A third-generation scrap recycler, Brady Smith comes from an impressive lineage. His grandfather won a medal for supplying metal during World War II, and his father has worked in the scrap metal business for more than five decades. In this edition of Faces of ISRI, Smith discusses his family’s history in the business, the launch of North Texas Shredding NTXS, and what led the company to join ISRI.
Can you start off by providing some background information about North Texas Shredding?
During World War II, my grandfather launched McKinney Junk in McKinney, Texas. He was one of the biggest suppliers of metal during the war. After my father graduated from college, he joined the business and eventually bought the business from my grandfather. My father is still very active in the scrap metal business some 55 years later. He’s always looking ahead for opportunities.
After graduating from college with a bachelor of arts in business and working in a different field for several years, I joined the company. Scrap recycling is in my blood. When I first joined the business, my father operated a large full scale scrap yard called American Recycling, which included a large peddler trade, industrial base, and routine metal processing. When he sold that business, I stepped in to assist him with our new venture, American Shredder, and helped set up an automobile shredding facility. We’re always looking for new business opportunities, which has guided the progression of our business development.
After the initial installation of the automobile shredding facility, American Shredder developed a large base of industrial scrap accounts in both steel and aluminum. We soon realized that we were missing an opportunity to refine the aluminum output. That’s where the idea behind North Texas Shredding began. It made sense to further refine and process the aluminum, which led to our downstream business that mines the zorba we get from the automobile shredder. North Texas Shredding opened for business in 2018 and it has been going great!
What does your day to day look like at North Texas Shredding?
I do a little bit of everything. I’m constantly in the yard, monitoring all the loads and overseeing the equipment repairs and maintenance. I also buy and sell materials along with my father. I always look forward to talking with potential new customers to let them know what our market position is and how we can best serve their needs. We strive to be competitive, and our equipment gives us a market advantage in most cases. We are constantly working to stay ahead of the curve.
What makes you all the most advanced recycling facility in Texas?
We are primarily in the business of processing and selling Shredded Aluminum (Twitch) and aluminum auto cast. We have set up a downstream process that is very specialized. First, we run our zorba through a series of magnets, high frequency eddy currents and X-ray technology to remove the impurities and heavies, which creates what the industry knows as “twitch.” It is very high quality and very low in zinc and magnesium. We have been shipping this product overseas to many different countries and it has been well received by our customers. We have also invested in X-ray transmission technology to sort out the remaining heavies of copper and brass from the aluminum. This technology is very new and only a few processors in the U.S. have it. That is one of the reasons we refer to ourselves as one of the most advanced recycling facilities here in the U.S., because we’re always looking to utilize new technology that creates a better and cleaner product.
By offering this new market for zorba and heavies, we will now provide a home domestically for these materials. This will alleviate the need for domestic sellers to export their material and will cut both their freight and recovery losses. We are excited about this new opportunity to better service our customers domestically.
How did you all hear about ISRI?
I’ve gone to the national conventions for years to search out new equipment. We’ve also attended the Gulf Coast Convention over the years, which has given us the chance to meet different vendors and people throughout the recycling community. I had never realized the scope and depth of all the services that ISRI offers, and the community that they provide by bringing us all together.
What are you looking forward to most now that you all are ISRI members?
We’re excited to get our name out there. We’ve already got new business just from joining ISRI, which has been great. We want to let people know who we are, what we do and what services we provide. I’m also excited to attend the seminars and webinars to learn from other ISRI members. We’re excited to be a part of the ISRI community.
What are some of the companies short- and long-term goals?
Short term, we want to get this new piece of equipment that’ll enable us to buy heavies from domestic customers, and affectively complete the recycling cycle. Long term, we’re always looking for opportunities to utilize both our existing equipment and new equipment to further our business so that we can be a part of the entire recycling cycle. Research and development is a big part of that. We rely more and more on technology, so we’re excited to see how we can use these new developments within the equipment world to further process what we do here. That’ll lead to a better and cleaner product, which helps our marketing abilities both domestically and overseas.
If you and your company are interested in becoming an ISRI member, click here to learn more and get the process started.
Photos were taken by Brian Luenser.