Sahd Metal Recycling: Partnerships for the Long Haul - Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
Sahd Metal Recycling: Partnerships for the Long Haul
Chamber Updates, Thriving

by Carol Gifford, Community Relations Specialist, VisionCorps

This is not your everyday scrap yard. Sahd Metal Recycling, a third-generation business with 20 employees, is planning to be around for the long haul.  

Sahd, an industrial scrap metal processor located in Columbia, PA., provides 24-hour turnaround roll-over container service so that its customers can keep their shop floors clean and production moving. Sahd also accepts metal for recycling from the public. 

The company was founded by Sahd’s grandfather, Frank along with his brother Charlie, in 1942 when the extended family of immigrants arrived from Lebanon and began buying and reselling scraps. They were early recyclers. Eventually, the company gravitated to all scrap metal and has evolved to a company that nurtures young leaders. Over the years, Sahd added community outreach and sustainability to its mission, including offering Earth Day education for the past 17 years. 

“We have long-standing customers from all over Lancaster and York Counties ranging from some big multinational companies to smaller family businesses like us,” said Dan Sahd, co-owner and grandson of the company founder. “We pick up metal for recycling from different places in a small area around us. We sort it, pay customers for the amount of scrap metal we collected, and take it to a foundry to remelt it for future use.” 

“We’ve been in sustainability long before it was popular to do so, and now we are at the point where there is no future without sustainability at the center,” said Sahd. “The making of steel contributes to eight percent of the world’s emissions.  Efforts to make this process more environmentally friendly go a long way toward our goals as a society.” 

Most metal recycled by Sahd comes from nearby partners. These local metal fabrication and installation shops use different metals in production ranging from structural steel sheets, stainless, carbon, and galvanized steel, aluminum, copper and brass. When the products are created, there is scrap metal left over. Sahd collects, segregates, weighs, and empties the containers. 

Taking care of dumpsters is key to the customer relationship, said Sahd.  

“From the moment we’re told that someone needs service, we plan to do it right away,” said Sahd. “We deliver 24-hour turnaround of our containers.” 

That can be a challenge when there are a few hundred customers, but he said “everything we do is built on relationships. They know we’ve got their backs.” 

It’s also important for customers to know what their metal scraps are worth. The price of metals changes regularly and Sahd follows the daily metal exchange on FastMarkets and Metal Market Exchange. He calculates a monthly price to tell  customers at the beginning of a month what the price and formula is, so they know the price of the metal in advance. 

GSM Industrial is one nearby customer. The custom fabrication shop and installation contractor is just a few miles from Sahd Recycling.  

“We make products that range from small things that fit on a pallet to sterilization chambers that are as big as a tractor-trailer,” said Brian Dombach, GSM Industrial president. “It’s big weld stuff. Our projects are dirty, difficult, and sometimes dangerous. The bigger the better – the size of our work is only constrained by the transportation that we need to deliver it.” 

Dombach uses metal purchased in structural sheets. After cutting, there are scraps. That’s also the case with pieces of pipe, and other metals. Project scraps are segregated and dumped in containers provided by Sahd.  

“We’d be in a world of hurt if we didn’t have someone taking our scrap metal,” said Dombach. “You can’t just send steel to a landfill.” 

Sahd hauls and processes the metal, consolidating it for melt kettles, said Dombach. The metals are delivered to nearby foundries, such as Donsco in Wrightsville, where it is remelted and made into new products. 

“We’ve been using Sahd for far longer than the 14 years I’ve been with the company,” said Dombach. “It’s always been a good relationship and they are good people. We are not as concerned about the price for metals as we are about getting it picked up.” 

Environmental responsibility is important, said Dombach. “We just installed solar panels on our roof last year and in just one year, we are generating enough power to sustain our entire company – and sell back to PPL in the summer months.” 

Viocity Group is another customer. Two of its divisions, H&S Industrial and Nitro Cutting, use Sahd to collect metal scraps. H&S Industrial works on custom metal fabrication and industrial mechanical contracting, using aluminum and stainless and galvanized steel. Nitro Cutting uses machines to cut metal component and products for the transportation, agriculture and warehouse storage industries.   

“Sahd hauls our scrap metal every couple of days,” said Chris Miller, Viocity Group president. “We get reports every time they weigh a hopper, and an annual report.” 

“They are here to service us within a 24-hour period,” said Miller, who said their 30-year relationship was something the two organizations built together. “It takes a little bit of collaboration and segregation to secure a higher rate per pound. 

It’s important, said Miller to know that the metal scraps will be recycled for use in another process or product rather than thrown away. Last year, Viocity Group recycled more than two million pounds with Sahd. 

“We are sustaining a clean environment for future generations, it’s good to regenerate and continue to use these new products in our daily lives.” 

Adding new employees today is difficult for most companies but Sahd found ways to attract and keep young workers. Giving them opportunities to learn on the job is key, said Sahd. The COVID pandemic helped his employment efforts because some people who normally would have gone to college instead looked for jobs. 

Sahd hired several young men around the same time and began mentoring them. He talks about employee recruitment and retainment at Chamber meetings and professional conferences, often bringing some new employees along. 

“The theme for Gen Z is I’m hoping and I’m coping,” he explained. “They have all the information they need at their fingertips; they can Google anything. But they want stability, and community and people for advice and context. They’ve grown up in turbulent times. 

“The closer you can get to your employees and understanding what makes them tick is how you can keep them for a long time,” said Sahd. “We’re a flat organization so we can work side-by-side with employees. I’ve got a group of 20-year-olds and employees up to age 76 (my Dad!). We all pitch in.” 

His advice is to think creatively. His employees produce YouTube videos, post on TikTok and other social media, host a podcast called Dumpster Talks, and have access to a mental health counselor during work hours. 

“They are torching metal, moving piles of scrap, driving dumpster and participating in white-collar events like doing presentation to local groups and chambers,” said Sahd. 

“We want them to find their way and be continual learners,” said Sahd. “We will continue to invest in our people and our great local relationships.” 


Carol Gifford

Community Relations Specialist


This article was first printed in our Spring/Summer 2023 Edition of Thriving Magazine. You can read more here: Lancaster Chamber Thriving Magazine

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