Family owned and operated, Main Metal Recycling Company has been a downtown mainstay for five decades. Earlier this month, Tammy Wainright of Main Metal Recycling invited Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis for a tour of their recycling facility and operations.
About Main Metal Recycling Company, Inc.
Recycling saves energy, which in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. For example, ten pounds of aluminum cans reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 16 pounds, which is the energy equivalent of seven gallons of gasoline.
Producing new material from scrap uses 95 percent less energy than producing the same product from natural resources. As individuals we can make a positive impact on our environment through recycling. Located at 1352 West Beaver Street, Main Metal Recycling makes this possible by purchasing your ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals and recycling them for new uses.
In the broadest brushstrokes, scrap metal is classified as either ferrous or non-ferrous scrap. While ferrous metal contains some degree of iron, non-ferrous metal does not contain iron as a component. Common examples of ferrous scrap metals include appliances, structural and reinforcement steel, and examples of non-ferrous metals include aluminum cans, aluminum siding, copper wire, window and door frames.
Located in a forgotten area of downtown, Main Metal's history dates back more than fifty years. During the 1960's, the company was founded in LaVilla by Maurice Bartley. Eventually, it was purchased by William Pope and today it's owned by his son, Jim, who grew up watching his father work. According to Jim, "Once you get scrap in your blood, it stays with you."
As a part of Mayor Ed Austin's River City Renaissance, in the early 2000s, the company relocated as their 102 Stuart Street buildings and many others were demolished by the city in hopes of revitalizing LaVilla.
Instead of leaving the urban core, Jim Pope moved his non-ferrous scrap metal recycling facility just west of Interstate 95 on Beaver Street to a structure once used as a bus repair garage for Greyhound Lines and city sanitation maintenance facility.
As Jacksonville has grown over the years, so has Main Metal Recycling. Now, with 31 employees, Main Metal's growth has lead to the company purchasing the adjacent long abandoned Florida Machine & Foundry and now occupies 14 acres. Here, the foundry has been re-positioned as a ferrous scrap metal recycling yard.
Photos of Main Metal's non ferrous metal recycling operation
1958 Sanborn map showing Greyhound Lines and Florida Machine & Foundry. Today, these sites are a part of the Main Metal Recycling complex.