A company in the Village of Minto plans to hire up to 30 workers this fall to supply new shingles made of recycled tires.
The Tire Recycling Atlantic Canada Corporation (TRACC) has signed a deal with a distributor in the United Kingdom to supply plastic shingles that look like slate.
That's welcome news for a community that has seen its coal mine and power plant shut down in recent years.
TRACC, founded in Minto 16 years ago, makes products like cow comfort mats from recycled rubber.
The company gets used tires and a processing fee from the provincial tire stewardship program.
TRACC has branched out into producing roofing shingles from recycled plastic, they're moulded from slate shingles and look just like the real thing.
"We have a lifetime warranty on the shingles now. We're that confident in it," said Stephen Richardson, general manager of TRACC.
Slate is a common roofing material in the United Kingdom, but it's getting hard to find a reliable supply, Richardson said.
Richardson says TRACC just signed an agreement with the largest distributor of slate shingles in the U.K.
"We're looking to purchase a 125,000 square [foot] building next door and hiring probably 20 to 30 people, starting off. With the machinery that we have here, we wouldn't be able to keep up with their demand."
The first three container-loads of shingles will go to Britain in October, he said.
Richardson grew up in Minto and says the expansion is a big deal for the village.
"NB Power's gone now — the power plant is gone. I mean everybody hears how jobs are leaving the area. A lot of people are going out west, but a lot of people are coming back too and hopefully we can pick from that pool," he said.
For the village with a population of just 2,600, 30 new jobs means a lot, he said.
TRACC is also a success story for recycling, it’s the only tire-recycling operation remaining in the Atlantic provinces.