Tuesday, September 18, 2007

From CA to Inc 500

One of the biggest thrills I get in touring towns and giving talks around the country is being able to visit the many entrepreneurial companies that are creating jobs in small towns. When I was in New Castle, PA, Linda Nitch, head of the local ED, took me by Vortex Recycling.

She told me, “Don KIeine had the idea for Vortex when he was living in California. He searched the country for a central location and came to New Castle in 2001. He’s been growing ever since.”

Don was out of town but John Greer, Vortex’s Marketing and Sales Manager, gave me a tour of the company. He told me, “We bring in used oil filters from all over the country. We do about ten thousand 55-gallon drums of them a month. We squeeze the oil out and sell about 75,000 to 85,000 gallons/month to waste oil users and 1200 tons/month of scrap steel.”

The business has been good as Inc Magazine ranked them the #608 fastest growing small business in a recent edition and the #7th fastest growing environmental company. The company’s business car bills it as The World’s Largest Oil Filter Recycler.

A company brochure touts the following stats about used oil filters, “Every month, nationally 31,250 tons or 2,253 semi truck loads of used oil filters are generated consuming massive land fill space. These filters contain 2,250,000 gallons or 375 semi-tankers of waste oil. There is enough steel in these used oil filters to manufacture 2.7% of the new cars in the United States.”

It’s nice to see something being done about that in New Castle, PA.

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