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Behind the Scenes: Your Trash, Becomes Treasures for Opatz Metals and Steel [VIDEO]

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HOLDINGFORD — This week in our “Behind the Scenes” series, we see what happens to your aluminum cans, metals, and irons when they are dropped off at a salvage yard.

Jeremy Opatz and his family have operated Opatz Metals and Steel in Holdingford since 2008, and are prime examples of how one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

“We buy anything, as long as it’s metal, brass, copper, led, tin, and autos,” says Opatz.

With dangers around every corner, Opatz says safety for employees and customers is their number one priority.

“Another thing you have to watch is customer safety. Make sure they don’t slip and fall or get cut on a piece of iron,” says Opatz.

When you arrive your vehicle is first weighed. After that you’re directed to the part of the plant the different types of scraps are stored. Once unloaded, you are then paid for your items.

After that, work begins to either cut, crushed, or packaged the items before being shipped to a refinery to be recycled.

“All the bundles and boxes we create get weighed once again before they go on the trailer,” says Opatz.

Bundles can weigh anywhere between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds each.

Opatz says while each day can bring its own challenges, the end result benefits more than just the customer.

“People are getting paid to bring in their stuff, and also it’s being reused again versus going to a landfill or laying in a ditch somewhere,” says Opatz.

See Previous Behind the Scenes Stories


Items are sorted into piles at Opatz Metals and Steel. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)
This week in our “Behind the Scene” series, we put the pedal to the medal at the Brainerd International Raceway.Read More: Behind the Scenes: Ready, Set, Go Racing at BIR Race Track |

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