MECCA, Calif.—The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians has established the first scrap tire recycling plant on an American Indian reservation as part of the tribe's resource recovery park. The plant, called First Nation Recovery Inc., has been operating for two months, grinding three tons of tires per hour and leading officials to plan on yearly production of 16,500 tons of crumb rubber in various sizes, said Mark Nichols, the tribe's CEO.
The plant employs 10 and officials are training an additional eight workers to staff a second shift, according to plant manager Bob Phillips.
A third shift will be added in a few months, Mr. Phillips said.
One nearby tire hauler has supplied feedstock for the plant, and Southern California manufacturers have been an eager market for the finished product, he said.
The plant is in the tribe's resource recovery park, along with the 47-megawatt Colmac biomass power plant, which has been on-line for several years burning wood waste from Riverside County as fuel.
The tiny tribe, with only 75 members, is also a pioneer in Indian casino gambling.
The tribe owns the nation's first bowling alley on a reservation, and is developing a 1,000-home leasehold subdivision on tribal land that will provide affordable housing mostly for non-Indians, Mr. Nichols said.
The resource recovery park is part of the tribe's commitment to a philosophy of no waste, Mr. Nichols said.
``Waste is something we as a society will always have, so it's a safe place to invest. But the tribe philosophically will not bring in any waste to be disposed of on tribal land. It's all for recovery,'' he said.
Among the ideas being considered for the resource recovery park are an animal feed plant, a catalytic converter recycling plant, a materials recovery facility, a gasification plant for converting various kinds of waste into methane, a used oil refinery, a recycled paper mill, and a recycling yard for construction and demolition debris.