Pacific Steel & Recycling Offers Earth Day Incentives


It's great to be a pop can these days. Or, a soda can, depending on what neck-of-the-woods you're from. Either way, I feel rejuvenated. Now, you may be wondering why a seemingly insignificant inanimate object such as me, an aluminum can, might take the time to write a letter for folks to read. Which, I might ad was no easy undertaking considering my slim cylinder like figure and lack of limbs. Alas, I simply had to let people know about a recent experience I had at Pacific Steel & Recycling, a company that has been in business in Sidney for 71 years. I entered their recycling center feeling purposeless, old, and all used up. But when I left, I felt renewed. I had hope and newly found potential. In fact, my experience was so positive I wanted to get the word out so that others like me, made of recyclable materials, could also realize their unseen potentials as reusable products.

To begin to explain to you how it is I came to this point I shall start at the beginning. It was a day much like this one. I was pulled from the ice box, my pop tab pulled back, so violently it actually detached from where it rested. I was emptied to the last sweet drop and flung into a large, rather odorous plastic bag. I sat there for the better part of an afternoon until someone plucked me from amid a dizzying array of lunch leftovers, paper wads and other materials I dare not remember. A kind man, seeing my potential gently lifted me from where I fear I was destined to spend eternity and carefully placed me into a cleaner, dare I say, more appropriate plastic container labeled "recyclables." In it, there were many like me. Shiny. Empty. Thirsty for renewal. After nearly a week of exposure to the open air, the container was closed and we were headed for a fate none of us dared imagine. Arriving at Pacific Steel, many of our already crushed bodies were dumped into piles of thousands. The sound of abundant tin bodies clinking together was deafening. We were weighed and then shoved into a churning metal baler where we were molded together into a compact 550-pound cube of aluminum. From there we were loaded onto a large semi truck destined for parts unknown.

Alas, I will warn you, there won't be much room to stretch about along the way. It is a cramped experience. Though I must admit I fared better than the lawn mower that had the experience of having his handle shoved in an awkward position. There were several washing machines complaining as well that their doors were swinging carelessly about. Mostly I kept to myself, but did meet some right'ol chaps along the way. And in the end, we all got what we had hoped for; a shiny new beginning.

But before my journey began I was introduced to a rather friendly and helpful fellow. His name is Will Colson, branch manager, for the facility. When I asked him why they went out of their way to provide these services to objects such as me, he was most informative. "We strive to help out in the community. It's one of our goals. We wanted Earth Day to be an opportunity to make people aware of the different types of recyclables we accept to help keep our community clean," he said.

Of course, if you are reading this, it is to be sure you are wondering why this attempt at persuasion from a can, just inches in stature, should mean anything to you. Well, it certainly does! And I will tell you why. You too can help other inanimate objects feel the exhilarating experience I felt while also helping to lighten our footprint on this marvelous planet we all call home. You see, in honor on Earth Day, the wonderfully accommodating folks at Pacific Steel & Recycling are offering monetary bonus incentives to people that bring in their own recyclables. It is a beneficial situation for both recyclable and recycler.

Just look at the numbers! During the week of April 22-26 they are offering $200 for automobiles, $130 per ton of tin, such as appliances, 50-cents per pound of aluminum cans, such as yours truly, and 55-cents per pound for cans if the patron puts a Pacific Steel & Recycling bumper sticker on their car. Finally, they are offering $6 for car batteries. What a difference we all can make simply looking about our homes and businesses and doing away with the old and unused.

And rest assured your precious recyclables are in experienced hands. Why just last year they breathed new life into 43,000 pounds of aluminum cans!

In fact, the story of how they came to be is quite mesmerizing! It's a true pull-up-your-boot-straps and get-down-to-business story. Before they were a national recycling giant, they were a one-man operation in Spokane, Washington. Joe Thiebes, a German immigrant of the 1880s followed in his family's footsteps as a fur and hide trader. Soon, Thiebes sent his son, also named Joe, to Great Falls, Montana, to found Pacific Hide and Fur Depot. During World War I, they expanded the business to include collecting ferrous and nonferrous scrap. This venture led them to branch out into the sales of new steel products in the 1950s. Today, the company is an employee-owned corporation with 44 branch offices in Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Montana and Canada.

I thought it worth mentioning these folks aren't just about helping out helpless recyclables either. No sir! As a community oriented business over the years they have assisted different organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis, FFA, Meals on Wheels, the Special Olympics and food banks across the U.S.

What you may not know is that they are experienced in other areas as well. They also sell new steel for buildings. So, whether you need rebar, culvert, metal fencing or cattle panels, they have it all.

So, while I am but one aluminum can, my advice to you is this. Take advantage of the bonus incentives offered and help out this Earth Day. The old push mower in the back 40 will thank you. That rusted out cooking stove will give thanks. And the cars no longer road-ready will have a reason to rejoice.

The hours of operation are very accommodating as they are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

And so, I bid you farewell with these last words. Make a difference this Earth Day and stop by Pacific Steel & Recycling to take advantage of the incentives they are offering. Together we can make a difference!

- With gratitude, Mr. Al Uminum


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