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Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 17:37

New owner of Port Recycling, now Ozaukee Iron, has made a substantial investment in Port recycling center

A lot can change over the course of a year. Since buying Port Recycling last November, Jorge Chavez has changed the operation’s name to Ozaukee Iron & Metal and made improvements to the recycling facility.
    “We’re starting to get where we want to be. Last year, the first couple of weeks were slow, but now every week is getting busier,” Chavez said. “A lot of people are learning that we’re here, and they’re happy with the updates we have made.”
    Some of the improvements Chavez completed since he became owner on Nov. 2, 2016, are a new blacktop and concrete driveway and a drive-through in the 60-by-100-foot building, which operates as the business headquarters.
    “Customers used to drop off their items on the side of the building; now they can do everything inside, which makes things more efficient and easier for the customers,” Chavez said.
    He also added a new bathroom, lunchroom, lighting, insulation and a new roof just in time for winter.
    “I think the improvements make the customers feel more welcome, and it adds more organization to the facility,” he said. “I can’t believe we were able to get all of this work done in a year.”
    Before Chavez purchased the business, Mark “Mopey” Wildhagen, owned the operation on 728 Shmitz Dr., Port Washington, for 42 years.
    “He had a lot of respect from his customers, and I’m happy to be earning their trust,” Chavez said.
    One new service Chavez is offering his customers is rental containers, which can be delivered and picked up from their doorstep. The business also provides semi trailers, gondola trailers, self-dumping hoppers, lugger boxes, tote boxes, Gaylord boxes and barrels.
    “The containers can be used for industrial businesses or just regular residential customers,” he said. “We drop off the containers, and when they fill them up, we come and pick them up.”
    Chavez has been in the recycling industry since 2000. He previously worked for Waukesha Iron & Metal and A&W Iron & Metal in West Bend.
    “Since I was kid, I wanted to find a way to help the planet and our environment,” he said. “Because I’m in this industry now, I feel that I’m helping out in a little way. I want to be a solution for the residents of Port Washington who are looking to recycle and dispose of their materials.”  
    Chavez said there is never a dull day at Ozaukee Iron & Metal and no shortage of old and unique items people are willing to sell for scrap.
    “You always find something different or interesting. But in this industry, even if something is really old, it’s still a scrap item and it all gets melted,” he said. “One time, we found a really old and heavy dishwasher made out ofzinc. I would say it would have been from the 1930s.”
    Chavez said the market price for scrap material can be volatile.
    “It is always changing. Sometimes in a given day, prices can change two or three times. Other times, it can remain the same for a couple of weeks,” he said, noting prices for regular scrap items are currently dropping but carpeting and copper are strong.
    According to Chavez, the market prices are dictated by the buyers, who can be as far away as China.  
    “The Chinese like to buy a lot of carpet, steel, aluminum and copper. They can buy from me either directly or indirectly,” he said.
    While Chavez works with customers from around the world, he said the most important members of his clientele are the residents of Ozaukee County.
    “The people of Port Washington and Ozaukee County have really accepted me and my business and I’m happy to work with them,” he said.
    The Franklin resident said he is looking to make Port Washington his new home.
    “Soon I will have to move here. When I worked in West Bend, I would often visit Port Washington and I really felt like this would be a great community to work in and call my home,” Chavez said.

 
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