Ben Dora, a yard operator at Columbus Scrap Material, operates a backhoe at the scrap yard on The Island. Columbus Scrap Material was named the scrap company of the year by American Metal Market last week. Photo by: Courtesy photo
June 25, 2014 11:00:29 AM
A business based in Columbus for more than half a century won a national award last week.
Columbus Scrap Material was named scrap company of the year during the American Metal Market Awards for Steel Excellence dinner in New York City on June 17.
The awards honor U.S. companies that are in, or support, the global steel industry, according to the American Metal Market website.
David Brooks, senior vice president and editor in chief of American Metal Market, said a record number of companies were nominated. Nearly 40 businesses were named finalists for AMM awards.
"To receive the best in class for a medium size scrap company throughout the entire United States is truly a humbling experience," Robert Craig, the president of Columbus Scrap Material, said. "We are blessed to have an excellent team of employees who enjoy their jobs and who make this happen everyday. This is a real honor for our company."
Columbus Scrap Material was founded on The Island in 1956 by Henry Weiss. In 1996, Gregg Rader and his wife Welissa became owners. According to a media release put out by American Metal Market, the company is one of the fastest-growing scrap metal businesses in the country.
The business owns five total yards. In addition to the one on The Island, there are locations in Meridian, Iuka, Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Approximately 65 people are employed by Columbus Scrap Material's location on The Island.
In a nutshell the company recycles any and all metals: aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, tin, zinc and others. The metal comes from anything imaginable: street signs, car wheels, radiators, barrels, computers, soft drink cans, wire and other things.
Roughly 85 percent of the metal comes from industrial manufacturers that Columbus Scrap Material sells to foundries, steel mills and specialty mills, according to Nelda Umfress, vice president of operations. The other 15 percent comes from "peddlers" -- people who bring truckloads of metal by and exchange it for a check.
Company officials declined to say how much metal is processed monthly, but the number is in the thousands of tons, according to Umfress.
That metal is cut up, packaged and sold around the country. AMM noted that the company has retained 95 percent of its top 20 customers during the last five years.
Also last week, Severstal Columbus was given an AMM award in the Best Operational Improvement category. The company, which employs roughly 650 people at its Lowndes County plant, is the U.S.'s fourth-biggest producer of alloy. The company makes steel out of scrap metal.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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