Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

July 4, 2011

Salvage yard enjoys steady business

AMERICUS — According to scale operator Juanita Bridges, Ellaville Recycling, located at 5652 Ga. Highway 26 west of Ellaville, is the hottest place around to turn your junk into cash.

“We accept iron, steel, aluminum, copper, brass, insulated copper and aluminum wire, electric motors, farm equipment, automobiles, batteries, radiators, old appliances and more,” she said, adding, “If they find how much that junk’s worth they will start bringing it in,” Bridges said.

Walt Young, 49, of Ellaville and his partner Darren Roberts opened Ellaville Recycling in January 2007.

According to Young, he and Roberts grew up just up the road from one another and their getting into the metal business together started while melting aluminum down for furniture at his sister’s furniture company in Plains, Windham Castings.

“We were melting aluminum rims down to make furniture,” Young said, “and someone said, ‘Why don’t you melt down all kinds of scrap?’ so we purchased a roll back and started buying cars. We were going to crush our first hundred cars and split the money.”

Eventually, Young and Roberts were bombarded with metal and encouraged to open  salvage yard in a former feed mill of Young’s.

“We did make feed for hogs here and then the business grew and took off,” he said.

Young said they recycle all sorts of metal. They process, and ship the shredded pieces to a foundry where it is melted.

“It’s just a cycle and the good thing about it is we do not have to tap into our natural resources as much,” he said adding, “and we are cleaning out ditches and gullies,” he said, describing farms and the countryside which once were trashed with old metal, cars and refrigerators are now being cleaned up.

“It’s a good business for us and good for the community,” he said. “You can load up the back of your pickup and make $30, $40 or $50 for cleaning up around your house.”

Walking through the salvage yard, Young said the good thing about this area is their customers do not have to drive very far to recycle.

Walters said recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt light bulb burning for almost four hours or runs your television for three hours.

“Cans are bringing 60 cents a pound. And anybody can recycle. You don’t have to have a lot of metal. If you have a an old treadmill, bicycle, lawn mower, just anything that is metal,” he said, “and you don’t have to be broke,” he said, adding that many people from all walks of life and all economic status recycle.

Jenny Sizemore from Webster County said she and her husband Joey Sizemore have been in the business of recycling for five years now.

“People know us as ‘Junk Man Joe.’ We have been coming to Ellaville Recycling because it is convenient for this rural area. They do help you unload your junk. We cover six counties. We bring the majority of our junk here,” Jerry said.

Another customer, Margarite Green from Buena Vista, said she thinks the recycling business is a blessing.

“This is my first year. I think it’s a blessing. Because it helps you get rid of junk. And put a little more in your pocket when you don’t have any,” she said,

Yard Foreman Jay Guerrero has been working at the recycling yard for three and a half years and he said it’s a friendly atmosphere.

“What I like is the people,” he said. “They are friendly. We have our regular customers and we stay pretty busy. They are good people. I just say, bring it on; we can handle it.”

Young said we also offer pick-up services for automobiles and farm equipment.

“We are also opening another business in Montezuma. It will be near the industrial park,” he said. It will be managed by Young’s son Charlie.

“Our steel prices are around 1.5 cents per pound less than the larger recycling yards in Columbus, Macon and Albany, but when you consider the cost of hauling, it makes our price equal,” he said.

Ellaville Recycling provides recycling containers for large jobs.

“We do not accept TV’s, microwaves, computers or campers,” Young said as he explained that theft as continuing to be a problem.

“We installed surveillance cameras and get a copy of a picture identification, but we still end up buying stolen material anyway,” he said, adding he and his staff will continue to work closely with local law enforcement and have helped arrest several individuals for theft.

Young said, above all, this venture would not have been possible without the help of his sister (Debbie) and father (Walter Sr.) and the Young and Walter families would like to thank the community for supporting them financially, emotionally and spiritually during their son Charlie’s recent illness.

“If not for all the support we could not have made it this far,” he said.

Hours of service are from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.

For more information call  (Ellaville) (229) 937-5205 and (Montezuma) (478) 472 0193.

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