As part of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s recycling initiative, State Director for the Department of Environmental Quality Dan Wyant and crew visited Cobalt in Sturgis Monday.
Cobalt General Manager Bruce Bart led guests on a tour of the facilities located at 1111 N. Centerville Road.
A scrap tire recycling and manufacturing business, Cobalt employs 40 workers. The business moved to Sturgis in 2010.
Bart explained Monday how Cobalt collects tires from about a 200 mile radius, including locations in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illionois and Wisconsin.
The tires are then processed into many different items including rubber mulch, crumb rubber and fine powders.
Bart showed guests some of the products that can be made from the materials including Porous Pave. The rubber recycled at Cobalt has recently been compounded with recycled plastics to produce items like trash cans, mop buckets, automotive parts, air ducts, vents and factory baseboards, all of which Bart showed guests.
“Our plastic, rubber compounds are a very unique item,” Bart said. “Ten years from now I believe this will be the future.“
Bart added that there are many types of recycled plastics that the company is looking to pair its products with including recycled plastics from bottles, car bumpers and gas tanks.
Bart estimates that the company processes about 2 million tires per year.