Apache Puts Recycled Rubber Mats to Everyday Use
Mats—they’re everywhere—at your front door, in the lobby of your office building and under your feet at the counter of countless facilities where you do business, go for service or shop
At Apache Mills mats are the business.
Celebrating 50 years of mat making this year, the Calhoun, Georgia-based manufacturer has sold over 406 million mats in 67 countries around the world, more than 80 percent of which were manufactured in the U.S. And, as an early proponent of manufacturing with recycled materials, the company has saved over 50 million tires and 706 million plastic water bottles from the landfill.
“We’re committed to incorporating recycled materials into our mats,” CEO Art Wildstein said.
Last year alone Apache used in excess of 100,000,000 pounds of recycled tire materials in its production processes which kept over 6 million tires out of landfills, Wildstein said.
The company’s commitment to environmental stewardship is also manifested in continual investment in new technologies, equipment and processes to facilitate the use of recycled materials.
In 2007, this investment in innovation led the company to develop the first ever commercial mat manufactured using only recycled materials.
“With advances in technology, we were able to make a carpet surface with the fibers from recycled plastic bottles and fuse it with a rubber backing made from recycled tire crumb rubber, Wildstein said.
In the Apache recycled rubber pressing process, a blended mix of crumb rubber and urethane binder is heat-and-compression molded to form the finished rubber material used in making Apache mats. In-house CNC machines cut mold designs used in the rubber pressing.
Wildstein said he’s seen changes in the quality of crumb rubber over the years and credits tire processors and equipment manufacturers with producing more consistently sized, less contaminated crumb rubber material.
The company uses both passenger and truck tire-derived crumb rubber , depending on the product, Wildstein said.
Apache’s Ecomat line of products grew out of the company’s dedication to constantly reinventing its process and materials to maintain its environmental standards in making high quality, functional products that are economically priced and offer consumers greener purchase options for products they use every day in their homes, businesses, factories, sports and recreation areas.
The Ecomat brand mats are designed and crafted in the US and include products with the highest level of recycled material content. “In fact, we list the amount of recycled materials (by product weight) on many of our products,” Wildstein said. These carry the company’s green content logo, assuring customers of both their recycled material content and their recyclability once the mat has passed its useful life.
“To us, green matters,” Wildstein said. “Few products can match our Ecomat collections with their 85 percent minimum recycled material content by overall weight.”
Together with recycled content, Apache uses a ‘purposeful design’ concept that combines fashion with functional design and unique material compositions to create innovative, new products that meet the specifications and performance demands of the myriad applications and industries that use them.
Apache Mills employs over 800 associates in its Calhoun manufacturing and distribution facilities. With the challenges brought on by the pandemic in the last two years, the company heightened its health and safety measures and instituted COVID protocols for masking, hand washing, cleanliness and safe distancing, Wildstein said. “ Like other businesses”, Wildstein said, “we had some slowdowns but we were able to maintain production and keep our employees ‘employed’.”
Conscious of its environmental footprint, Apache supports local manufacturing in its facilities, drawing employees from the local community and using proprietary processes that promote the philosophy of ‘home-grown’.
It’s a philosophy, that along with its commitment to making on-trend, functional mats with recycled materials that has defined Apache Mills over the last fifty years, is setting the course for the next fifty years of new innovation in Apache doormats fabricated from recycled materials.
© Scrap Tire News, November 2021