A local man who has led the charge for recycling around the district is retiring and stepping down from his recycling business.
Greg Stahn of Greg’s Recycling, said he’s been in operation since 1995 and will officially close tomorrow (Jan. 1), as he and his wife, Kathy, retire.
“It’s not anything that I wouldn’t keep going if I was a little younger but I just feel it’s time,” he explained
“I’ve been kind of shopping it around, I’m hoping someone else will take it over but I don’t have anybody at this time,” Stahn added.
“I would definitely work with them to get them started.”
During the 25 years Stahn ran Greg’s Recycling, he’s made a significant impact on the way people dispose of waste throughout the district.
“I do feel pretty proud that we’ve at least started something here that has definitely grown through the district. Lots of people recycle now,” Stahn said.
“When we first started, recycling was almost a foreign thing.”
Stahn was attracted to the recycling business in the mid-’90s when he saw the amount of recyclable waste that was filling up the local dump.
“I’d see all this scrap aluminum, aluminum cans and other things, so I started collecting them on my own,” he noted.
He would then sell the scrap metal to pay for little trips to the city with his wife, before she suggested purchasing some equipment and turning it into a business.
Through the years, Stahn estimates he’s recycled thousands of tons of waste that has been diverted from landfills.
He said making a positive impact on the environment was his biggest motivator for staring Greg’s Recycling.
“It was never a full-time business for me but it was always a really good part-time one and it made me feel good that we were doing the right thing and giving people an opportunity to send their stuff somewhere to be recycled,” Stahn remarked.
“A lot of good people have been supporting us over the years. We’ve worked with a lot of municipalities and individuals to help keep the recycling going on the right track.”
From 2002 to 2012, Greg’s Recycling provided a blue box service to Emo, Chapple, Rainy River First Nations, Alberton, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, Devlin and Clearwater.
Around 20 years ago, municipalities reached out to Stahn to see what would be the best way to dispose of recyclables, since the concept was still relatively new to those living in rural and remote areas.
“My main idea that I pitched to all the municipalities . . . was ‘compact your blue box recycling and ship it out’ because we’re a small community and that’s the most efficient way to work with it.”
Yet, it was only in 2014 that Fort Frances and Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls converted to this method of recycling, while most other municipalities in the district don’t have any system in place at all.
“I feel pretty happy that two of the larger communities are now doing what we suggested 20 years ago,” Stahn noted.
Over the past few years, most of the customers at Greg’s Recycling have been electricians, plumbers, individuals who work in demolition, and people who collect cans.
Everyone from kids to retired folks and the Voyageur Lions Club have sold their aluminum cans to the business since its inception.
Non-ferrous metals–which includes almost all metals excluding steel–has been the bread and butter of Greg’s Recycling since it started up.
Stahn told the Times he is concerned about what individuals will do now that Greg’s Recycling is closing down, but he is optimistic that somebody will take it over locally.
Anyone who’s interested in purchasing Greg’s Recycling can contact Stahn at 486-3382.