CARE Grantee Case Study: Sierra Mat & Rubber
Posted on November 10, 2017
Sierra Mat & Rubber received a CARE grant to begin manufacturing products comprised of post-consumer carpet backing and other recycled materials at its existing Northern California facility. Carpet backing in the form of a calcium carbonate sand is mixed with recycled rubber to manufacture commercial floor mats, landscape pavers, wheel stops and other products. Grant-funded equipment included presses, molds and a calcium carbonate bagger to transport the carpet backing material from the manufacturing facility to various California job sites. Sierra Mat & Rubber also became the first manufacturer of Double GreenTM products, which incorporate post-consumer carpet and one other recycled material.
LOCATION: Ripon, CA
TIMELINE: April 2016-December 2017
CARE GRANT AMOUNT$218,500 ✔ Grant funding covered 40% of the project start-up costs.
✔ Recycled-content products are new to the market.
✔ Products are still undergoing testing and development.
✔ The largest challenge is the sieve size of the calcium carbonate. The material is fine and dusty. Sierra has changed its existing material handling systems to deal with the dust factor.
✔ Securing continued support for testing and market development.
✔ CARE technical assistance.
✔ CARE facilitates business relationships for product line expansion and development.
✔ CARE develops Double GreenTM certification to assist in marketing plan.
✔ A CARE grant has allowed Sierra to lower its raw material cost in order to be more cost-competitive. The equipment has allowed Sierra the ability to produce larger mats, which require more PCC material and enable Sierra to enter commercial markets.
✔ Expanding new facility.
✔ Securing all equipment and additional experienced operations staff.
✔ Reworking manufacturing process.
✔ Testing new products while continuing to manufacture other products that use California-generated post-consumer carpet.
✔ Building product customer base and marketing strategy.
✔ Meeting environmental and product standards.
✔ 1.4 million pounds of recycled output in first 6 months (as reported by grantee).
✔ 4 new California jobs in first 6 months.
✔ Demonstrated viability of more environmentally friendly recycled-content products.
✔ Development of four new products using California-generated post-consumer carpet backing material.
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.