Founded in 1909, Davis Trading was one of the first recyclers of scrap metal in North America.
Recycling back in the early 1900’s was noticeably different from what it has become today in that
most items were refurbished rather than recycled. The most common items being refurbished at the
time were rags, bottles, bags and horsehair. As metals became more prevalent in society the
business shifted from ‘refurbish’ to ‘recycle’ in the form of scrap metals from building projects and
military use. The company was considered a processor of metal which meant they would sort the
various metals that were purchased, package them for shipping, then sell each commodity
(Aluminum, Brass, Copper, etc.) in truck loads to the various domestic foundries or via break‐bulk
ships destined for Asia.
It was a rather simple business in that incoming material was weighed by the pound and paid
according to the intrinsic value of each metal type. The business model would remain in tact as
future generations entered the business. Today, the company remains 100% family owned and is
now being operated by the fourth generation of the Davis family. During the past 100 years a great
deal of strategic planning was required in order to adapt to the variety of recyclable materials and the
continuously improving recycling rates throughout the country. As volumes increased the company
sought additional land, added processing equipment, and hired employees to keep up with
production. As one of the oldest metal recycling companies in North America, the company has built
a reputation of trust in the industry. This reputation has translated into long‐lasting relationships
with suppliers and vendors that have helped support the company throughout its history.