COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — When you think of the trade war with China, there is one industry you might not realize is affected: recycling.
In recent decades, China has been the market for most recycled commodities, meaning without China, American recyclers have been left with limited options to sell recycled materials.
The Trump administration put a 10% tariff on aluminum imports, and China retaliated with a tariff of their own.
Trump tweeted just the other day:
Now one family-owned Colorado Springs company is taking it upon themselves to recycle scrap metal here at home.
This is something Colorado Industrial Recycling has been doing since 1917. However, with a new wire processor, they can turn trash into treasure without going overseas.
“One of the things we’ve noticed is with Trump putting a tariff on metals and many other items, it’s created hardship on other recycling companies,” said Dave Koscove, owner of Colorado Industrial Recycling.
But where other companies saw a struggle, Koscove saw an opportunity.
“Moving material to us has become a bigger challenge,” Koscove said. “Mike and I decided, to bring the process into the U.S., into Colorado and Colorado Springs.”
The machine is called the Eldan Wire Chopper.
You take a bail of ACSR (power lines) or insulated aluminum (underground power lines), and in about 20 mins you get pure aluminum or copper — what they call EC chops.
What’s leftover also has the potential to be recycled down the road.
This new machine has allowed them to hire a few more people, and if more companies start taking advantage of the machine, they will be able to hire a few more.
Now that they have this capability, the public can bring in any aluminum or copper wire and get paid for it.