In 1936, Peter Black opened what would become AIM Recycling, one of North America’s most sophisticated metal recycling companies.
On Notre Dame Street East in Montreal, Black opened American Iron & Metal (AIM), a small scrapyard, that would eventually grow to 70 locations around the world.
“It was one crane and a lot of manual labour,” said Andrew Kummer, a manager at AIM Recycling’s Hamilton, Ont. facility. “It was very grassroots stuff.”
Now, after more than 80 years in business, the company has established itself as a world leader in recycled metals, processing more than 3 million tonnes of material a year.
According to Equipment Journal, AIM Recycling’s footprint spans five continents with 2,500 employees at its 70 locations around the world.
“From being a small business, we’ve evolved into a multi-national, and successful multi-faceted company with several division that all complement each other,” Kummer said, noting AIM Recycling is still owned and operated by the Black family.
“We’re a full-service company. We don’t just do scrap.”
AIM Recycling has diversified its business model to include Eco-Center, which specializes in the recycling of construction and demolition waste, and AIM Global Solder Solutions, the second largest tin solder company in the world. As well, the company operates Kenny U-Pull, an auto wrecking company with more than 14 locations in North America and an inventory of more than 20,000 cars.
“We recycle metals as though they are a renewable resource,” Kummer said.
Delsan is the company’s demolition business, which allowed AIM to combine its recycling capabilities with decommissioning and demolition.
“We do everything from small demolition projects to large scale, four or five year long projects,” Kummer said. “Right now, we’re demolishing a 4,000-megawatt power facility owned by Ontario. It’s not an easy job to be trusted with.”
To move the material generated through AIM’s five division, the company owns 300 trucks, 500 trailers and more than 900 railcars, a number that is expected to quickly grow.
“We’re able to hit multiple destinations on multiple coasts,” Kummer said. “We actually have a shredder installed on a deep-water port.”
For its material handlers, AIM Recycling has been working with Liebherr for more than 30 years. The company currently owns about 115 units.
“Every load that comes in, we use a Liebherr crane. Every load that goes out, we use a Liebherr crane,” Kummer said. “Every load that sorted is sorted with a Liebherr crane.”
At the Hamilton recycling facility, AIM is using the Liebherr LH 80 to load its baler and shredder. The LH80 is equipped with a 313 hp engine, 22 meter-reach and Liebherr’s Energy Recovery System, which provides a boost to performance as well as a reduction in fuel economy.
“If we didn’t have these cranes, we couldn’t work. We use them for everything,”