• Ferrous Beat

Chair’s Column

This is an exciting and rapidly changing time for the recycling industry. While business conditions have improved, President Trump’s renegotiations of trading relations with seemingly every significant trading partner of the U.S. is a development that will impact all domestic and export ferrous scrap processors and must be watched closely.

HalloranBrian_200With that in mind, I thank all of you who attended the recently completed ISRI Summer Board Meetings and Fly-In. It is as important as ever that we participate in the governance of ISRI and actively make our collective voices known to our elected officials.

Speaking of actively participating in ISRI, I want to thank Greg Dixon, the outgoing chairman of the Ferrous Division for his efforts to promote our collective interests during the last couple of years.

I also want to recognize the newly elected executive team of the Ferrous Division for their commitment to help lead the division during the next couple of years:

1st Vice-Chairman, Chris Bedell of DJJ; 2nd Vice-Chairman, Bill Cook of Skagat River Steel & Recycling; Secretary, Adam Dumes of Cohen Brothers Recycling, and the Directors-at-Large: Greg Dixon of Smart Recycling Management; Greg Brown of BENLEE; Tom Knippel of SA Recycling; and, Haley Glick of Tri-Sate Iron & Metal.

As the newly elected Ferrous Division chair, I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire Ferrous Division executive team when I say we look forward to working on your behalf during the next two years to address any important issues and opportunities that our business faces.

In recent weeks, the Ferrous Division executive team and I created six key priorities, which I’ll summarize as follows:

Trade. With developments impacting our business stemming from the 232, 301, and NAFTA trade actions, nothing has made more headlines this year in the metals industry than trade. ISRI Senior Director of Government Relations and International Affairs Adina Renee Adler updated attendees of the Summer Board Meetings on trade matters related to our business, including the impact that the recently released list of items included in the Section 301 trade action will have on shredder wear parts. If you want to know more, visit ISRI’s webpage.

Transportation. Another issue impacting every scrap processor in the U.S. is transportation. With rising costs and capacity shortages, ISRI is well positioned to promote our interests on issues including: Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), Rail Service and Rates – including removing the STB rail exemption, and trucking regulations. At our meeting, Chris Bedell introduced and gained approval to change the name of the Railroad Working Group to the Transportation Working Group, which is an important first step towards more broadly addressing the collective transportation challenges the industry is facing.

Organizational Reporting within ISRI. We believe there is an opportunity to improve coordination with the committees, task forces, and working groups that are related to the Ferrous Division, including: Shredders Committee, Airbags Working Group, Transportation Working Group, and the newly created Auto Recycling Committee. We will be working to ISRI leadership to discuss changes that would enable improved internal transparency and communication.

Labor and Training. After several difficult years in the recycling business, we now find ourselves needing to expand our workforces to meet the demands of the strong economy. ISRI can play an important role in the effort to attract talent into the recycling business.

Ferrous Division Meeting Value. We want to make sure that members who attend Ferrous Division meetings continue to receive educational value for the benefit of their companies. Some of the concepts we are exploring are: improved forecasting of steel, scrap, and scrap substitute (DRI/HBI) production and consumption trends; continuing to expand upon the mill perspectives offered in our marketing segments; monitoring developments in ferrous futures and the various indices used by our industry; , and staying abreast of trends in processing technology used by the industry.

Safety. Last, but certainly not least, the recycling industry continues to injure far too many workers in the normal course of business, so we would like to include a safety segment at each meeting. The goal for each segment is to review a real-life incident and lessons learned, or to share a safety best practice used by a member company.

So, those are the six board key areas of focus. It’s an ambitious agenda, but there’s a lot that needs to be done, and that’s why we need your help! We welcome and urge you to get involved in any area(s) of interest to you. Feel free to contact me or Billy Johnson, ISRI’s Ferrous Division liaison and chief lobbyist.

As an added incentive, our next meeting in October is in Charleston, SC! Hope see you there.

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