Tire recycling firm GreenMan Technologies Inc. is opening in April a tire grinding facility in an existing plant it is leasing in LaVergne.
With a planned initial capacity of more than 4 million tires annually, GreenMan's LaVergne factory will at first concentrate on the tire-derived fuel and civil engineering markets, according to GreenMan CFO Chuck Coppa.
But the installation of waste wire processing equipment ``in the next quarter or two'' will allow the plant to offer crumb rubber as well, Mr. Coppa said. That waste wire processing line will be GreenMan's fourth to date.
GreenMan has had operations in Tennessee since April 2001, when it purchased Parsons, Tenn.-based Tennessee Tire Recyclers Inc. and renamed it Technical Tire Recycling Inc. TTI supplies whole tires to cement kilns, with an annual collection and processing capacity of about 2 million tires.
When the company's supply of tires in Tennessee outstripped the cement kilns' demand, GreenMan started shipping the excess to its facility in Jackson, Ga. The cost of transporting the tires averaged about $30,000 a month, according to Mr. Coppa.
``Our game plan was to build a significant volume of tires in Tennessee and put a size reduction location in the state,'' Mr. Coppa explained. ``This is a win-win situation for us because we're establishing a presence in the state while saving considerably on transportation costs.''
Bridgestone/Firestone is a GreenMan customer, and the location of a Bridgestone/Firestone plant in LaVergne also played a role in establishing a GreenMan plant there, he said.
``This allows us to make the transfer of tires from only a couple of miles away,'' he said.
The LaVergne plant will employ 20-30 people initially, Mr. Coppa said. He did not know offhand the square footage of the facility.
Lynnhaven, Mass.-based GreenMan has facilities and subsidiaries in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota as well as Tennessee and Georgia.