The business Newell refers to is the Jim Newell’s Iron and Metal. His recycling center that picks up scrap metal from industrial accounts such as fabricating shops, wineries and more, in Northern California. While the company has been in operation for approximately 18 years, the San Francisco-born Newell has been around the industry for a lifetime.
“When I was a kid, I went to work for my mom’s boyfriend, who had a scrap metal business. We moved to Modesto around ‘68 or’69 and he opened up a yard there and said, ‘Alright, you’re coming to work.’ I didn’t really have a choice. He was my boss for a long time.”
After working for the man he considered a father figure for about 35 years, Newell decided to go down a similar path by opening up his own scrap metal business.
“I started with a bucket full of nuts and bolts,” he chuckled. “Working in the industry for a long time, I knew a lot of people in the business. But we went out and hustled. We did some advertising in the Modesto Bee, about half a page, and the phone started ringing.”
Since 2001, Newell and his team of three trucks, two drivers, three yard workers and his wife, Linda, pick up anywhere between 30 to 40 tons of scrap each day to recycle. The operation includes transporting the metal to their yard, weighing it, segregating by metal type and preparing it for shipment directly to the mills in San Francisco and other areas.
“Some people come in individually,” Newell adds. “Our yard workers help them separate all their materials, which they’re very grateful for. My top priority is to take care of the customer. So we get customers all the time who come to our pay window and tell us how well our guys took care of them. Service is very important to us.”
Taking into account its tonnage, service radius (100 miles) and equipment, Newell’s operation is a significant one, even for a categorically small business. Becoming a thriving company, even one that provides a unique service in the economically bustling Modesto area, took a little bit of help – which came in the form of BBVA USA Financial Sales Advisor Manoli Rodarakis and Business Banking Officer Winston Burke.