SBDC Helps Entrepreneurs Realize Dream of Recycling Business

THE STARTING POINT:

Alberto Gonzalez and Christopher Ramirez developed El Paso Rubber Recycling while attending The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Required to create a mock company, the two capitalized on the opportunity to evolve the idea into a business endeavor. After researching several waste management problems, a solution to combat discarded tires and industry manufactured scrap arose. The discarded material would be reused to create ecofriendly products, offering both environmental and economic benefits.

THE DEVELOPMENT:

The two approached the El Paso Community College SBDC in February 2016. Business Advisor Elizabeth Mariscal assisted the owners with strengthening their business plan, considering startup costs, and reviewing financial projections. Shortly after, El Paso Rubber Recycling launched its operations. In 2016, Gonzalez and Ramirez also received assistance from the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network’s International Trade Center to locate suppliers and begin importing rubber products, purchasing equipment, and launch international sales.

THE OUTCOME:

• Gonzalez and Ramirez invested $75,000 and created three jobs.

• El Paso Rubber Recycling imports from China and Mexico, and sells recyclable rubber to the polymers industry, cement producers, and auto parts producers nationally.

• The company also started producing tire-derived fuel, an interim solution to scrap tire waste.

• Gonzalez and Ramirez coordinated an internship program with UTEP’s College of Engineering and have since employed three students who have earned academic credit for researching and testing products.