Shulman Company

Our History

IMAG0058Recognizing that metals, rags and paper had a potential “second life”, father and son, Isaac and Oscar Shulman founded the company in 1935, a business which is the “originator of recycling”. Equipment was limited during the Depression Era; trucks were loaded by hand, and with prudent buying of inventory enough was saved to purchase the first major processing equipment, a used shear (machine that cuts metal). During World War II, a baler (compacts scrap into bundles) was purchased along with a crane.

Having outgrown its facility in 1948, Shulman Recycling purchased a larger parcel of land with rail-road siding to meet the transportation needs. The first significant expansion of Shulman Recycling took place with this land purchase. Oscar Shulman presented a proposal to Chemung Canal Bank demonstrating local need for a large scrap processing facility to service the foundries, industrial plants and auto wrecking companies. His argument was persuasive; a line of credit was approved. As a result, in 1949, Shulman Recycling moved its operation to newly acquired land on which a new office was built, equipment installed, including a 60 foot scale and a baler, which made bundles of tin. IMAG0057Three years later, additional land across the street became available. A metal warehouse was built, additional scales were installed and forklifts purchased along with an electric paper baling press for making bundles of paper. Another crane was also purchased. Over the next several years, Shulman Recycling continued to purchase equipment necessary for the efficient processing of material in order to best serve the demands of its customers.

In 1970, the third generation joined the Shulman Recycling, Stephen Shulman. Early in his career at Shulman Recycling, Stephen was faced with many challenges. In 1972, the office and equipment suffered heavy losses from a major flood. However, the company continued to reinvest in its future, building its own maintenance garage, and the purchase of a hydraulic baler with conveyors to more efficiently handle paper. In 1977, Shulman Recycling was informed by the state of New York that a roadway was to be built through the middle of its land, necessitating for the re-location of Shulman Recycling. The focus was where to move, and should the company remain in Elmira? The Shulman Family felt a strong commitment to Elmira. Complicating the challenges of relocation, the paper facility was destroyed by fire. With new offices and warehouse under construction on the adjacent property, Shulman Recycling moved into a new facility in January,1979. Additional land was purchased for future growth. The mid-1980’s saw the demise of a large part of the local industrial community. Since that time, management has successfully sought new customers and markets for their processed materials. IMAG0056The poor economic climate has never been an excuse for doing less business; it has become an impetus to do more! In the late 1980’s, Shulman Recycling revamped its fleet to accommodate a roll-off container system. The system streamlined the efficiency of handling customer’s scrap. In the early 1990’s, the company purchased CAT235 excavator and a vibra-ram shear. This machine virtually eliminated the use of cutting torches, a safer means of processing.

The fourth generation, Zach Shulman, joined Shulman Recycling in 1999. He oversees the operation, assuring that the company maintains a forward vision. Zach strives to maximize the efficiency while sensitive to the needs of customers and employees. In 2002, Zach theorized that scrap could be handled more efficiently if the equipment was brought to the material, the opposite of industry practice. He approached a manufacturer of a rubber tire scrap handler machine, who put a shear on the handler, making the shear portable. This allows for less handling of the material. This innovation proved very successful; this equipment has been marketed and sold throughout the industry.

Shulman RecyclingBeyond the processing of material, Zach has recognized the importance of office efficiency. The physical plant is large, both inside and out; Zach has purchased surveillance and camera equipment so he can multi-task and have first hand observation. Customer service is of utmost importance, and with the new computer software, this can be achieved. The software allows for a much smoother and quicker experience for our customers.  Through this new technology scale tickets are electronic, and also all material is photographed. There is a co-operative effort among all associated with Shulman Recycling to be mindful of safety as well as the environment.