Every year, 20 million pounds of recycled rubber – harvested from 1.5 million worn out tires that would otherwise end up in landfills – is given a second chance to be useful by Humane Manufacturing, a rubber mat manufacturer with operations in Janesville and Baraboo, Wis.

Established as a metal fabricating company for dairy barn equipment in Baraboo in 1907, the company started molding rubber mats for animal stalls and weight rooms in 1972. It also developed the LokTuff™ interlock stall and flooring systems.

In 1997, Humane Manufacturing sold its metal division to become more diversified in rubber mat molding. “Today, we make rubber mats for equine, dairy, fitness, roof guard, anti-fatigue and other special original equipment manufacture products sold nationally and 
internationally,” said Humane Executive Vice President Debbie Sidell. Ninety-five percent of Humane’s products are made from recycled materials.

“Humane Manufacturing is an innovative company and a dedicated recycler of used rubber that is committed to using energy wisely,” said Alliant Energy-Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WP&L) Strategic Account Manager Mike Gentry. “That’s why WP&L’s Shared Savings programis such a great fit for their energy-efficiency plans.”

Humane Manufacturing’s first Shared Savings project was completed in 2001. “Since then, we’ve added more efficient lighting, air handling equipment (like the “smog hog” that vacuums, filters and recirculates the air inside the plant) and motors for grinding the buffings from recycled tires which we use to make our products,” said Sidell.

Today, energy-efficiency improvements such as a more efficient air handling system and motors for the recycling tire grinding system are saving the company 212,554 kilowatt-hours of energy per year. “That’s enough energy to power 20 average homes,” noted Gentry.

“WP&L’s Shared Savings program has helped us achieve our goals while also benefiting the environment by eliminating the need to send tires to already full landfills. Shared Savings is a winner for us, our customers and the environment,” added Sidell.

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