When Charleston Steel & Metal first opened in Samuel Steinberg’s back yard on King Street, customers
brought their scrap metal in horse drawn wagons. This was 1893, only a few years after a devastating
Earthquake in 1886 that decimated the city and the economy.
Even with all the economic woes, Charleston was able to build an elaborate public building in 1896, the
United State Post Office and Courthouse . Its completion signaled a renewed life in the heart of the city.
The accompanying photo shows a robust King Street in 1901, complete with trolley cars, cigar shops and
Dry Goods stores.
1930’s Industrial Business
Samuel’s two sons, Leon and Jack, took the helm in the early 1930’s after Samuel’s death. Charleston
Steel was awarded its first major contract in 1939 with the City of Charleston to “exploit scrap iron
materials from the city dump.”
1960’s-1980’s Growth & Expansion
In 1961, Leon’s son Samuel joined the business. Jack’s son, Bernard, followed suit in 1968.
As the City of Charleston evolved and grew, so did Charleston Steel and Metal. In 1982, CSM purchased
property in lower Berkeley County to increase its footprint in the region. Due to the significant acreage,
CSM opened a second full scale processing facility on this site and relocated its useable steel sales
headquarters to this location.
Samuel’s son , Stephen, joined CSM in 1991. CSM expanded its operations to Georgia and still maintains a recycling facility in Augusta, Augusta Steel & Metal. Samuel retired in 2006 after 45 years at CSM. Bernard is the current President.
In 2008, CSM moved its downtown headquarters to a state of the art scrap recycling facility on Spruill
Ave. just over the city line in North Charleston. CSM has seen continued growth expanding into satellite facilities in Charleston & Berkeley counties, and servicing customers both in our backyard as well as several hundred miles from our base.
Bernard’s son, Jonathan, completed the 4th Generation when he arrived back in Charleston in 2012. Family owned and operated, Charleston Steel and Metal is proud of its Charleston roots and pleased to service the needs of the Lowcountry in metal recycling.
We are deeply invested in South Carolina.
Our personnel maintain key positions in the following municipal, business and charitable organizations:
South Carolina Recyclers Association
Institute of Scrap Recycling Institute (ISRI)
Goose Creek County Council
Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce
Lowcountry Manufacturers Council
Numerous educational and community outreach charities
* Additionally, Charleston Steel & Metal has had a longstanding relationship with local fire departments allowing rescue training at our facilities.
Recycling and Clean Up
- Waste Reduction
- Beneficial to the Environment
- Preserves Energy and Natural Resources
- Economic Growth
- Customer gets paid for what they might have considered scrap or junk!
The Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal
While you’re probably aware of the existence of a large-scale global scrap metal recycling industry, you might be surprised by its size and scope. These days, a significant amount of the metal that ends up in finished products like appliances and structural steel is recycled or “recovered.” Moreover, scrap metal recycling is booming. This brave new world has some obvious and not-so-obvious benefits for the economy, the environment and the average consumer.
By and large, scrap metal recycling is less energy-intensive and more efficient than extracting and refining raw metals through traditional mining processes. Mining produces a number of environmental hazards, including poisonous runoff, groundwater pollution, habitat destruction and unstable geological conditions. What’s more, most types of mining require large inputs of fossil fuels.
Recycling scrap metal requires fossil fuel inputs as well. However, it’s generally regarded as less energy-intensive than mining. It also doesn’t contribute to groundwater pollution or create physical scars on the environment that can take hundreds of years to heal. After all, recycling plants don’t require massive open-pit mines to perform their work.
Waste Reduction, Space Production
Scrap metal recycling frees up landfill space for true junk like discarded food matter and non-recyclable plastics. Since many recyclable metal products are quite bulky, continued growth in the scrap metal recycling rate is likely to reduce the need for unsightly, space-consuming new landfills near our population centers. By keeping junkyards from overflowing, scrap metal recycling also reduces smaller-scale eyesores within our neighborhoods and encourages more productive land uses.
Tangible Economic Benefits
The recycling business is fairly labor-intensive, and many independent studies have shown that it contributes tens of billions of dollars to the country’s gross domestic product. In 2011, a seminal study by the Institute for Scrap Metal Recycling found that nearly 500,000 jobs had been created by the industry. Total federal, state and local tax receipts from the activities of scrap metal recycling outfits added up to more than $10 billion. Across all 50 states, the industry generated about $90 billion in economic activity.
It’s important to note that recycling jobs require high levels of skill and training. While wages within the industry vary by employer and location, typical scrap metal recycling jobs in high-wage states like New York often pay far more than the national median income.
Think Before You Toss
With so many clear benefits, it’s no wonder that scrap metal recycling has taken off in a big way. Whether you care about doing your part to minimize your environmental impact or simply want to make a few extra dollars, you can surely find a reason or two to recycle your old batteries, appliances and vehicles. Since scrap metal recycling isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to embrace it.