Gilroy biz cleans rivers and streams

A new Gilroy business is doing its part to help the environment by using nature to help nature. Filtrexx, an Akron, Ohio-based company, recently held its ribbon-cutting ceremony and is hitting the ground running, pumping out thousands of yards of products that use a composted material to help clean waste water.

With quick access to their media, organic materials used in the manufacturing of their product, Gilroy was a natural spot for Filtrexx’s 12th location because it’s near supplier Z-Best Products, which is owned by Zanker Recycling.

“Our business is based around treating and cleaning storm water,” said Regional Sales Representative Bryan Hofmann. “We do that by putting the treated composted material into a SiltSoxx and we put the SiltSoxx around inlets, construction sites and industrial sites. As water flows through the SiltSoxx on the site, the material inside it cleans the water on site.”

By using the polypropylene mesh or cotton mesh SiltSoxx manufactured by Filtrexx, businesses can remain environmentally compliant by filtering out harmful waste products that would otherwise enter natural water resources. With the help of Filtrexx products, runoff dirt, oils, grease, heavy metals are caught before they can wreak havoc on the environment. Once the job is completed, the SiltSoxx degrade naturally on site.

“We use composted wood chips, which go through a heating period which kills the bacteria and weed seeds,” Hofmann said. “We need it to treat water.”

The SiltSoxx cost $2.50 per foot for the 8-inch diameter product, or $250 for 100 feet of product with an installation cost of $1 per foot.

“Our customers are in the construction trade, industrial metal recyclers, waste management transfer stations like the San Martin Transfer Center,” Hofmann said. “Anyone that has a storm water permit with the state needs to test water for certain types of pollutants and they are potential customers.”

Filtrexx was started by Rod Tyler in Akron, who sold the company in 2014 to Conwed Plastics, which was bought by Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc. for $295 million in cash in December 2016. SMW is a publically traded company on the New York Stock Exchange with sales of over $400 million in 2016. Filtrexx accounted for approximately $38 million in sales in 2016.

With a plant manager, three other employees, an outside sales force and a technical representative, Filtrexx manufactures its products in its spacious location on Automall Parkway. The company has ample room to expand its operations, which also include the manufacturing and installation of StormEx Catch Basin Filters and their Living Walls. For the Living Walls, they use a composted growing material which they also use for streambank and shoreline restoration.

Filtrexx’s living walls are growing enclosures with racks of plants and are equipped with hoses for watering. These easy-to-maintain structures, which add an instant greenspace for homes or offices, cost $100 per square foot. A four-foot-by-eight-foot display model in Filtrexx’s office would cost $3,200. Filtrexx will install whichever plant the customer the desires to grow in the Living Wall. Filtrexx is donating a living wall for the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce’s office.

More business news

Gilroy is opening its first scuba diving shop Saturday: Pacific Ocean Water Sports at 431 First St., is a store that will start with dive equipment and spread out to kayaking and paddle board supplies.

With only 30 miles to a beach, owner Mauri Muñoz says the store is a natural fit for outdoor adventurers.

The grand opening is Nov. 11, 10 am–noon.

Here’s the schedule:

10–10:30am: meet and greet – drinks and appetizers will be served

10:30–10:45am: brief presentation by Dive Center owner Mauri Muñoz

10:45–10:50 am: ribbon-cutting picture-taking ceremony

10:50–11:30am: information session and sign-ups for the first December 2017 SCUBA certification class

11:30am–noon: introducing the 2018 SCUBA diving overseas events calendar

Look for a profile of the business and its owner in this space next week.