Ecoshred Just One More Piece in Prime’s Commitment to Sustainability

Prime Inc.

Posted online

With 8,000 drivers on the road and a dedication to leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible, Prime, Inc. was already retreading 35,000 to 40,000 of its own tires each year when it was decided that there had to be an environmentally conscious solution to get rid of the nearly 20 percent of Prime’s tires that aren’t eligible to retread and return to the road.

Employee Mike Jones had a solution and with time and planning the Ecoshred machine and mission came to fruition. Across the highway from Prime headquarters in a sprawling warehouse is a giant spider-like machine that takes all of Prime’s ready to be discarded tires and shreds them into mulch. The mulch can be dyed and comes in various sizes for different applications, including decorative mulch for residential use, small pellets for sports fields, and a granular powder that can be melted down and molded into things like running shoes.

The difference between Ecoshred and other tire mulching machines is that Ecoshred takes care of the entire tire. Most tire shredding facilities only take the middle portion of the tire, which is made solely of rubber. Ecoshred also takes the side walls, which, in addition to rubber, also contain a significant amount of metal. The machine uses magnets that constantly pull the metal throughout the shredding process. This ensures that the end product is 100 percent rubber.

“It’s pretty amazing that a trucking company does this,” says Clayton Brown, head of marketing at Prime. “We really try to make a difference with our sustainability practices.” He says when representatives from the Department of Natural Resources visited recently, they were stunned. “Their jaws just dropped. They’d never seen anything like it.”

The Ecoshred is just one part of Prime’s commitment to sustainability. In addition to retreading and returning eligible tires to the road through the Ecotire initiative, used oil from the trucks is recycled and some is used to heat Prime’s shops. Prime’s trucks are custom designed to be more aerodynamic and lighter and more spacious to hold more cargo and to ensure they’re operating more efficiently while conserving fuel and energy. These efforts and more keep Prime’s carbon footprint low enough that it’s been designated a SmartWay Carrier by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Not only is that important to us but it’s a big deal to a lot of our shipping customers,” says Brown. “It’s apparent that environmental sustainability is very important to many of our customers.”

While the Ecoshred facility has only been operational since mid-2019, mulch rubber byproducts have been sold for commercial uses already. Eventually the mulch will be available for purchase by smaller scale clients like homeowners.

Prime Inc.

2740 N Mayfair Ave,
Springfield, MO 65803

Phone: 417-866-0001