by Jon M. Casey
For customers of Ben Weitsman of Owego, NY, the Weitsman “retail” scrap metal recycling center is a familiar sight. However, for those of us who have never visited this extremely well run and well maintained facility, touring the company’s facility was memorable. With the friendliness that only a local establishment can offer, the team at Ben Weitsman of Owego reminded us that the recycling experience could be a pleasant and reassuring one.
What makes this facility stand out from the larger, Upstate Shredding facility, also located in Owego, (see Cover feature in the WHEN January 2014 issue), is that this smaller facility is designed to meet the needs of the local customers, small or large. This facility receives cars, metal scrap and other metal materials that have a recycled cash value. More importantly, the smaller Owego facility is open for business, seven days per week, to help meet the needs of the surrounding area.
A company spokesperson for Upstate Shredding, said that Adam Weitsman’s commitment to serving the community, goes back three generations. Ben Weitsman, Adam’s grandfather, founded the company in 1938. Adam’s father Fred, continued to grow the business until 2005, when Adam acquired the business from Fred. Since then, company has grown to become the East Coast’s largest privately owned scrap metal processor and recycling center under Adam’s leadership. The larger, Upstate Shredding mega-processing facility, the vision of Adam Weitsman, was founded by Adam in 1996 and is designed to receive massive volumes of material from several sources including the company’s growing number of supporting recycling centers located throughout New York and Pennsylvania. Last year for example, Upstate Shredding processed more than one million tons of ferrous and 250 million pounds of non-ferrous material. The Owego “retail” facility is one of fifteen facilities in the Upstate Shredding network that contribute to that total.
What makes Ben Weitsman Owego so interesting is the precision and thoroughness with which the workers recycle the incoming materials. Specialty items like computer components and fiber optic materials are sorted and in the “New Metals Building.” This new structure, completed in 2013, was built to not only house a new Sierra Conveyor/baler system, but it also serves as an outlet for new, raw steel materials that are also warehoused and sold from this location.
The new Sierra REB-1, two ram baler, is ideal for baling wire, aluminum and copper materials. Its automatic features allow for efficient loading and baling for quick materials turnaround. The conveyor/baler system also prepares fiber optic cable scrap material for shipment a somewhat novel material in today’s world of high tech communications. Even this facility’s vehicle salvage segment exercises the highest level of care as aluminum wheels are separated from the vehicles, for shipment to aluminum customers, elsewhere.
Weitsman’s vehicle fluid reclamation facility, a part of the Owego “retail” site, demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental concerns. The fluid reclaimer captures fluids that remain in salvaged cars and trucks. There, the liquids are safely removed and recycled in approved methods.
Fluids such as antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid and hydraulic fluids are drained from the vehicles. These liquids are stored in the appropriate containers and then recycled by companies who specialize in those products. This reduces the hazards associated with environmental concerns and it eliminates the potential fire hazard that can come when the vehicles are transferred to the shredding facility for shredding. For more information on the Upstate Shredding-Ben Weitsman, visit their website at upstateshredding.com .
Upstate Shredding wins top award for scrap and recycling at 2014 Platts Global Metal awardsCompany recognized as one of the top metals companies in the world by Platts
New York based scrap metal recycler Upstate Shredding — Weitsman Recycling has been named the world’s leader in scrap and recycling by Platts, the premier international publication in the recycling industry.
Adam Weitsman, owner of the Owego based company, believes this award is a great honor and testament of his company’s commitment to exceptional operations and dynamic growth strategies. Adam Weitsman along with company officials were on hand to accept the award at the ceremony Wednesday May 21st in London.
“This recognition is one of the top moments of my career. To have been selected as the winner when international judges are reviewing companies, public and private, from all over the world is an astonishing accomplishment. I am truly humbled and still in a state of disbelief…. this was certainly an underdog story, especially with all of the goliaths of the industry worldwide that were in the room and whom we were up against for the award. I would like to thank everyone within my company as well as Platts,” Weitsman said.
Platts, a part of the McGraw Hill Companies, is a leading global resource of information on the energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture markets. The publication is a premier source of benchmark price assessments for those commodity markets. Upstate Shredding was one of five finalists for the Platts “Industry Leadership — Scrap & Recycling” award for 2014. The annual gala black tie event “is a competitive awards program honoring excellence and accomplishments in the global metals industry,” according to the Platts website.
Nominees were considered from all across the globe. Judges selecting the finalists and winner of each category carefully examine the finalists’ achievements, financial results, leadership, integrity, job growth and operational excellence before announcing which companies are considered to be the industry leaders.
“By making sound decisions and by assembling some of the hardest working people in the scrap industry, we’ve had an amazing period of growth,” Weitsman said. “Our success will continue for many years to come, and being named the winner of this prestigious award is recognition of that effort.”
The video of the presentation of the award to Upstate Shredding can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cnLyqSPnXo .
Upstate Shredding — Weitsman Recycling, the East Coast’s largest privately held scrap metal processor, has grown to 18 locations throughout New York and Pennsylvania and is home to one of the most powerful mega shredders in the world. The company expects to process more than one million tons of ferrous and 250 million pounds of nonferrous this year as it continues towards its goal of $1 billion in annual debt free sales.
For more information, visit www.upstateshredding.com .