The History of Rockaway Recycling
Learn About Rockaway Recycling From The Ground Up
The Emergence of Rockaway Recycling:
“I had left my auditing job at Amerada Hess, bought a large flatbed rack truck, and started to buy scrap. I quickly learned that you needed to bring a load large enough for the scrap buyer to make money to get premium prices. So I began to accumulate scrap. One man’s scrap is another man’s crap; I was quickly chased from the suburban town my parents lived in; it turns out no one wanted my large accumulation of aluminum, batteries, and assorted metals littering the ground. So I leased a large facility in Rockaway, New Jersey, a brand spanking new industrial garage. I bought a used chain bailer and a used fork truck, and I started to save my scrap indoors.”
Slowly people found my location and started dropping off metals, mostly aluminum, as everyone knew copper had value. At that time, much of the scrap aluminum was sent to landfills. I started buying. A small scale was all I had, a Fairbanks Morse with weights. I had a few racks fabricated to weigh the material, and I bought and baled aluminum for what seemed like endless days. Aluminum morphed into buying copper, brass, and other metals of value. I still did road work but now hired a yard team member to receive, buy and process.”
My Fair Weight, Fair Price.™️ concept, which my son Thomas still uses, brought many new and larger customers. In the late eighties, I started buying circuit boards for the precious metals, which led to purchasing whole computer systems, leading to a million pound per month business in mainframe computer scrap. This all snowballed into retailing and wholesaling of computers in the nineties. I divested myself of those businesses and went back to my core business, scrap metal. I anxiously awaited my son Thomas to graduate from college.
Thomas had worked side by side with me since the age of nine. Thomas was always saved the worst of the jobs for him. He did not know better, and he learned every nook and cranny of the business from the ground up. This is reflected in his business dealings, intimate knowledge of the business, and people’s feelings. Our constant goal was to treat all our customers as friends and family and welcome them on each trip to our facility. Knowing the business was in extremely competent hands, I retired soon after Thomas graduated from the University of Connecticut. I still talk with him daily, but only as an advisor and loving Dad.” – Tom Buechel (left above), Founder of Rockaway Recycling.
What Rockaway Recycling Has Accomplished Today
The Birth Place of the iScrap App:
“In 2010 the iPhone was abuzz, and everyone was talking about apps. Being out of college for a few years and seeing firsthand how many of my customers used smartphones, I wanted to launch an app that my customers could get Rockaway Recycling’s prices through. And so the iScrap App was born…but before I knew what happened, other scrap yards were asking about it, and it spawned a new company whose goal was to connect scrap yards with their customers like never before.”
“Many think that competition would be a stiff thing, but I knew that your reputation and the way that you handle business is what will keep people coming back.” – Tom Buechel, the current owner of Rockaway Recycling & creator of the iScrap App
Tom Buechel & Rockaway Recycling has also had the distinct pleasure of being featured in: