe more expensive compared to mobile shredding systems, but we can maintain much tighter quality controls on our end products by having everything brought into one central location. We also can work year round, as our system is indoors where we can do maintenance and repairs whatever the weather may be.
We are the largest scrap processor in the State of Wisconsin. Last year, we produced over 35% of the tires that were generated in the State, and in years past we have gone as high as 48%. We have the capacity for much more.