Adam Weitsman of Upstate Shredding LLC lives "Going Green"

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Adam Weitsman ofUpstate Shredding started turning green before it was even fashionable. Because of the new products created from the scrap, the environment is cleaner, and tons of low-grade scrap no longer end up in New York's landfills,

Adam Weitsman of Upstate Shredding LLC lives "Going Green." Upstate Shredding started turning green before it was even fashionable. Because of the new products created from the scrap, the environment is cleaner, and tons of low-grade scrap no longer end up in New York's landfills, says Adam Weitsman, the company's president. He says Upstate Shredding has and is environmentally conscious. It has a water management and treatment facility on site, and Upstate Shredding "spends a lot of money making the facilities state-of-the-art and in environmental compliance."

Adam Weitsman says that other than smaller profit margins, the financial downturn has had little negative impact on the business. Even in a downturn, buildings still need to be demolished and renovated and vehicles are still crushed into scrap. The company has also benefited from the recent emphasis on "green." So, the recycling business remains profitable and no job cuts have been needed, according to Adam Weitsman.

Some of the types of scrap Upstate Shredding recycles include aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, lead, and major items like cars, appliances, radiators, and motor blocks.

Adam Weitsman states that his company will process more than 600,000 tons of scrap this year. The recycled scrap is sold not only to domestic steel mills, but also worldwide to other countries including Korea, China, India, Pakistan, and Turkey.

During the past 13 years, Upstate Shredding has become the largest privately owned scrap company in New York State, and one of the largest on the East Coast, says Weitsman. Upstate Shredding is a wholesale processor and purchaser of scrap metals. It purchases recyclable material from smaller processors and municipalities, recycles it, and sells it to steel mills and iron foundries for reuse around the world.

Upstate's sister company, Ben Weitsman & Son, Inc., was founded by Adam Weitsman's grandfather, Ben, in 1938 as a retail scrap processor. Later, the business was passed down to Adam Weitsman's father, Harold, who was active in it until his retirement in 2005. Ben Weitsman & Son, owned by Harold Weitsman, and Upstate Shredding, owned by Adam Weitsman, were separate entities until four years ago when they merged.

Upstate Shredding is the wholesale side of the business, and Ben Weitsman & Son is the retail end. Upstate Shredding buys from other scrap yards; Ben Weitsman & Son handles retail collection from industrial and residential customers, and creates products for sale made from Upstate's recycled materials. The company also sells steel products from its new steel distribution centers. Products offered include steel rebars, beams, plate, channel, flat bar, rounds, squares, plates, tubing, pipes, and more.

Upstate Shredding/Ben Weitsman & Son employ 150 people total at the two businesses. Adam Weitsman declined to provide revenue figures for 2008, but says he estimates gross sales for 2009 will exceed the $300 million mark, which will be a significant increase over 2008.

At its headquarters in Owego, Upstate Shredding has approximately 120,000 square feet of space in three buildings on the site. The facility covers 17 acres and has a fleet of 50 trucks. The facility is open seven days a week to accept material and provide container service for same-day payment. Currently, the company has four locations - two in Owego, one in Binghamton, and one in Ithaca. The firm plans to add a new location this winter in Syracuse. Currently, several Syracuse companies, such as Coast Recycling, deliver to Upstate Shredding's locations in the Southern Tier, including Ithaca. The new facility in Syracuse will make delivery considerably easier and cost-efficient for Upstate's customers in this region, Adam Weitsman says.

"Syracuse has been great for us, even without our location there; now it's important for us that we put a really large state-of-the-art location there," Weitsman adds.

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