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Top 20 nonferrous scrap processors: shipping aluminum and copper scrap is a vital activity for some of the nation's largest recycling companies.

Measured by volume, scrap iron and steel remain the kings of the mountain for metals recyclers. But measured by profits, there are times when the nonferrous business is the segment that alert scrap recyclers pay close attention to when managing their operations.

While scrap dealers can rightfully consider 2003 and 2004 as terrific years to be in the scrap iron business, they would also have to acknowledge that the prices they received for their copper scrap were memorable, as well.

Increasingly, traditional ferrous scrap processors have abandoned any previous notions they may have had to treat the nonferrous side of the business as a secondary pursuit. Part of this reason could also be that a number of operational and bottom-line trends have helped to make it increasingly difficult for scrap companies to consider themselves stand-alone ferrous scrap processors.

CHANGING TIMES. Throughout the last several decades, several trends have worked to bring ferrous and nonferrous scrap operations closer together as two parallel parts of the same operating unit.

* In manufacturing, an increasing number of appliances and machines are made with a combination of ferrous and nonferrous metals fastened together in a variety of ways. In the automotive sector, aluminum producers jumped on the "lightweighting" bandwagon by selling the merits of aluminum as a less weighty substitute for steel or iron for a number of components.

* In processing, the shift toward shredding plants has seen traditional ferrous scrap processors take in appliances and auto bodies, regardless of the nonferrous content. In fact, the deployment of downstream shredder sorting systems has made the recovery of the nonferrous portion an important profit center for traditional scrap iron dealers.

* Also on the processing side, a drive toward efficiency and controlling labor costs has meant that scrap companies are increasingly unwilling to engage in manual sorting or disassembly to separate ferrous metals from nonferrous metals prior to size reduction.

* On the buy side, obsolete scrap has become an increasingly larger percentage of the overall scrap stream. In the United States, many scrap processors have seen their manufacturing clients close down, move offshore or become markedly more efficient (thereby reducing the amount of scrap generated). This has helped push the trend toward more shredding plants to make sure processors get in on the obsolete scrap stream, which continues to flow in every region of the country.

The popularity of the auto shredder is a common theme in these trends, and it--more than anything--has helped turn ferrous processors into dual ferrous and nonferrous firms.

The types of nonferrous scrap that a recycler can deal in are enough to fill a book (the fattest section of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.'s "Scrap Specifications Circular," as a matter of fact), and many of these metals show up in the post-shredder stream.

A look at the headquarters addresses of the companies on the 20 Largest Nonferrous Scrap Processors List shows a preponderance of Northeast and Great Lakes region addresses, with only two companies from the booming Southern states listed.

Dallas-based Commercial Metals Co. and New Orleans-based Southern Scrap Recycling may be the only two companies based in the South that made the list, but they by no means are the only companies with a presence in the South.

OmniSource Corp. has a plant in Decatur, Ala., as well as a string of facilities in the Southeast operating as part of its Carolina Recycling Group affiliate. Metal Management Inc. operates yards in Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, while PSC Metals Inc. has several locations in Tennessee.

Much of the scrap handled by the David J. Joseph Co. runs through its River Metals Recycling facilities in Kentucky or its Trademark Metals Recycling facilities in Florida.

Additionally, Ferrous Processing & Trading (parent company of SLC Recycling) has a facility in Miami; Simsmetal America has established operations in Virginia, partly to supply the Chaparral Steel mini-mill in that state; and both of Global Recycling Inc.'s physical yards are in the Southeast (in Arkansas and North Carolina).

METHODOLOGY. For purposes of compiling this list, we asked recyclers to concentrate on the most commonly traded nonferrous metals--aluminum and copper. Certainly, there are other metals and alloys to consider, and some may provide a topic for a future list.

Whether to add in stainless steel processing was another question. This iron-bearing metal with a price pegged to its nonferrous alloying elements has a habit of raising classification questions. (See "Straddling the Stainless Fence," below.)

Ultimately, focusing on aluminum, copper and the nonferrous portions of the auto shredder stream provided a yardstick we hoped could be applied evenly.

As with all "20 Largest" lists that we compile, we received replies from some but not all of the companies we contacted. In some cases, we placed companies on the list based on estimates from industry sources, while in other cases we refrained from doing so.

In an effort to increase the number of repliers we received, we decided to keep actual volume figures for each company on the list confidential.

The list that has been created ranks the companies based on combined processing volume in three categories (aluminum, red metals and "Zorba" nonferrous shred). The list also notes where among the 20 largest each company ranks in terms of these three nonferrous scrap segments.

The reluctance of some companies to provide information to us has probably led to their omission from this list, meaning we cannot claim 100 percent accuracy.

We hope that some of these companies will reconsider their policy. Listing the largest, most active companies is a way to gain recognition for what a company and its employees have accomplished. It takes hard work by a lot of people to procure, process and ship out nonferrous scrap.

If you work for or own a company that you suspect should be included in this list but that was not contacted, please let us know, and we will let our readers know. Editor Brian Taylor can be contacted via e-mail at btaylor@gie.net.
20 LARGEST U.S. NONFERROUS SCRAP PROCESSORS

Company Company
Address CEO or President

OmniSource Corp.
1610 N. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne, IN 46808 Daniel Rifkin

Metal Management Inc.
500 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610 Daniel Dienst

David J. Joseph Co.
300 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 Keith B. Grass

Commercial Metals Co. Alan Postel
6565 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75039 (Sec. Proc. Div.)

PSC Metals Inc.
5875 Landerbrook Dr., Cleveland, OH 44124 Ben Blemker (Pres.)

Hugo Neu Corp.
79 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10003 John Neu

Miller Compressing Co.
1640 W. Bruce St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 John Busby

SLC Recycling LLC/Div. of FP&T
8701 E. Eight Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48089 Howard Sherman

Simsmetal America
600 S. Fourth St., Richmond, CA 94804 Rick Jansen

Cohen Brothers Inc.
1723 Woodlawn Ave., Middletown, OH 45044 Ken Cohen

Global Recycling Inc.
595 Route 25A, Miller Place, NY 11764 Steven Gilbert

Northeast Metal Traders Inc.
7345 Milnor St., Philadelphia, PA 19136 Ronald W. Greller

Alter Scrap Processing *
555 N. New Ballas Rd., St. Louis, MO 63141 Robert S. Goldstein

Schnitzer Steel Products Co.
3200 N.W. Yeon Ave., Portland, OR 97210 Robert W. Philip

Samuels Recycling Co.
4400 Sycamore Ave., Madison, WI 53714 Mike Spear

Shapiro Sales Co.
601 E. Red Bud, St. Louis, MO 63147 Bruce Shapiro

Universal Scrap Metals Inc.
2500 W. Fulton, Chicago, IL 60612 Philip Zeid

Midwest Iron & Metal
813 W. Stewart St., Dayton, OH 45401 Joel Frydman

Southern Scrap Recycling *
4801 Florida Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117 Edward Diefenthal

Alpert & Alpert Iron & Metal Inc.
1815 S. Soto St., Los Angeles, CA 90023 Alan Alpert (Pres.)

Company Aluminum Red Metal
Address Scrap/Rank Scrap/Rank

OmniSource Corp.
1610 N. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne, IN 46808 1 1

Metal Management Inc.
500 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610 3 2

David J. Joseph Co.
300 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 2 9

Commercial Metals Co.
6565 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75039 4 3

PSC Metals Inc.
5875 Landerbrook Dr., Cleveland, OH 44124 7 15

Hugo Neu Corp.
79 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10003 6 6

Miller Compressing Co.
1640 W. Bruce St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 5 5

SLC Recycling LLC/Div. of FP&T
8701 E. Eight Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48089 12 20

Simsmetal America
600 S. Fourth St., Richmond, CA 94804 17 8

Cohen Brothers Inc.
1723 Woodlawn Ave., Middletown, OH 45044 8 10

Global Recycling Inc.
595 Route 25A, Miller Place, NY 11764 21+ 3

Northeast Metal Traders Inc.
7345 Milnor St., Philadelphia, PA 19136 11 7

Alter Scrap Processing *
555 N. New Ballas Rd., St. Louis, MO 63141 15 11

Schnitzer Steel Products Co.
3200 N.W. Yeon Ave., Portland, OR 97210 20 21+

Samuels Recycling Co.
4400 Sycamore Ave., Madison, WI 53714 13 19

Shapiro Sales Co.
601 E. Red Bud, St. Louis, MO 63147 8 8

Universal Scrap Metals Inc.
2500 W. Fulton, Chicago, IL 60612 14 17

Midwest Iron & Metal
813 W. Stewart St., Dayton, OH 45401 10 21+

Southern Scrap Recycling *
4801 Florida Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117 18 12

Alpert & Alpert Iron & Metal Inc.
1815 S. Soto St., Los Angeles, CA 90023 16 16

Company "Zorba" Number of
Address Scrap/Rank Facilities

OmniSource Corp.
1610 N. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne, IN 46808 9 35

Metal Management Inc.
500 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610 2 42

David J. Joseph Co.
300 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 1 26

Commercial Metals Co.
6565 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75039 12 35

PSC Metals Inc.
5875 Landerbrook Dr., Cleveland, OH 44124 3 15

Hugo Neu Corp.
79 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10003 5 16

Miller Compressing Co.
1640 W. Bruce St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 7 6

SLC Recycling LLC/Div. of FP&T
8701 E. Eight Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48089 6 7

Simsmetal America
600 S. Fourth St., Richmond, CA 94804 8 12

Cohen Brothers Inc.
1723 Woodlawn Ave., Middletown, OH 45044 13 6

Global Recycling Inc.
595 Route 25A, Miller Place, NY 11764 21+ 2

Northeast Metal Traders Inc.
7345 Milnor St., Philadelphia, PA 19136 18 1

Alter Scrap Processing *
555 N. New Ballas Rd., St. Louis, MO 63141 15 16 (1)

Schnitzer Steel Products Co.
3200 N.W. Yeon Ave., Portland, OR 97210 4 9

Samuels Recycling Co.
4400 Sycamore Ave., Madison, WI 53714 10 7

Shapiro Sales Co.
601 E. Red Bud, St. Louis, MO 63147 n/a 6

Universal Scrap Metals Inc.
2500 W. Fulton, Chicago, IL 60612 14 2

Midwest Iron & Metal
813 W. Stewart St., Dayton, OH 45401 17 2

Southern Scrap Recycling *
4801 Florida Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117 11 16

Alpert & Alpert Iron & Metal Inc.
1815 S. Soto St., Los Angeles, CA 90023 n/a 3

* = Rankings are based on estimates gathered from input
from industry sources; Remaining rankings based on 2004
results and estimated updates of 2003 results.

(1) = After figures are pre-Yaffe Metals acquisition.


RELATED ARTICLE: Straddling the stainless fence.

Processors who handle stainless steel scrap are engaged in a significant, large- volume sector of the market that often presents a puzzle to outsiders.

In the case of the editors compiling the "20 Largest Nonferrous Scrap Recyclers" list, it was decided that stainless steel would not be used as a measure for this particular chart.

The determination was made not so much because of the hybrid status of stainless steel (it is a type of steel with iron as its foremost element, but trades against the value of the nonferrous nickel with which it is alloyed), but because of the specialized nature of the companies handling the metal.

The commodity is handled to some extent by most nonferrous recyclers, but a handful of companies regard stainless steel and other high-temp alloys as the focus of their business.

Global trading and processing firms such as ELG Metals Inc., McKeesport, Pa.; Keywell LLC, Chicago; and the stainless steel division of Metal Management Inc., Chicago, compete with a number of regional companies in this segment.

If readers would be interested in seeing a "10 Largest Stainless Steel Recyclers" list, let us know by e-mailing Brian Taylor at btaylor@gie.net.

NONFERROUS NEWS

Get breaking news affecting secondary nonferrous metals markets at www.RecyclingToday.com.

The author is the editor of Recycling Today and can be contacted via e-mail at btaylor@gie.net.

CLOSING IN

A number of other companies are processing tonnage that puts them near the top 20. Among those companies that are poised to reach the top 20 in the future are Morris Recycling Inc., New Albany, Miss.; Ansam Metals Corp., Baltimore; Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer, Iowa; Galamba Metals Group, Kansas City, Mo.; Gershow Recycling; Medford, N.Y.; Mallin Bros. Co Inc., Kansas City, Mo.; A. Tenenbaum Co. Inc., N. Little Rock, Ark.; Newell Ltd., San Antonio, Texas; and Allan Company, Baldwin Park, Calif.

Several other companies that were contacted were not able to provide information, and we were not able to make contact with sources who could provide reasonable estimates. Those companies include Sadoff Iron & Metal Co., Fond du Loc, Wis.; Yaffe Cos. Inc., Muskogee, Okla.; Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Co., Holland, Mich.; Adams Steel, Anaheim, Calif., Pacific Coast Recycling, Long Beach, Calif.; Azcon Corp., Chicago; and Tennessee Valley Recycling, Decatur, Ala.
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Author:Taylor, Brian
Publication:Recycling Today
Article Type:Cover Story
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:2203
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