How many times have we taken appliances, old barbeques, and aluminum cans to the dump? Seen refrigerators and old stoves left to rust at the end of a logging road? Not only is this cumbersome, frustrating, and bad for the environment, it costs us money. What I didn’t realize until recently, is that the things we pay to dispose of we could be earning cash for!
Zach Rognlin at PayMore Recycle in Aberdeen is all about bringing professionalism and cleanliness to the scrap business – though he prefers to call it a recycling business. Because, truly, that’s what it is. For Rognlin and his crew, recycling isn’t about just making money off of people’s cast-off items; it is about cleanliness, honesty, and protecting the environment.
“For a recycling center, it is a beautiful place!” boasts Rognlin in reference to his business. It is definitely not what I expected to see driving through the gates. The devoted crew strives to keep the paved drive swept, piles of scrap organized and out of the way as much as possible. Customers don’t have to wade through mud or filth or worry about their cars when they come to drop off their items.
“This is a business where it creates waste and you have to control it or it’ll look like a nightmare,” says Rognlin. Keeping a clean work area protects customers, his staff, and the earth they stand on. Any accidental oil spills are not left on the ground to soak up. Instead, they are cleaned and taken care of. It is for this reason that Rognlin refuses to accept automobiles. “We don’t do cars. Mostly because of the mess they make – oils, anti-freeze…that’s how you can turn an area into being contaminated if you aren’t taking care of things right away,” Rognlin explains. For Rognlin and his business, it is just not worth the risk.
Another large part has to do with honesty. Being in the recycling business where they pay people for things like tin, aluminum, brass and other metals, it is a quick way for customers to make a buck. It is also a quick way for a criminal to make a buck by bringing stolen metals, engines, cars, and figurines…unless they head to PayMore.
“The scrap metal business has a dark cloud over it because it is a quick way for people to make money off of stolen goods – especially for drug dealers. We try to help the police by taking down license plate numbers. We have on video cameras what people have with them while on the scale and evidence the police need to incriminate thieves,” says Rognlin. Even at cost to himself, Rognlin makes sure victims of theft get back their stolen items if it is within his power to do so.
It is not all just work, however, Rognlin has fun on the job as well. “It is like what they say on that show, ‘Pawn Stars’ – you never know what’s going to come through that door. It always keeps you on your toes. You never know what you’re going to see next.”
“There was a guy who came in who brought a plaque off a steam crane,” Rognlin recalls about one of his favorite discoveries. “The company who made them were called American Hoist & Derrick and over 100 years old. These guys brought in the plaque off the side of the machines that were used in the construction of Mount Rushmore and the Panama Canal.” Rognlin held onto this piece for his own personal display. “You just hate to see stuff like that get melted down.”
Running a recycling center is not what Rognlin planned on doing most of his life, but now at age 27 and three years into the business, he’s excited to see how his business grows and to see its positive reputation hold steady.
According to his office manager, Pamela King, he also has a knack for treating his employees well. “This is a family run business and I’m not family, but they make me feel like I am and it makes me want to do the best I can,” King smiled.
Customer service at PayMore begins with King and to her, “it is so much more than writing people a check.” From the front office and weigh scales to the storage facility, Rognlin has worked hard to ensure a clean, positive, and professional experience to anyone who drives through the gates of PayMore. Raising the bar for scrap yards, Rognlin is hopeful of beginning a new trend of honesty and of protecting the environment.
At PayMore Recycle, they accept everything from lawnmowers to hot water heaters, to barbeques. If you have items that PayMore values, bring it to 1813 Westport Rd in Aberdeen where they are open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You can learn more about Paymore at www.paymorerecycle.com.