New recycling plant good for landfill, McCulloch County

Taking care of the environment and recycling goes hand-in-hand and both of those things will fit in nicely in McCulloch County. This is the work of two men that have not only worked together on recycling projects before, but now have joined together for a second business venture’the Brady Recycling Corporation. Bruce Smith of Marble Falls and Paul Williams of Salado combined have 62 years of experience in the recycling industry. Smith owns Hill Country Recycling Corp., which he runs with his sons, Matthew and Dustin. Matthew has been in the business for 10 years, and Dustin has been in the business for five years. They share the general manager position and each has a specialized area in regards to the different metals and materials. Smith and partner, Williams, own Holland Scrap & Recycling in Holland. Holland is located 14 miles east of Salado on five acres and employs 20 people. The only difference between the Holland plant and the Marble Falls plant is that the Holland plant does not take plastic or any type of paper goods. The Holland plant was converted from a former feed store and has been a recycling plant for 15 years. Hill Country Recycling Corp. sits on five acres with a beautiful entrance where they employ 23 people. They are located at 2000 2nd Street at the end of Avenue U, which is very accessible to the busy area highways. Today, scrap recycling has become a multi- billion dollar worldwide business. According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), the industry affected the U.S. economy to the tune of $65 billion in 2006 and employs 50,000 people from 8,000 companies. Some of the large national scrap processors include Metal Management, Schnitzer Steel and Alcan and David J. Joseph Corporation. The top 50 companies hold only about 40 percent of the market. A typical local scrap processor has annual revenue under $5 million dollars. Now you are saying to yourself, “What about the new plant in Brady’ The Brady Recycling Corp. will be located about two miles east of Bridge Street at 1102 East 11th Street, which is also FM 2309. ‘We are using local people to construct our plant,’ said Smith. ‘Our mission in Brady is to be able to assist the city and area in growing in the future,” said Williams. “We are providing the area a service and an opportunity to quickly and easily get rid of their recyclable materials. After days of research, we decided Brady is a strategically located area to do business. We can expand our experience and help Brady at the same time. ‘It is a great location. The acreage is small, but the business will grow and develop,’ added Williams. ‘You will have to treat the Brady plant like a new born baby. It will have to grow and develop. It will be operated on a smaller scale until time allows it to develop into a large scrap yard. The availability of the scrap will develop that yard. We will be able to handle that growth and process that material. It goes back to the saying, ‘If you build it, people will come.’ We will advertise, but word of mouth is such a powerful thing.’ The new plant manager will be Mickey Diamond. He will be assisted by equipment supervisor and operator Robert Harris. Harris has already moved to Brady with his wife, where he is on the site location daily, working to clear all the rubble, old lumber, etc. He is currently making preparations for the location of new buildings. ‘We will have a 200,000 pound truck scale, a 4,200 square- foot office and building and whatever else we may need in the way of equipment,’ said Smith. ‘We will start out with just a few employees and as our business grows in the area we hope to increase our employee base to about 15-20 people. We are looking forward to coming to Brady, providing a much-needed service and becoming a part of the community.’ Operating hours will be: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30-5 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. The owners are looking to pour the slab in about three weeks and hope to be opening the plant in April. What materials will they be taking in from residential, businesses and industrial companies’ The articles they will be taking are: numbers one and two copper, insulation copper, red, yellow and dirty brass, radiators, aluminum coolers, cast aluminum, sheet aluminum, dirty aluminum, aluminum cans, aluminum copper-core aluminum, aluminum conductor steel reinforced (ACSR), Neoprene, stainless steel, lead, batteries, iron, short iron and tin. Where does scrap metal come from’ It comes from peddlers (individuals that bring in household scrap), machine shops, manufactuers companies, government entities and other industries. Scrap metal is composed of items such as aluminum cans, used pipe, sheet metal buildings, automobiles, white goods (freezers, refrigerators, washers and dryers), computer components, pots, pans, lawn furniture, bicycles, obsolete equipment, copper wire, old structural steel building frames and tin cans. Ferrous is a way to classify metals by their iron content. Ferrous metals contain iron and are magnetic while non-ferrous metals do not contain iron. Ferrous materials may be pure iron, like wrought iron, or they may be alloys of iron and other elements. Steel, being an alloy of iron and carbon, is therefore a ferrous metal. Common non-ferrous metals include aluminum, tin, copper, zinc, and brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. Some precious metals such as silver, gold and platinum are also non-ferrous. There are different grades in ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Each category has different grades. Williams went on to discuss the different materials with which the company will be dealing and about the pricing of those commodities. ‘The biggest dollar value item is copper. It is probably the highest priced commodity right now,’ said Williams. He went on to explain that ferrous scrap metal is priced from month-to-month. ‘During the month of January, right now, number one copper is bringing $2.50-$2.70 per pound. Brass has a copper base, so it would run in second place on the market, followed by the aluminums,’ said Williams. ‘Companies that we do business with send out price sheets and you can negotiate with them. The non-ferrous metals are sold and traded on the international markets. They are also traded like stocks and the price is dependent upon supply and demand. We regulate our price according to those set prices.’ Most of Smith and Williams’ company’s materials are shipped across the United States. They are shipped to Houston, to other U.S. locations, or to foreign countries. The products from their plants are put into a baler, a machine that compresses scrap for shipment as condensed, sheared and tied cubes. According to co-plant manager Dustin Smith, the number of bales loaded into the back of an 18-wheeler truck varies upon what type of material is placed inside. Sometimes, such as the day I visited, the 18- wheeler was being loaded with a mix load of non-ferrous. In that case, he expected to load about 20 to 30 bales. If loading cardboard materials, then about 33 to 35 bales may be put on the truck with each bale averaging a weight of 1,500 pounds. If you have a load of newsprint, then they could get about 30 bales on a truck. ‘All of the mills and end-users that we deal with have certain specifications about what they buy,’ stated Williams. ‘We process the material to their specifications, and then we ship the product out to them. It is an interesting and profitable business.’

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