RubberLogix Makes It Happen
By taking action and staying focused RubberLogix has grown from an intriguing idea into a recycled rubber flooring manufacturer supplying product nationwide and globally
Just under four years old and a relative newcomer in the recycled rubber flooring market, RubberLogix already has flooring product in all fifty states as well as Japan, Canada, and South America, owner Ben Bryant said.
RubberLogix opened in 2018 but that’s not where the story begins. Like all good stories, you have to start at the beginning to appreciate the journey.
It began in 2007 with a tire recycling segment on Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs. Intrigued by what he saw, Ben Bryant turned the intrigue into action, building a pair of tire recycling companies that process and recycle more than four million tires a year into rubber flooring and other products.
After watching the show Bryant spent the next months researching machinery and equipment, visiting tire shops, garages and county facilities learning more about how scrap tires are handled, what happens to them and where the opportunities for tire recycling were in southwestern Virginia’s New River Valley area.
Already the owner of a small auto repair shop, Bryant launched New River Tire Recycling with his wife and partner Stephanie in 2008 on a one acre site less than a mile from their home, providing tire collection, processing and services to the local communities.
With a desire to help the environment and contribute to the local economy, Ben and Stephanie quickly turned an “idea” into reality.
“We started as a tire disposal service for garages, individuals, and companies, to have a place to safely dispose of their scrap tires,” Bryant said.
Initially, New River Tire Recycling processed scrap tires into primary shreds for use as landfill daily cover and partnered with the local Solid Waste Authority to use the tire shreds as alternate daily cover for the landfill.
The use was a win-win, allowing the County to qualify for an end-user reimbursement from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and giving New River Tire Recycling a market for the material, spurring its growth.
In 2010, the company moved to a larger facility, adding additional shredders and classifying equipment to produce tire derived fuel chips for fuel customers in the Southeast.
In 2011, barely three years old, New River Tire Recycling processed its one-millionth tire and Ben Bryant was again immersed in sourcing machines and equipment, studying tire recycling industry trends, markets and products preparing for the company’s next big move.
While the company had a strong TDF market, Bryant saw emerging opportunities for rubber mulch and crumb rubber material in the southeast and nationally. Needing more space, the company moved the operation to a 10, 000 sq.ft building in Hillsville, VA adding equipment and systems for downsizing rubber and separating wire and steel. The company continued to grow and by 2014 had outgrown the Virginia location and invested in a 116,000 sq. ft. building and 28 acres of land in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
With room to expand, Bryant started to evaluate new business ventures. In 2018, RubberLogix was born.
“We started small, designing and building some of our own equipment and molds, slowly growing to twenty-five employees and focusing on the commercial gym market,” Bryant said.
Like many new businesses there was a learning curve, Bryant said. “But, our great customers and employees stuck with us,” he said.
RubberLogix launched Gymlogix gym flooring, a premier line of recycled rubber flooring available in rolls, tiles or mats in early 2020 and targeted the commercial gym market. Within months, commercial gyms were closing as the pandemic took hold.
Ben Bryant quickly switched focus. Concentrating on the home gym market, the company set up online sales through home gym websites, tapping into a distribution network that expanded its market across the country and internationally.
Gymlogix mats and tiles consist of 92 percent recycled tire-derived crumb rubber produced in house and mixed with a binder and colored EPDM rubber flecks. The tiles and mats can be interlocking or straight-cut to meet customer’s needs. RubberLogix uses tile presses and high end waterjet machinery and die cut equipment to produce the interlocking gym mats and tiles.
The company’s rolled flooring used in both home and commercial gyms features flecks of color and has an 80 percent crumb rubber and 10 percent virgin EPDM content, offering customers multi- color options.
RubberLogix launched its second product, Soundlogix, an acoustic underlayment, alongside its gym products. The resilient underlayment is produced in a variety of thicknesses and can be used under most types of floor. Bryant says it is a true green product made from the company’s own tire derived crumb rubber and manufacturing scrap rubber.
With an expansion underway that includes a 25,000 sq. ft and 70,000 sq.ft. building, that along with its existing 116,000 sq. ft. facility, will give RubberLogix the manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand for its flagship Gymlogix and Soundlogix products and room to grow new products already on the drawing board, Bryant said. These include Turf Shock Pad and Turf Infill products and a new EPDM granule line.
To accommodate production and new product versatility, RubberLogix is incorporating a line of cracker mills manufactured by Indiana-based Jomar Machining and Fabricating which will allow the company to take tire chip feedstock from parent company New River Tire Recycling and produce various sizes of high quality crumb rubber.
“We currently use 65 percent of our own crumb rubber production—twelve truckloads a week—to make our gym tiles, mats and roll flooring and acoustic underlayment,” Bryant said.
Together with New River Tire Recycling its parent company and production partner, the companies have recycled 30,000,000 tires to date.
“We went from a simple idea and eight employees to a 65 employee operation that repurposes more than four million tires a year into high volume commercial products and end uses,” Bryant said. And, he believes they may be one of the only tire recycling companies that has the large volume capacity to repurpose whole scrap tires to finished product on the same property.
“Our goal is to prevent another tire from being thrown into another landfill or illegally dumped”, Bryant said. It’s a goal Bryant has put into action since founding the company in 2007. So, stay tuned for the next chapter in the RubberLogix story. Ben Bryant is confident they will just keep “making it happen.”
© Scrap Tire News, April 2022