No time to waste
Matejka Recycling is using a Volvo skid-steer loader to help sort, load and ship 500 tons of scrap every week
Winona, Minnesota is located in a picturesque landscape along the Mississippi River. It’s the stained glass capital of the United States, and during the 1860s southern Minnesota was the greatest wheat producing region in the country.
Gerald “Jerry” Matejka, 79, established Matejka Recycling in Winona four decades ago and is still running the company today, specializing in the recycling of scrap metal, construction, demolition and municipal solid waste.
The company operates a transfer and repackaging facility with a dozen employees. Each week, Matejka Recycling sorts, loads and ships 500 tons of scrap to foundries, shredders and mills for final processing. More than 75 percent of the company’s business comes from contractors within a 70 km (45 mile) radius of Winona.
“When I saw the Volvo skid steer with side entry, single arm loader design and scrap guard package, I fell in love with it,” said Matejka. “It was becoming more difficult for me to use our existing loaders, due to the cumbersome front entry that had me crawling over the attachments to reach the cab.”
Volvo CE originally donated Matejka’s Volvo MC70C skid steer loader to the 2014 WasteExpo in Atlanta, Georgia to benefit the Environmental Research and Education Fund (EREF) auction (which since it started, has raised more than $14 million to fund scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices.) It was Jerry’s wife, Carole, who encouraged him to bid for the machine. “I knew it would keep him happy, doing what he loves,” she said.
Scrapping in the yard
According to Volvo, the MC70C is designed to be a material mover, is ideal for sorting scrap iron, pushing debris into piles, and is the only skid steer in the company’s fleet with a dedicated scrap guard kit. The radial lift loader’s protection package includes FOPS and front screen guard, 1.68 m (66 inch) grapple and solid cushion tires. The machine is controlled using joysticks for increased comfort and performance. These intuitive controls remove the need to use both feet and hands to operate the machine and attachments, and the spacious Volvo cab features climate control for hot summer months and cold winters.
With an operating capacity of more than 700 kg (1,543 pounds), the MC70C equipped with a scrap bucket has the power to easily handle the variety of recyclables that pass through any scrap yard. This includes both ferrous metal (carbon steel, stainless steel and cast iron) and non-ferrous metal (aluminum, copper and tin).
Matejka says they are always discovering more materials to recycle and compost, particularly scrap iron from local farms surrounding Winona that can be reused. With the help of his MC70C skid-steer loader, he’s ready for whatever comes his way.