by Jon M. Casey and Colleen Suo
For nearly 50 years, John Schivito, owner of A-JON Construction of Springfield, PA, has worked diligently to meet the needs of a niche market of smaller contractors and landscapers by providing them with quality concrete and paving material. More recently, Schivito has added a line of recycled materials including concrete, asphalt, mulch and topsoil. His business has grown steadily over the years to become a quality supplier of mulch and landscaping soils throughout the Delaware County area.
His story begins at the age of 22 when he finished a tour of duty in the U.S. Army and got a job with a local contractor. Soon thereafter, he started out on his own by removing and replacing concrete blocks in sidewalks in downtown Philadelphia. Once he found that he could make a full time living after graduating to flatwork and curb work, he started his own business. From there, he went on to paving and supplying construction concrete.
Today, A-JON operates two facilities, the original location where his ready mix plant is located and the newer recycling facility, which he opened about three years ago. This eight acre site is devoted exclusively to recycling unwanted, yet valuable materials into important products for contractors and landscapers. His lineup includes recycling and processing RAP and concrete into asphalt paving material and aggregate for fill and sub-base material while excavated clean soil is screened for clean dirt and topsoil products as well. At the same time, yard waste is ground into mulch, all of which is screened with a McCloskey 621 tracked trommel, with the finer material saved as compost for their soil products while the bulk of the ground wood is kept for mulch, much of which is reground to produce a high quality natural mulch product.
Schivito said that his operation currently is not equipped to color mulch, so for customers who prefer black mulch for their landscaping, A-JON relies upon Britton Industries for regular deliveries of colored mulch. He noted that his working relationship with Britton Industries has been excellent and their products are of top quality.
Schivito said that he began recycling topsoil, and then mulch, with a McCloskey TR512 tracked trommel that he acquired approximately five years ago. As business continued to grow, he moved that operation to the recycling plant where we found the unit still in operation. As the mulch production increased, he went with the McCloskey 621 trommel for increased production.
A-JON begins the mulch production with a first grind of incoming yard waste, through a Bandit Beast 1620 horizontal grinder. That material is stockpiled, and then processed through the 621 trommel with overs going on to a second grind in a Morbark 950 tub grinder. From there, the screened material heads to their composting area.
The mulch is sold as an all natural mulch product to landscapers and municipalities and the composted material is blended with screened dirt to produce a quality soil product for homeowners and landscapers. Schivito said that he enjoys being able to provide quality products for “the little guy” while a number of other recyclers have geared their business for larger customers. Schivito said he enjoys the relationships that he has with most of his regular customers.
Yard Manager, Andy Murphy, an A-Jon employee since 1997, oversees the operation of the recycling equipment. He finds McCloskey equipment to be very reliable, adding that they “have a good relationship with the dealer” Commonwealth Equipment and sales representative, Stephen Lavery. He said he has “no complaints.”
Schivito agrees. He says they depend on the advice of Lavery, to lead them to the right equipment for the jobs at hand. Schivito says they had used other equipment in the past but in their experience, “McCloskey was superior and we’ve been sticking with them for the past four or five years. Their service is the best. Parts are there; they’re there when we call them. The down time is minimal. It’s a great company. Really.”
Schivito also relies on a McCloskey R155 tracked, double deck screener to provide his customers with a high quality screened dirt and topsoil product line. Screening of the topsoil ensures a high quality product for the customer. Unwanted rocks and larger material that remains after composting, are removed. Quality topsoil is the result.
Schivito says his two sons are both involved in the business and are looking to oversee the business one day when John retires. (He says he plans to work until he’s 90 years old, so that could be a while!) Sons John, Jr. (23) and Nick (21) are both involved on a daily basis and without a doubt, if the amount of activity taking place at this facility is any indication, A-Jon will continue to flourish into the next generation. For more information about Commonwealth Equipment, visit www.CommonwealthEquipment.com . McCloskey information can be found at www.mccloskeyinternational.com .