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Scrap Company of the Year

May 02, 2017 | 08:00 PM | Fastmarkets AMM staff

2017 Scrap Company of the Year Finalists


Columbus Recycling


Over its’ almost 60-year history, Columbus Recycling and its Freedom Metals subsidiary have emerged as one of the Southeast’s leading independent metal recyclers, with nine locations in Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.


Just shy of six decades of successful operations speaks to the recycler’s commitment to customer focus–resulting in nearly 100 percent account retention–and ability to source more than 310,000 tons of ferrous material annually,


The company’s unwavering commitment “to always do the right thing” for customers, consumers, employees and the community has translated into a positive economic and environmental impact. Columbia Recycling is focused on ensuring its products are sourced from suppliers who provide safe, healthy and legally compliant work environments.


“We clearly communicate our standards to suppliers and dedicate a local team to review and audit compliance,” the recycler noted.


The company’s values include striving for simplicity, building open and honest relationships with all stakeholders, developing trust, being decisive and accountable, doing more with less, and creating a sense of humility.


Columbus Recycling has followed the same operational strategy throughout its history. Key components of that strategy include maintaining a stable and reliable company, creating an efficient operational environment, offering best-in-class payment terms, and making the investments needed for the future.


“Columbus Recycling and Freedom Metals understand that we win only when our customers, consumers and other key stakeholders win,” the company said. “Exceeding customer expectations and building strong partnerships with the vendors, suppliers and communities we serve is the foundation of our continued success. We fulfill our commitments and stand behind our products and solutions every day.”


Sims Brothers Recycling


Sims Brothers Recycling (SBR) of Marion, Ohio, is a multi-generational metals recycling facility celebrating its 80th year in business in 2017.


SBR, which was established in 1937, currently operates three full-service yards in Central Ohio. Today, the company employs more than 145 associates at scrap recycling facilities in three cities and at numerous customer sites covering two states. SBR ships material both domestically and internationally, generating annual revenues of more than $70 million.


“You might say our company philosophy exemplifies the Sims family values, ‘Do What You Say You Will Do,’” Sims Brothers pointed out. “We believe we put out integrity and reputation on the line in the marketplace every day in everything we do. If we say we’re going to provide a service, to our customers or to our community, we feel it’s important to do it right.”


Sims Brothers bills itself as “the small company with big company capabilities,” and in 2016 took two steps that will promote growth while improving competitiveness and reducing expenses and insurance exposure. The company purchased the assets of Nucor Steel-owned General Recycling of Marion, Ohio.


“This allowed us to strengthen our footprint locally while also giving us an additional base of business on which to grow and develop,” SBR said. “The purchase also strengthened our relationship with Nucor Steel, which we believe will lead to business opportunities yet to be realized.”


The company also entered into a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) agreement with Group Management Services of Richfield, Ohio, which will allow it to consolidate its workers comp insurance premiums under the GMS umbrella, resulting is a significant reduction in expenses while allowing the recycler to maintain full operational control of its employees.


Steel Dynamics Inc.


Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), and its metals recycling unit, OmniSource Corporation, count operations in both ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal processing, transportation, marketing, brokerage, and consulting services strategically located mostly in close proximity to SDI’s steel mills and other end-user scrap consumers throughout the eastern half of the United States.


OmniSource also designs, installs, and manages customized scrap management programs for industrial manufacturing companies at more than 700 locations throughout North America.


The company’s continuous improvement initiatives cover a range of activities encompassing customer service and support training, safety, operations, transportation, quality, anti-theft, radiation detection, and environmental performance.


The company’s work in shredder operations has been closely watched by the entire industry. OmniSource has developed plant-specific, shredder projectile prevention best practice programs.


For each shredder location, the program designates a “no-go zone,” and includes a start-up checklist and protocols for machine guarding, and other areas inspected for possible flying projectiles. The company has developed a Shredder Operation Standard Operating Procedure Minimum Requirements manual that covers all aspects of the shredding process and will be customized to each location as it is being rolled out in 2017. Areas covered include safety, quality, receiving and inspection procedures, mobile and fixed equipment, maintenance, housekeeping, and other best practices.


OmniSource encourages and consciously strives for employee feedback across its operations. Employees at multiple locations have made suggestions about how to improve the shredding process and material recoveries.


Based on employee input, the company devised a way to recover tramp iron units. This material was previously being sent along with automotive shredder residue (ASR) material to another location for further processing. Shredder initiatives are discussed and modified at quarterly Shredder Council meetings.


Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.


Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. and its drive to deliver best-in-class customer service has put customer-centric initiatives “at the forefront” of its’ continuous-improvement programs, the company said, adding that the tight focus on service has also been a strong contributing factor to the organization’s overall performance.


Counted among those customer service initiatives are development of IT and social media channels for the company’s retail auto stores that provide access to used parts across North America. Meanwhile, investments in IT infrastructure in Schnitzer’s metal recycling facilities enable online documentation of transactions, delivery times and material grading, providing customers an enhanced level of transaction visibility and integrity unparalleled in the industry.


Schnitzer’s platform has demonstrated the flexibility and product quality to serve both export and domestic markets, including developing the technology and expertise to produce scrap that is able to meet a wide range of mill specifications.


Schnitzer’s commitment to continuous improvement has led to investment in significant IT infrastructure to verify customer identification, maintain specific local law enforcement reporting requirements, and provide surveillance video and photo documentation; development of Scrap Acceptance Policies that are specific to local and state laws; employee training in load inspection and transaction documentation, and development and maintenance of strong relationships within the company’s local communities and cooperation with local law enforcement and state governments in order to prevent metal theft.


Continuous improvement at Schnitzer also encompasses a company-wide commitment to environmental compliance and safety performance. “Radiation-detection is a critical aspect of safety and quality control at Schnitzer,” the company said. “We partner with our own Steel Manufacturing Business, Cascade Rolling Steel Mills, Inc., to develop best-in-class processes to detect contaminants and proper handling of any hazardous material. Each of our metal recycling yards is equipped with radiation detection systems designed to prevent dangerous and costly radioactive contamination in our facilities.”





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