Utica, N.Y.-based Empire Recycling turned 100 years old last week. The family-run business is equipped with 170 employees throughout nine divisions and recycles items such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, some plastics and paper.
While many recycling companies are struggling with the low costs of commodities, Empire sticks to its policy of paying customers who bring in scrap.
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Empire Recycling officially turned 100 years old, an anniversary the family owned company marked with a party Wednesday night.
But President Steven Kowalsky doesn’t think his great great uncle Robert, who started the company in 1916, under another name or any of his relatives who have run it in the decades since would recognize the business today.
“We’ve kind of reinvented ourselves. … It’s more a high-tech business today than it was in the past,” said Kowalsky, who runs the business with his brother Edward, the executive vice president. “We have certain processes that are more advanced technologically than they would ever dream of even 20 years ago. We handle different alloys of material that almost didn’t even exist 50 years ago, 40 years ago.”