MW Metals Group in Dayton, Ohio was recently awarded Top Metal Recycling Company by Metals & Mining Review. MW Metals Group services over 500 manufacturers in North America and specializes in, and focuses exclusively on, the industrial and manufacturing sectors. It provides customized, efficient and cost-effective scrap management programs for scrap-generating suppliers. A charter member of The Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS), it is focused on quality, environmental, and health and safety aspects of metals recycling.

Ryan Preas is the president and CEO of MW Metals Group. Originally from manufacturing, Preas has been in the recycled materials industry since 2007 and has worked for Radius Recycling (formally Schnitzer Steel Industries) and American Iron & Metal, in Montreal Quebec. ISRI News had the opportunity to sit down with Preas and go over his journey throughout the industry, what the award means for his company and what the future holds for MW Metals Group.

Could you give me a bit of background into how you got into the recycled materials industry and MW Metals?

I started in the recycling industry back in late 2007. There wasn’t really one particular thing that got me into the industry. Prior to metal recycling, I was in manufacturing working for Daimler Trucks North America. Moving from the manufacturing of tractor trailers to recycling metals was an easy transition. As you look at the recycled material industry it’s very similar to the manufacturing processes you find in other industries. You bring in materials and refine them into value added products. We work with mills, foundries and consumers to get these materials back into the production of finished goods.

When I started my work in recycling back in 2007, I was not familiar with the industry as a whole and all it had to offer as a career path. Over the years I found that it is a fantastic industry filled with wonderful people and great opportunities to grow professionally — the benefits are far beyond professional development. The benefits the recycled materials industry has on our planet and managing our country’s natural resources go beyond what you can gain professionally. This industry is one that I believe meets a need for society as we continue to see raw materials become more difficult to get and less plentiful on the planet. We are going to need more and more recycled materials to build and create things for the future generations.

So, I’ve been in the industry for a number of years now and worked at several different companies along the way on the West, East Coast and in Canada. In January of this year, I started with MW Metals. I was hired to be their president and CEO. My role is to build on the amazing foundation that was started when this company was founded in 1955 by Bert Appel and Charles Frydman. My goal is to build on our successes that we have achieved and grow to the next level for future generations.

What have you found most fascinating about recycled materials and the industry as a whole?

You get to see the life cycle of products from start to finish. The recycled materials industry allows us to get a view into the future of the development of new products and creative ideas. The direct benefits you see on the environment from the recycled materials industry are fantastic and the benefits you see in our communities and personal lives are truly impactful. You see a direct community effect from our industry, which is really wonderful. Another fascinating thing about our industry is that it is continuously evolving with new and innovative technology. Machines become more sophisticated, our ability to recover more raw materials from our end-of-life processes becomes better and better. We’re starting to see significant benefits in our ability to recover materials like aluminum, stainless steel and copper. All of which are valuable raw materials but very costly and often environmentally challenging to pull from the earth. The industry that we are in allows us to benefit not only our generation but future generation, our environment and ultimately the planet. That’s really what drives me as far as enjoying the industry that I’ve been blessed to be a part of for so many years.

Congratulations to you and your company. You were named Top Metal Recycling Company this year by Metals & Mining Review. Could you tell me about that experience?

I appreciate that. It’s a great honor to be nominated and be selected as one of the top metal companies. Being selected for this award is a great reflection on the generations of employees that have worked here. It helps us recognize that what we do day after day is being perceived positively in the marketplace by our peers and customers. This company, through its early leadership, has always focused on partnering with our suppliers and our customers and making sure that we have integrity in our processes to build strong relationships in our industry. To be nominated by our peers and by customers and recognized in the industry is just really fantastic to see. All the hard work of the generations before us, the employees and the businesses here — it’s really rewarding to see that, I am very proud to be a part of this company.

What’s the next big goal for you and MW Metals? What does the future look like?

Well, it’s kind of a combination for continuing down the path built from the successes of our founders and innovating and growing the business through continuous improvement and exploring opportunities for growth. We are really focusing on growing the business, becoming part of the community, expanding our operations regionally in the Dayton, Ohio area and focusing our growth plans on our national program, where we have seen great success. We have a national footprint where we help manufacturers and industrial companies take their recycled metals to market; we manage these efforts through that entire process from start to finish. We’re seeing significant growth in these opportunities across the country as well as looking for prospects on the local level here in the Ohio Valley region. We want to leverage our opportunity with this recognition and most recent award and continue to market ourselves as a leader in our industry, both locally and nationally, and continue to build strong relationships in our industry.

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno is a Communications Manager at ReMA. He is fascinated by the innovation and sustainability found in the recycling industry. He graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Media Studies and minored in Spanish. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his collection of short stories he hopes to one day finish writing.