Behr Recycling sharpens its claws

By Anna Yee

June 23, 2012 Updated Jun 23, 2012 at 9:26 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- No it's not the opening of a new business.

It's more like the welcoming of a new revolution in recycling.

Behr Iron and Metal just invested in a state-of-the-art $12 million hybrid shredder, putting the southside Peoria recycler on the map.

"It's faster," said William Bremner, President and CEO of Behr Iron & Metal. "It's more efficient. It produces more tons per hour at a lower cost, and it produces cleaner, better products."

Products like iron and other scrap metals from old vehicles and appliances that get shredded and sorted for manufacturers to reuse all over the world.

Up to a thousand tons of metal can be shredded each day.

The new shredder can produce up to 150 tons per hour.

That's three times more than before.

"Our intent isn't to shred the same amount of material in less time," said Dave Rumer, Vice President of Behr Peoria, "it's to shred more material, so we're going to be expanding the operation."

And that means more jobs, locally.

Behr employs about 500 people across the Midwest, who help keep the green cycle going.

That's something Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says will never get old.

"Really, it has cleaned out this whole area in the south end of Peoria," said Mayor Ardis, "so there are tremendous benefits in everything that they're doing."

And Behr has no problem sinking its claws into more advanced recycling methods, if it also means getting the public more aware of the value.

"The less material that we can put in landfills in this country and that we can reuse in this country is just going to save our natural resources for a long, long period of time," said Bremner.

That's a concept the company won't loosen its grip on any time soon.

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