CARE Grant Case Study: SafePath Products

Posted on December 4, 2017

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

SafePath Products received a CARE grant to begin manufacturing products comprised of post-consumer carpet backing (known as post-consumer carpet calcium carbonate, or PC4) and other recycled materials at its Northern California facility. Later, operations were moved into a new, expanded facility more than double in size. Carpet backing in the form of fine granules is mixed with recycled rubber to manufacture commercial ADA-compliant ramps, transitions, landscaping edging and other products. Grant-funded equipment included presses and molds. SafePath Products is also a manufacturer of Double GreenTM products, which incorporate California post-consumer carpet and at least one other recycled material.

LOCATION

Chico, CA

TIMELINE

April 2016-March 2017

CARE GRANT AMOUNT

$462,000

  • Cycle 1A Capital Improvements grant funding covered 55-65% of the project start-up costs.

TOP 3 PROJECT CHALLENGES

  • Obtaining all necessary components for the operation, such as hoppers, mixers and conveyor belts.
  • Synchronizing shipping, installation and testing for infrastructure improvements.
  • Trial and error testing to achieve the necessary product performance.

GRANT BENEFITS

  • Grant funding for equipment freed up other monies and created new market opportunities, allowing SafePath to move into an expanded facility.
  • Funding facilitated collaboration with new business partners at conferences and through other avenues.
  • CARE offers technical assistance.
  • CARE develops Double GreenTM certification to assist in marketing plan.
  • SafePath Products notes that the carpet recycling industry is small but has advanced significantly in the last three years.

“While we are grateful for the monies provided by the CARE grant, we feel we had a hand in earning (the grant) by our commitment to serve those with disabilities while utilizing materials destined for the landfill. We have also developed a robust marketing program selling into various market channels. We are committed to continuing our mission to utilize recycled feedstock in all our products, and make this planet a little greener with every project.”

–Tim Vander Heiden, President, SafePath Products

 

IMPLEMENTATION

  • Securing new expanded facility.
  • Securing new equipment for expansion.
  • Finding additional experienced operations staff in electrical, mechanical, molding and construction fields.
  • Reworking manufacturing formulas (ie: production, cook times, additives).
  • Continued attention to minimizing carbon footprint through solar array, energy efficiency efforts, solid waste reduction and employee ride sharing. (CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards Program applicant)

PROJECT IMPACT

  • Roughly 2 million pounds of recycled output annually.
  • Eight new California jobs added since spring 2016.
  • Demonstrating the viability of more environmentally friendly recycled-content products.
  • Development of several new products in architectural door and hardware industry, using California-generated PC4.
  • Expanded customer and business partner bases.

Visit our Post Consumer Carpet Products page.

Visit the CARE grants page. 

This is one of a series of case studies that illustrate the impact of grant funding on the carpet recycling industry in California.
CARE will offer a Cycle 2 round of grants to support capital improvements and product testing in late 2017. Sign up for updates here.

Other Grantee Case Studies:

CARE Grantee Case Study: CLEAR

CARE Grantee Case Study: GHD, Inc.

CARE Grantee Case Study: Sierra Mat & Rubber