Richard Bosch

Richard Bosch

Pieces of West Fraser Sawmill to see new life elsewhere

Piles of metal, wood, insulation and garbage litter the sawmill's premises as machines and crews work hard to salvage scrap and machines.

Bits and pieces of the West Fraser Sawmill will see new life elsewhere.

Piles of metal, wood, insulation and garbage litter the sawmill’s premises as machines and crews work hard to salvage scrap and machines.

“My role here is to come in and sort out all of the different metals,” scrap metal dealer Richard Bosch said. “Sort all the metals, put them into bale packages and ship them to the coast.”

“I sort out all the aluminum from the steel, wire, motors, and then everything has its own classifications. Motors are one classification, wire’s another classifications, motors, aluminum, stainless and steel.”

Bosch works for Allied Salvage and Metals. The Richmond company collects pieces of steel, aluminum, copper, and puts them into a compactor that creates large, rectangular blocks of metal weighing 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.

“This way here, we can put it all on a truck, he ties it all down and we end up with 40,000 pounds, 45,000 pounds,” he said.

Bosch said aluminum “will end up going overseas”, becoming pop cans and cars, while steel will end up in the steel mills of Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.

Bosch predicts most material will get recycled, but certain materials such as rubber and insulation do not lend themselves to recycling and therefore become garbage.

“There’s no metal here that won’t be recycled,” Bosch said. “By the time we finish, 95 per cent of this job site should be recycled, which is including the wood, all the metal, the machinery and then leaving 5 to 8 per cent of actual garbage which is not recyclable.”

“We don’t handle the wood, there’ll be probably another company come in and handle the wood. Somebody with a grinder,” he said.

As for reusable equipment, an auction has taken place and another company has been tasked to handle the logistics of shipping them on trucks.

The site will become a flat, paved area once the crews have gone through all the materials. Bosch estimates that completion will come next spring.

“Snow is going to start falling soon and then we won’t be able to see anything,” he said. “I would like to be out of here in two or three weeks. That will get rid of the majority of the piles and then come back come spring, do the final cleanup.”

The proceeds from the salvage will go to West Fraser and contractors in different proportions.