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G20: All Access - Upstate Shredding Pushes Leaders for Change

Written By: Jacqueline Policastro
G20: All Access - Upstate Shredding pushes G20 leaders for change

ST. PETERSBURG - World leaders meeting in St. Petersburg Russia to discuss global trade aren’t just getting the attention of economists and politicians.

Upstate Shredding in Owego has a big stake in the talks.

“Our whole goal is to keep expanding the company,” said Adam Weitsman, owner of Upstate Shredding.

It all started with Weitsman’s grandpa, Ben, then his father, Fred, at the Owego, New York scrap yard.  What was once a small family business is now an empire.

“I think my grandpa would be amazed at the amount of scrap that goes through here,” said Weitsman.

A million tons of ferrous metal and about 200 million pounds of non-ferrous metal go through the business in just one year.  It's the east coast's largest privately held scrap metal processor.

Upstate Shredding is now rebranded as a global company.  Weitsman has 14 locations, employs 400 people, and just bought his own export facility in the Port of Albany.

“We will load deep water vessels – that’s about 31,000 tons of scrap in one ship,” explained Weitsman.  “So we can go to Turkey, India, and the Far East."

With the expansion comes a new world view that includes paying close attention to what's happening at the G20 Summit.

“Free trade is really important, and I think the scrap market definitely exports a lot,” he said.  “I don’t think people are looking into it as much as they should.”

When it comes to trading overseas, Weitsman says one shipload of metal is worth $16 million, and he tells WENY-HD News Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro he needs the government to help maintain the legitimacy of companies overseas.

"You’re shipping to shaky credit homes, and I think that some of the overseas countries turn a blind eye when companies from the United States don’t get paid,” he said.

Of course, getting paid is what it's all about.  Weitsman pays you for your trash and then turns it into part of his international, billion dollar business.

"It’s a dream to grow the company, and hopefully we can continue it as it goes forward.  It looks good – the future looks pretty good,” he said.