The latest offering for ISRI members to educate their workforce is the ISRI Learning Center on “Safety training at ISRI goes back to VHS tapes,” explains Steven Tuch of SA Recycling, ISRI’s Education and Training Committee co-chair. “The training has always evolved with the times. It’s gone from … VHS, DVDs, posters, and now online. Being online allows us to reach more employees in one place. You could have a computer or an iPad out during tailgate talks.”

Safety in Scrap Recycling

ISRI’s Safety in Scrap Recycling is a 60-minute, on-demand course for supervisors on recognizing and reducing risks at a job site. “This is a platform where we can offer environmental health and safety resources to the industry at their own pace,” says Tony Smith, ISRI’s vice president of safety.

This interactive, self-paced course details how to find and address potential safety problems, including fire safety threats, mobile equipment, and blind spots around the equipment. The course covers personal protective equipment (PPE), tools, lockout/tagout processes, and other hazard-mitigation strategies. Upon conclusion of the course and a required post-assessment, participants can earn a certificate of completion.

Learners have 90 days from the time of purchase to complete the course and post-assessment. The course includes supplementary downloadable resources. The cost is $129 per person for ISRI members and $258 for nonmembers.

Scrap University Basic Training

ScrapU presented with ISRI introduces Certified Scrap Metal Professional (CSMP). Focused on metals identification, the course is delivered online in eight modules and includes videos, printable resources, and reinforcement exercises. The modules are:

  • Orientation.
  • Ferrous.
  • Nonferrous Aluminum.
  • Nonferrous Red Metal.
  • Nonferrous Stainless Steel/Hi-Temp Alloys.
  • Nonferrous Insulated Wire.
  • Nonferrous Lead and Zinc.
  • Nonferrous Mixed Metal.

Upon completion of the course and successful completion of a final exam, individuals receive a certificate of completion. The course is $999 for ISRI members and $1,349 for nonmembers.

Kate Fraser and Brad Rudover founded Scrap University in 2020. Rudover is a partner in Detroit Scrap Consulting Services, a metals brokerage in Vancouver, and grew up in the recycling industry. His family owned Berrick Trading in Detroit. Rudover is a past secretary of ISRI’s Pacific Northwest Chapter and held leadership positions with the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries. Fraser has worked in the industry in British Columbia for more than a decade, including machinery maker Brandt, Richmond Steel Recycling, and ABC Recycling. She built up experience and knowledge in logistics, dispatch, grading and pricing ferrous and nonferrous material, and with all administrative, operations, and management tasks required to run a yard.

Fraser and Rudover developed Scrap University to help the reclaimed metals industry, which traditionally has kept its trade secrets close. Their goal was to give back to the recycling industry by increasing knowledge through a standard training program. “Certainly, nobody expects somebody entering the industry to know all of the differences [among metals],” Fraser explains. “One of the keys of CSMP is to give people this foundation so they have the knowledge to ask the questions when [they’re] looking at [material].”

Scrap University’s first course is an online, video-based “boot camp” where individuals learn first about the basics of the industry, yard operation and terminology, and then how to find and upgrade all types of metals quickly and easily. Upon completion of the course, including passing a final examination with 85% or more correct answers, students receive a Certified Scrap Metal Professional certificate of completion.

The CSMP course is available in English, and there are plans to release a Spanish version in the first quarter of 2022. Scrap University has grown to more than 200 users with 100 lessons designed to ISRI Specifications, according to its founders. They stress that CSMP on-demand coursework is not a replacement for direct training. “The orientation gives you a breakdown of what’s happening in the yard,” Fraser says.

More courses will be added to the ISRI Learning Center in the future.

Photo courtesy of ISRI.


Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; and marketing communications.