Shortly after World War II, Ben Sacco came to California and started Sierra Bag Company, servicing the agriculture industry. In the late fifties, Sierra Iron & Metal was born when he dedicated a portion of his operation to scrap metal collection. He then added a baler to process scrap, which he found while visiting his homeland of Italy. Sacco eventually became the official North and South American distributor for the baler manufacturer, starting Sierra International Machinery, while at the same time continuing to operate his scrapyard, Sierra Iron & Metal. About 10 years ago, the business was passed on to Ben Sacco's two sons, John and Philip Sr., both of whom have been lifelong employees and contributors to the business. The scrap recycling part of the Sacco family business today operates as Sierra Recycling and Demolition Inc., run by Phil Sacco, while Sierra International Machinery, the recycling equipment manufacturer and distributor, is run by John Sacco - both out of Bakersfield, California.
According to Phil Sacco, when his father started "he was buying and acquiring containers of textile burlap, cotton and other materials. He would recycle and upcycle them." That gave birth to Sierra Recycling, which began as Sierra Iron & Metal in 1958. "It's been a great, great voyage," says Sacco. "Our father brought us into the business at a very young age. I started my first summer in 1969 at the age of nine years old, and became full time in 1979. February of 2019 will be my fortieth year, full time."
Since their start, Sierra Recycling has not only found long-term success in recycling both residential and commercial scrap, ELVs, C&D and a wide range of other materials, they have grown to provide industry-specific waste management services to sectors including oil and gas, petrochemical and the agriculture industry.
Sacco says his vision from as early as the eighties was to transition the scrap processing side of the business toward more of service company, and specifically, to a demolition waste services company. He says as a successful demolition company, it is really about providing full service. Sierra Recycling goes directly to demolition sites, hauling the needed equipment, including excavators, wheeled and crawler machines, as well as mobile shears, loaders, and then hauls away waste using specialized trailers.
About four years ago, Sierra Recycling sold one of their two yards to focus on streamlining operations in Bakersfield. The primary goal was to focus on becoming more of a regional service company through the growth of their demolition and other contract services business, for a range of commercial and industrial clients. Since they streamlined operations, Sacco says he's proud to say business has seen steady growth.