Do you have something metal laying around — an old bicycle, a spare rim for a car long gone or a dryer that no longer works? Do you know that there is a need for those metal items and money for you at A. Messina & Sons, a scrap metal recycling yard located in Gardiner? Simply bring in your metal scrap — it can be a single item or a full trailer — to have it weighed, and then get paid. Rescued from the landfill, your unused metal goes back into our economy conserving energy and our natural resources. Everyone wins at metal recycling!
Located off Highway 32 at 19 Orchard Road, Messina has been recycling metals for over 45 years including nearly 20 years at the current location. I found a phone number on the website, www.messinascrapmetal.com, and called (more than twice) with a list of potential items to scrap and questions about what to expect at the facility. Having been to a scrap yard before, I was unprepared for the friendly voice who answered my questions and gave helpful information. I found out that they take residential items like old appliances, metal home furnishings and insulated wire. Although they take car parts and lead-acid car batteries, they do not accept cars or tires. They do not recycle paper, plastics or glass. Before recycling, remove those materials. When I visited the facility, the cleanliness and order of the yard surprised me, too. They do live up to the motto of “The Cleanest Scrap Yard in the Hudson Valley” and make it more accessible for the general consumer to recycle metal waste.
Messina’s yard felt friendly and local but the greater business of metal recycling is economically significant. All metals, including scrap metal and many items consumers consider to be “junk,” have value. They can be recycled and reused in multiple industries including building and construction, packaging, automotive manufacturing and consumer appliances. In 2019, the metal scrap industry in the U.S. had an economic impact of $55.48 billion a year, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI). ISRI also reports that 70% of the metal scrap processed in the U.S. goes directly back into our domestic manufacturing and economy.
Metal recycling is different because, unlike other materials, the recycling process does not degrade metals and they retain more value. Most metals can be recycled multiple times. Compared to the energy and resources required for virgin metal manufacturing, recycling scrap metal saves a huge amount of energy and greatly reduces the impact to our environment. Recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy; recycled copper uses 90% less, and steel uses 56% percent less than mining ore for these metals. With more investment in both recycling infrastructure and good policy, the U.S. would further develop an important sector of our sustainable economy.
Which brings this back to Gardiner, NY, and to A. Messina & Sons Metal Recycling — your local link in a process that turns “junk” into valuable raw materials. Take an inventory of metal items that you are storing and go scrap them. Adding to the jingle in your pocket will be the value you add to our economy and to conserving our natural resources.
Main article phot by Anne Lindblom.