Stuff Recycling renovating after 9 years in Clark County

Published 1:06 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

Family owned and operated recycling business Stuff Recycling is making some big changes in its ninth year in Clark County.

The business is in the midst of constructing a new building that will eventually bring all its services under one roof, providing about 46,000 square-feet in covered space with new technology for processing recyclable metals.

Owner Jerry Joiner said he and his family didn’t have previous experience in the recycling industry when they moved to Clark County from Michigan to make a small-town life with his wife and children.

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“We just wanted to do a good family business and keep it local,” Joiner, a disabled veteran, said. “We started as a small, couple-man operation and now we have fleets of trucks.”

Stuff is the largest locally-owned recycling company in Central and Eastern Kentucky, with more than 30 employees. Joiner said the company collects materials mainly from the central and eastern part of the state, but has some clients outside of that area as well. He added that they sell recycled material to clients worldwide, typically to metal mills that create products with the melted down scrap.

Using recycled material helps keep the price of metal that goes into appliances low, resulting in cheaper products for sale at retail businesses.

Joiner said the location his family found for Stuff Recycling has been a great advantage to the business, as it gives him the small-town environment he was looking for in Winchester while being close enough to Lexington to work with businesses in the larger, more urban area. He said that he even has some clients in Louisville.

Stuff Recycling specializes in metals, including ferrous metals, like steel, nonferrous material like copper, tin, lead and nickel, and electronic appliances.

“We collect probably 90,000 tons of ferrous material in a year and 18 million pounds of nonferrous metal,” Joiner said.

But Stuff Recycling isn’t just focused on large contracts. Throughout the day a seemingly endless stream of people go to and from the property bringing in broken refrigerators, bags full of cans and other pieces of scrap from their homes. Stuff pays individuals for the amount of metal they bring in based on its weight.

“It’s a good way to help the environment while at the same time making a little cash for yourself,” Joiner said.

He said in recent years the recycling industry has seen some hard times, as the price for recycled materials had fallen. However, Joiner said he sees the industry slowly picking up once more, and he said the business’ recent renovations will help keep it competitive as the economy ebbs and flows.

“We’re competing against national recycling corporations,” he said. “And if it’s not coming here it’g going somewhere else, like China or Pakistan.”

Joiner said Stuff Recycling’s construction will likely continue for some time, and he hopes to have the project complete in phases so that his staff can take up residence in the new facility sooner to serve customers.