A Brief History of AERT
Since 1989, AERT (OTCBB:AERT -
has pioneered the use of recycled polyethylene plastic in the manufacture of composite
building materials.. AERT has
been built on persistence, hard work, and integrity. With its constantly evolving portfolio of patented and proprietary recycling technologies,
AERT has been widely recognized as a leader in resource conservation innovation
and received the EPA Award for Environmental Excellence for its process of converting
scrap plastic to composite outdoor decking. AERT converts reclaimed plastic and
wood fiber waste into quality outdoor decking systems, fence systems, and door and
window components. The Company is the exclusive manufacturer of ChoiceDek(r) decking,
which is available in multiple colors and is sold in Lowe's Home Improvement stores
nationwide. See http://www.choicedek.com for more information.
AERT's MoistureShield(r) decking program is expanding and products are now available
See http://www.moistureshield.com for product
information or to find a regional distributor or dealer.
AERT operates manufacturing facilities in Springdale and Lowell, Arkansas
and recently commenced operations at its Green Age recycling facility in Watts,
Oklahoma. For more information on the Company, visit http://www.aertinc.com.
As we go
forward, the guiding principles for AERT will be:
customer’s needs with imagination and energy.
Manufacturing the highest quality products to the most
become the low cost producer.
products for the future.
The Story of AERT
The Brooks family and associates of Springdale, Arkansas
founded AERT in 1989. The Brooks family developed a new
technology for combining recycled wood fiber and recycled
polyethylene plastic to form a highly durable, non-toxic,
termite resistant engineered composite building material
that is used in the building trades. The new composite was
initially used to replace high weather impacted wood
components such as door rails, door subsills, and
windowsills. Subsequently, the new composites were used for
applications in decking and exterior trim.
AERT’s initial manufacturing facility was opened in 1989
just outside of Junction, Texas. For decades that area had
been known for its production of cedar oil that is used in
furniture polish and many other applications. A byproduct of
cedar oil production is spent cedar fiber that often has no
other use and must be disposed of. AERT located its first
manufacturing plant near several of the cedar oil mills to
take advantage of the abundant supply of cedar fiber.
The initial products manufactured at the Junction, Texas
plant won wide acclaim for their durability, far surpassing
conventional wood in their ability to withstand the ravages
of rot, termites, and harsh environments. The cedar aroma of
the products manufactured at the Junction facility was also
a big hit with customers.
In 1989, AERT became one of the first plastic recycling
companies to successfully complete an Initial Public
Offering of stock and become listed on the NASDAQ exchange (AERT).
In 1990, AERT introduced the MoistureShield® line of door
and window components. These highly functional components
have been incorporated into millions of doors and windows by
manufacturers like Therma Tru, Crestline, Vetter, Premdor
and many others. The door and window component market is
highly competitive and requires exacting specifications.
Only the most stable and durable composites can qualify for
this use. AERT is pleased that it’s MoistureShield® products
have been used in many of the nation’s most prestigious
The Company began activities at its Plastics Reclamation
facility in 1990. Since that time, AERT has further
developed and patented its proprietary waste plastics
reclamation technologies which allow it to recover waste
plastics from the by-product of other recycling operations,
as well as post-consumer and post-industrial waste streams.
AERT entered into a joint development agreement with the Dow
Chemical Company of Midland, Michigan in 1991 for the
purpose of developing polyethylene film recycling
technology. As a result of this agreement, AERT was able to
develop new approaches to polyethylene film recycling and
gain a more clear understanding of the unique opportunities
it had in composite manufacturing.
In 1991, AERT was featured on CNN’s Science and Technology
segment as a promising new technology company. AERT’s
patented technology for recycling polyethylene and wood drew
a great deal of attention for its functionality in recycling
waste materials into new products with significantly more
utility and life expectancy than the products they were
AERT has been awarded a series of patents relating to the
technology for manufacturing wood and polyethylene
composites. In 1998, the United States Patent and Trademark
Office awarded AERT with U.S. Patent No 5759680 for the
extruded composite material used exclusively by AERT to
manufacture its high quality building products.
AERT began manufacturing decking systems in 1992 which were
marketed under the trade names LifeCycle™. In that same
year, AERT provided the decking material for the South Padre
Island Convention Center Board Walk, which was the Company’s
first high visibility public walkway.
In 1995, AERT chose Weyerhaeuser as its national
distribution and marketing partner for decking and
accessories. Weyerhaeuser selected the name ChoiceDek® to
apply to the decking products manufactured for it by AERT.
Since that time, Weyerhaeuser ChoiceDek® has become a
leading name in the composite decking industry. The
association between AERT and Weyerhaeuser has continued to
grow over the years enabling both companies to participate
in building an exciting future that neither would have been
able to experience alone.
Since its inception, AERT has been dedicated to making
superior products with lower environmental impacts and using
recycled materials. AERT’s commitment to satisfying customer
needs and protecting the environment has won it recognition
from many sources. In 1995, Texas Governor, George W. Bush
appointed Joe G. Brooks, Chairman of the Board for AERT, to
the Clean Texas 2000 Board. By 1998, AERT had become one of
the larger polyethylene and wood recyclers in the U.S.
In recognition of the advancements that AERT had made in
recycling technology and market development for recycled
products, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded
AERT’s Junction, Texas manufacturing facility with the U.S.
EPA, Region 6 Environmental Excellence Award. This award is
proudly displayed at both the Junction facility and at the
company’s corporate headquarters.
Growth in the company’s core business areas and development
of significant markets for its products on both the east
coast and the west coast led to opening a new manufacturing
plant in 1997. After an extended search and considerable
evaluation, it was determined that the new plant should be
located in Springdale, Arkansas. The new plant could more
easily service the company’s growing customer base and could
take advantage of lower transportation cost for both raw
materials and finished products.
Springdale is located in northwest Arkansas and is
surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. The area is known for its
hardwood forests and has become the home for a wide variety
of wood manufacturing businesses. A vast supply of premium
grade, residual hardwood oak fiber is available from local
wood manufacturing and forestry businesses. Since the
Springdale manufacturing plant opened, it has been
responsible for recycling over 100 million pounds of this
residual wood waste that would have otherwise gone to local
landfills for disposal.
In 2001, AERT opened a plastic recycling and warehousing
facility at Springdale, allowing the company greater
flexibility in processing secondary plastics and preparing
them for use as raw materials at both the Springdale and
Junction manufacturing plants. The plastic processing and
warehousing function has continued to grow. Additional,
plastic processing capacity is being planned and will be
opened in the near future.
In May 2001, the National Evaluation Services, Inc.
completed its review of Weyerhaeuser ChoiceDek® and issued
National Evaluation Report # 596, which includes decking,
stair and handrail uses. The National Evaluation Services is
recognized widely by building code officials as the
authoritative voice for safety and reliability in building
In 2002 AERT and Weyerhaeuser entered into a long-term
strategic alliance with Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse
for the exclusive rights to market ChoiceDek® Premium into
the North American home improvement warehouse market. Lowe’s
is the first major home improvement warehouse to make a
national commitment to a composite decking product.
In 2003 AERT opened plastic processing plants in Lowell,
Arkansas and Alexandria, Louisiana. The added raw material
processing capacity provided AERT with a new dimension in
cost and quality control. Increasingly through 2004, the new
raw materials processing capacity is making a positive
impact on quality, productivity and profitability.
Productivity is reaching record levels as more precisely
refined raw materials are being provided to the extrusion
New automated finishing lines were added at the Springdale,
Arkansas and Junction, Texas extrusion plants in 2003 and
2004. These lines were constructed to handle the high volume
of new decking products, including embossed and colored
decking, that have been developed by AERT.
A new bond financing was completed in 2003 that provided
much needed capital for financial restructuring. During the
early part of 2003, the Junction, Texas extrusion plant
suffered loss due to a fire that put the plant out of
service for several months. The plant was put back in
service in 2003 and reconstruction is continued in 2004.
In May 2007, AERT added a new extrusion facility called Springdale South. Springdale South's extrusion facility houses the company's newest and largest wood/plastic composite extrusion line, which incorporates several innovations and technologies designed to increase throughputs, improve operation efficiencies, and reduce manufacturing costs. Springdale South successfully begun production of its latest generation "two-up", multiple-profile composite extrusion machinery. The new extrusion line, now fully operational, is significantly larger than AERT's other lines and is designed to run two products simultaneously in lengths of up to 20 feet at a combined rate of up to 10,000 pounds per hour. The interchangeable extrusion die head design allows manufacturing of multiple products on the same line, without sacrificing throughput or line speed. This new line features innovative downstream process automation as well.
In 2007, patents were
filed and a program was initiated with Allstate Investments to build a large, commercial
scale plastic recycling, blending, and reformulation facility near Watts, Oklahoma.
In February 2010, the
Watts Recycling Facility was completed.
This state-of-the-art facility:
- Demonstrates a
full scale, commercial plant featuring AERT?s innovative technologies and methods
for recycling previously unrecovered plastic film sources from the largest segment
of the plastic waste stream, polyethylene.
- Utilizes a series
of technologies to separate, clean, agglomerate, identify, blend, and reformulate
a contaminated and highly varying polyethylene waste stream into a high quality,
plastic resin or compounds suitable for use as a lower cost and less energy intensive
virgin resin substitute in a wide variety of manufacturing applications.
- Was the first recycling
and manufacturing facility in Oklahoma to be awarded SILVER LEED certification and
is a National example of U.S. Green manufacturing.
- Includes building
and infrastructure for 4 lines.
- Significantly reduces
labor cost per pound of recycled material.
- Utilizes proven
equipment and AERT recycling technologies.
In December 2009, AERT
notified the NASDAQ Stock Market of its intent to voluntarily delist its shares
and transfer trading of its Class A Common Stock from the NASDAQ Capital Markets
to the OTC Bulletin Board
In May of 2010 AERT
entered into a multi-year, exclusive agreement with BlueLinx Corporation for the
distribution of AERT manufactured ChoiceDek® decking and accessories to Lowe's home
improvement warehouses throughout the U.S. BlueLinx will provide delivery
to a network that encompasses nearly 1,700 Lowe's retail outlets through its state-of-the-art,
nation-wide distribution system. ChoiceDek
has been sold exclusively through Lowe's stores since 2002 and in 2005 AERT was
named Lowe's Lumber Supplier of the Year.
AERT continues to add new equipment and systems to increase
production and control costs while improving quality. New
products are being developed in response to customer needs
and market opportunities. New production capacity will be
required during the coming years to supply the growing
demand for high quality and low cost composite building
products. AERT’s history of producing high quality composite
building products has placed it in the forefront of the