Clackamas County: Going Beyond Green / Trash Talk Fall 2012
Metal recycling is alive and growing in Clackamas County
Oddly enough, the spate of metal theft in the last few years has made people realize all kinds of metals are valuable for recycling. Increased advertising has helped raise awareness as well, says Aliza Mooney, an office manager for R.S. Davis Recycling, Inc., a large metal recycler in Clackamas County.
Like other metal recyclers, R.S. Davis takes just about every metal home appliance, including the kitchen sink – if that sink happens to be cast iron. It's possible to get money for many items including metal fencing, swing sets, bed frames, tools, scrap metal, and even strings of Christmas lights (it's the copper in the wiring). The company follows all laws pertaining to metal theft including requiring legal titles for cars and Department of Motor Vehicles ID for people entering the premises.
Both ferrous metals (tin, steel, iron and vehicles) and non-ferrous metals (copper, aluminum, brass and stainless steel) are recyclable. R.S. Davis sorts, bales and shears these materials, then ships them to mills and refineries. This reduces the amount of new raw materials needed for manufacturing which means bigger energy savings, and more natural resources.
After over 35 years in the business, R.S. Davis recently built a new LEED Gold facility in Clackamas. The state-of-the-art building is a metaphor for the kind of work the company does to save valuable resources. "We're always looking for new and better ways to reduce our environmental impact," said Mooney.
The Clackamas County Office of Sustainability recently honored R.S. Davis with a BRAG (Business Recycling Awards Group) plaque for its internal practices. To name a few: recycling paper, batteries, cell phones, paint and fluorescent bulbs, and switching to 30 percent recycled-content paper. The company uses certified green cleaners and buys office equipment with the ENERGY STAR label to insure energy conservation.