SGT TMs Recycling in Escanaba makes money tearing apart people's garbage. But they also pick up items from furniture and second-hand stores. And according to owner, Jim Smith, they can save these places $800 to $1,000 in landfill bills.
The 55,000 square foot warehouse has nine work stations. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the employees unload, carry, snip, and tear.
SGT TMs Recycling has only been open for about two weeks, but they're already thinking of expanding. They said they plan on hiring three more employees in the near future. They TMll put them to work at the TV section of the warehouse because in one day alone, they unload up to 50 TVs that people bring in.
But why is this place so popular, so soon?
Well, it's free of charge, explains Jim Smith. So they don't have to pay when they get to the dump, and they know that it's really being recycled. A lot of it, they can see down as they drive through."
They take fridges, mattresses, and electronics, just to name a few.
But what's it like to make a living sifting through trash?
I just think too many people are throwing stuff away at the landfill, said employee, Coletan Pepin. They TMre doing that instead of recycling it. Recycling is good for the environment. Instead of letting it sit in the landfill, you're doing something with it."
But the warehouse is only part of it. They also travel to 73 stores in the U.P. where they pick up their profit.
Everything is resold to bigger factories, Smith said. So they can make their product with the stuff we collect. They need the materials from the used parts here."
SGT TMs doesn't currently take glass, paper, or cardboard, but they do expect to accept these items in the near future.