NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Welcome to New Haven’s oldest scrap yard, where old and discarded material is reborn into new creations.
The Alderman-Dow Iron & Metal Company has been operating as a family business that’s been helping to keep the state green for more than 120 years.
“The company was founded in 1895 by my grandfather who was an immigrant from Russia,” began Norman Alderman. “Like a lot of the immigrants coming from the old country, work was hard to come by, so he basically started with a push cart, going around buying whatever he could buy, from metals to rags, paper, tires…Whatever he could buy to support his family.”
The scrap dealer sorts, processes, and prepares the material and manufactures it into a finished product.
“When you first come in, you’ll see a big truck scale here that you can drive in [and] weigh up your material. If you have smaller material, that stuff would come right through this garage door and there’s a smaller retail scale in there,” explains a worker regarding the process.
The company takes scrap metal in just about any form, working to ensure the most amount of material possible can be recycled.
“…When stuff comes into our yard, we’ll buy it as anyone brings it,” the worker said.
If something has multiple kinds of metal in it, the Alderman-Dow Iron & Metal Company will separate the different materials to process all of the metal.
Much of the company’s business actually comes from manufacturers rather than just homeowners selling their leftover scrap.
“The public thinks we’re just buying scrap from homeowners [but] the majority of the business comes from manufacturers, ” explained another worker. “This is somebody that is making a product.
For the company, being able to create something out of another person’s leftover scrap metal is meaningful.
“This is the skeleton and the by-product from the product they made. It’s one hundred percent recyclable.”
Alderman carries great pride in his family’s business and how the company has played a key role in helping the Elm City keep its name.
“We’re the original recyclers and we’ve been keeping the city and America green for a hundred years.”
Alderman notes that the increased importance of recycling has put a new perspective on his business.
“Recycling wasn’t always the driving force behind this business, but clearly, in 2017, recycling matters.”
Through 2017 and beyond, the Alderman-Dow Iron & Metal Company will continue to keep its title as New Haven’s oldest scrap yard.