Ladtech Incorporated, based in Lino Lakes, was recently honored by the Anoka County Board of Commissioners for its use of recycled materials to manufacture its product.
Ladtech produces manhole adjusting rings from 100 percent high density polyethylene recycled plastic, or “curb side waste,” said Lana Wiedrich, corporate secretary for Ladtech and wife of president Dwight Wiedrich. Last year Ladtech used three million pounds of curb side waste, like milk jugs, soap jugs and shampoo bottles, Wiedrich said. This year the company hopes to double that number. All commercial plastic has a number on it, Wiedrich said, and any plastic container with the number two on it is used for the manhole ring. All manhole rings are concrete, Lana Wiedrich said, and “we developed the first recycled plastic one.” It takes 52 milk jugs to produce one two-inch ring. Dwight said. Ladtech has patents in the United States and Canada, a pending patent in Europe, and has distributors all over the country, Wiedrich said.
Wiedrich said Ladtech’s man- hole adjusting ring is more effective than the standard concrete man- hole rings because it’s long-lasting, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, will not corrode from sewer gasses, It’s lightweight, it’s a mortar-less system and prevents storm water infiltration. It will also save money for cities, counties, states and contractors.
“We’re just changing what’s been going on forever.” Wiedrich said. “We’re trying to get people to understand that change is necessary”.
Dwight Wiedrich, who has worked in the concrete, pipe and manhole industry for 30 years, is not against concrete and thinks it’s an excellent product, but he said concrete is not meant to be two inches thick, be shaped like a doughnut and not be reinforced.
Wiedrich also said that concrete doesn’t come with a warrantee and concrete costs climb when the concrete rings are breaking. Ladtech’s ring comes with a 10-year replacement warrantee, Wiedrich said.
Ladtech has been in production for a little over two years and Wiedrich said the company has come a long ways in a short time. The adjusting ring complies with all the government standards for infrastructure, something the concrete rings have not always complied with, but Wiedrich said that’s because concrete has always been used.
“We’ve finally come up with something better;” Wiedrich said. “We’ll be forcing concrete to meet these standards.”
Wiedrich said recycled plastic is used because it’s durable material and will stand the test of time. The minimum amount of time the Ladtech plastic manhole ring is expected to last is 100 years, Wiedrich said. It also helps the environment by removing garbage from landfills and reusing it productively, Wiedrich said. The materials are supplied by Recycling Alternatives Incorporated (RAI) in Mound. RAI also forms the material into the Ladtech-designed ring mold.
The award presented by the Anoka County Board of Commissioners was presented in April and coincided with Earth Day, Wiedrich said. Wiedrich said the award was important for Ladtech because it shows the company is complying with new world standards toward recycling.
“It was an honor to be recognized so early in our company’s history.” Wiedrich said. “It lets us know we’re on the right track.”
Tim Bartlett is a staff writer for Press Publications and can be reached at (651) 407-1235.