TireCore International Leads Tire Reuse Industry From Long Beach Hub

by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer

After a year in Long Beach, TireCore International, LTD., has expanded its footprint in the tire casing business, continuing its mission to legitimize the used tire for the reuse industry in North America.

TireCore began in 2005 when Garry Drisdelle, owner and CEO, was granted a special trade visa to start a business in the U.S., based on a business he started in Canada 17 years ago called Total Casing Services. That business aimed to stimulate trade between his native country and the U.S.

TireCore moved a year ago from a small, outdoor facility in Huntington Beach into a large, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled building at the California State University, Long Beach Technology Center Park, located within Long Beach’s Enterprise Zone.

The location is near the San Pedro Bay Ports, with access to shipping and rail lines.

“Long Beach is a real transportation hub,” Drisdelle says. “It’s been a center of our business. We have a lot of customers in the area.”

According to Rick Richardson, general manager of TireCore, the company has seen a dramatic increase in business since leaving Huntington Beach. “We’ve had 175 percent growth since moving to Long Beach,” he says.

At the facility, TireCore employees sort, grade and store tire casings in the warehouse in preparation to fill specific orders from clients. Two Long Beach clients are Seaport Tire and Datewiler Tire, both of which are located near the Port of Long Beach and provide tires for container chassis or yard machinery. TireCore is providing them a service they’ve never had before, Drisdelle says.

TireCore works with major corporate clients as well, managing the local casing management for Goodyear and Michelin. But Drisdelle says TireCore goes above the tire reclamation model of these corporations. “There are many markets for these tires, so we can reclaim a lot more than what just a Michelin facility can do,” he says. The company has operated with a two percent rejection rate, Drisdelle says, meaning if TireCore sends a client 100 tires, about two are deemed unusable.

All 15 employees of TireCore are fully licensed, bonded and insured, and include field inspectors (at landfill or recycle area), floor inspectors (in-house), forklift operators, material handlers, drivers and managers. The inspectors have a high level of expertise, Richardson says, as they are able to determine what can be reused and have thus far prevented 78.2 million tons of rubber from being burned or buried.

“Reusing tires is the first, best and most valuable source of recycling [them],” Richardson says. “We literally work on the factory floors with our clients to show them additional techniques to salvage more of the casings.”

The company is continuing to expand, Richardson says. TireCore is in initial negotiations with Mexico and Japan to present its program to help manage tires on a government or environmental steward level, promoting the 100 percent green recycling of casings. The company also just started an IT department, hiring on two full-time programmers to develop software called TireTrax that can manage the waste-tires in a green manner, according to Richardson.

The environmental focus of the company is a direct result of Drisdelle’s influence. “Garry is an inspiration to all of us,” Richardson says. “He has been a green guy forever, before it was cool. We are all very proud for doing our part.”

“All of this is going to translate into the passenger tire business,” says Drisdelle, who has his goals set to have the used tire for reuse industry encompass all tires. Overseas, Drisdelle has been working on tire reclamation programs in Ghana and Akrah in Africa, since 1990, long before being “green” caught on. The tire reuse programs there are ongoing.

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