Recycling center has can-do attitude

New owners hail from mortgage and decorating industries
By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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A local recycling center has new ownership and a new look. Cory and Anne Bochenski took over Auburn Recycling & Scrap Metals Inc. in June. Since then they’ve repainted the walls green, enlarged the customer service area and even planted a garden in back. It’s a big career change for the Bochenskis, who relocated to Auburn from San Diego. He previously was a mortgage broker and she was an interior decorator. “We have close friends in the (recycling) business in New York City and we’ve been very familiar with their business for years,” Anne Bochenski said Tuesday. They decided on Auburn because they were familiar with the area and liked the small-town ambiance. The Bochenskis have a crew of five, including their son Joey. On a typical summer day, they take in as much as 1,000 pounds of cans, 600 pounds of plastic and 4,000 pounds of glass. Winters are a little slower, Corry Bochenski said. Then there are metals, which make up about half of the business. “We’re trying to focus on that and build it up,” he said. Customers can bring in copper, copper wire, brass, stainless steel and aluminum — even car radiators and catalytic converters — but not steel. “I check with a magnet,” he said. “Anything a magnet sticks to, that’s steel.” A lot of ladders and tire rims pass through, too. Occasionally there are some unusual items. Recently a customer brought in a 200-pound compensating binnacle from a 1942 Navy ship. “It’s all brass,” Cory Bochenski said. The customer got tired of lugging it around, he added. He’s had it in the shop about a month and is thinking of selling it on eBay. A lot of the metal items come from building contractors. It saves them a trip to Sacramento, Bochenski said. The Bochenskis said they are focusing on being community friendly and family friendly. One of their early changes was making senior day every day. Formerly it was Tuesdays and Thursdays. “They get a little extra for CRV (California Refund Value) items,” Anne Bochenski said. They also have coloring contests for kids, posting the winning entries on the wall. In addition, there’s curbside service and assistance in separating items to be recycled. “It makes it easier for (customers) and they don’t get all dirty,” Cory Bochenski said. More equipment is in the works, too. Next week they’re installing a new machine for compacting plastic. “It makes less noise,” Cory Bochenski said. Customer Angela Wells, a lifetime Auburn-area resident, has been recycling at the Sacramento Street facility since not long after the business opened more than 20 years ago. “I recycle aluminum, plastic, glass — everything I can pick up,” she said. “The people who work here give good customer service.” ---------------------- Auburn Recycling & Scrap Metals, Inc. Where: 350 Sacramento St., Auburn Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday Telephone: (530) 889-2267