Pathway Mats
Pathway Innovative Matting Solutions

The Real Benefits of Recycled Rubber Mats

We truly believe in our products and the overall benefits they provide to our environment. Significant efforts have been invested in product development to ensure our recycled rubber products are equally as good if not better than products made from alternative materials. In addition, we are constantly evaluating our costs to ensure we can provide recycled rubber products at fair and competitive price. In most cases, the cost of purchasing recycled rubber product is similar to alternative materials which often have shorter life spans, higher usage operating costs or provide less performance. There are countless additional benefits to purchasing products made from recycled materials which are not always visible.

Many of the tires we use in our manufacturing are collected through a collection program that was established for the province of Alberta. Tire Recycling Alberta (TRA), was established in 1992 to develop a solution for scrap tire stockpiles in the province. Until that time, stockpiles posed a potential fire and health hazard and were taking up valuable space in landfills. Since then, more than 30 million tires from the province of Alberta have been recycled and approximately three million tires are currently recycled on an annual basis. This effort has lead to the virtual elimination of all the major tire stockpiles in the province. Alberta's tire recycling industry is a self-sufficient industry that is the model of environmental excellence and serves as the basis for recycling efforts in other areas.

The rubber and materials used to manufacture Pathway’s rubber products are recyclable. Consequently, at the end of there useful life these products can be returned to a rubber recycler for processing. New products will be made which allows the rubber to be used one more time. On a long term, global basis, rubber recycling will continue to increase as a result of: raw rubber shortages, increased demand for rubber, government regulations, shortage of land for landfill sites and public education.

As a result of government initiatives and recycling in North America, Europe and other areas, rubber has become a commodity. The demand for this commodity to manufacture products for the agriculture, home improvement, safety, construction, resource and rental industries further increases its value and the long term need for continued recycling.

Alternatively, the use of wood to manufacture access matting does not have the same green ending. The strong and durable characteristic of southern oak has made it the tree of choice for manufacturing access mats. Oak trees grow plentiful and naturally along the eastern and southern sea board of the United States. In these areas, the oak trees are harvested to manufacture access mats as well as other products.

Approximately 30 years is required to grow a harvestable oak tree in Louisiana where the conditions are ideal. An additional 10 years is required for a tree grown in the Carolinas and Appalachian regions. Two trees, measuring 14 inches thick for 25 feet, are required to manufacture one – 8 by 14 foot - 6 inch thick three ply laminated wood access mat.

A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings. Each person in the U.S. generates approximately 2.3 tons of CO2 each year. A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually or 2.6 tons per acre each year. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles. An estimate of carbon emitted per vehicle mile is between 0.88 lb. CO2/mi. – 1.06 lb. CO2/mi. (Nowak, 1993). This means, a car driven 26,000 miles will emit between 22,880 lbs CO2 and 27,647 lbs. CO2. Thus, one acre of tree cover in Brooklyn can compensate for automobile fuel use equivalent to driving a car between 7,200 and 8,700 miles.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that all the forests in the United States combined sequestered a net of approximately 309 million tons of carbon per year from 1952 to 1992, offsetting approximately 25% of U.S. human-caused emissions of carbon during that period. Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.

The lifespan of a wood access mat, utilized in Western Canada for oil and gas exploration activities ranges, from a few days to upwards of five years in these rugged conditions. Alternatively, a Pathway rubber access mat has lifespan of upwards of twenty years. The demand for a cheap, throw away product results in harvesting thousands of trees annually to manufacture wooden access mats. However, the math doesn’t add up. It takes 30 - 40 years to grow a tree that is used to manufacture an access mat that is destroyed in a short time frame. The rate of consumption by far exceeds the time required to grow the replacement trees. Eventually, there won’t be any trees left to harvest to make this disposable product. Furthermore, once the wood access mat has been rendered unusable it is typically burned or buried whereby adding to further environmental contamination. Would the trees not be better suited at removing carbon from the atmosphere to reduce global warning, generating oxygen for us to breathe and to helping to sustain life on the planet?