|By Erin Negley, Reading Eagle, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
And the attic of an old house in northern
"They sat up here and aged and waited for me," he said.
The new owner of the house started renovations, including adding insulation in the attic, and sold the attic floor to Brandt's
The company Brandt runs,
Salvage businesses, including auto salvage, recyclers and architectural salvage, have been around for decades. There also are newer companies in
The authority soon will start tracking these new materials in the next revision of the county solid waste plan. Salvage businesses keep many of these materials, including construction demolition waste, out of landfills. But if they close, the authority wants to have an alternative disposal plan.
"Less than 1 percent is going to a landfill, which is good," Meeks said. "The question is, how much are we generating?"
Junk is a four-letter word
In the last three decades, the Reinert family has worked to improve the quality of parts and change people's perception of salvage yard through its business, Chuck's
"The general vision of our industry is the J-U-N-K word,"
The business prides itself on its neat rows of cars stored on auto lifts and a clean office. Chuck's also earned several accreditations and joined state and national associations to grow and have access to the parts customers need quickly. A daily parts exchange with other salvage businesses expands inventory and gets the right part in the customer's hand by
Chuck's opened in 1972 as a service center and evolved to focus solely on salvaged auto parts.
Today, Chuck's sends seven drivers out daily from
Business has grown, thanks to better trading partners, being a better buyer at auctions and, more recently, the higher number of accidents this winter, Reinert said.
The business finds most of its materials at auto auctions. The online bidding process for the in-demand vehicles is highly competitive. Software can identify 1,500 cars to bid on in an auction, and Chuck's will be lucky to win six.
Chuck's needs to sell a lot of parts from each vehicle to cover the auction and overhead. After six months, a vehicle will be stripped of valuable parts, crushed and recycled to make room for more.
These scraps have value
Located in a historic area near
Dean took over the business nearly 20 years ago when his father died. Seeing more and more competition at auctions, he moved to mainly purchase materials from others who salvaged the wood.
That allowed him to shift employees to the manufacturing side of the business and cut down on the liability. The move also decreased inventory. Now, they can find materials when a customer asks.
The company manufactures flooring from wood reclaimed from barns and houses. The wood's stored in a drying room to keep it from warping and to kill any lingering insects. Then employees cut the wood to the right width.
They sell the wood to customers across the country who appreciate the look of 200-year-old chestnut, oak and pine.n
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