TAZ Recycling began in 1998 as a father-son operation with two roll-off trucks and a dedication to tough, hard work. The Tazelaar family grew the business just southwest of Chicago to a multi-truck operation. In 2010 they decided to expand and open their own C&D recycling transfer station.
Ron Tazelaar is the owner and manager of TAZ Recycling, and describes the early days of processing as a bit of an uphill battle. In those days, all of the sorting was being done by hand, processing about 150 tons per day. “We weren’t keeping up, and our guys were working 12 hour days,” said Tazelaar.
It was at this point that a trusted colleague in the industry told Tazelaar that he should consider setting up a plant on site to help with processing. This seemed out of reach to Tazelaar, thinking there was no way he could afford the setup costs and equipment prices that would come with such an undertaking. But he ran the numbers and discovered it might be possible. His colleague recommended working with General Kinematics, knowing from personal experience the value and reliability their equipment brought to an operation. “When you got a guy who ran a million tons through with GK, and he says to buy GK,” said Tazelaar, “I think you’d better listen.”
Tazelaar reached out to Dick Reeves, director of Resource Recovery for General Kinematics. Reeves was able to locate a used GK Finger Screen system in Boston that was for sale at a reasonable price that was realistic for Tazelaar. In a short period of time Tazelaar was able to put together financing, fly to Boston to inspect the system, and load it on a truck and ship it back to Illinois. “We brought it back, set it in place, shimmed it up on the pavement, put power to it, turned it on, and it ran as if it was brand new,” said Tazelaar. Today the facility is operating at approximately 80 percent recovery and processing 300 tons per day. The same personnel are in place as before, but now employees are working 40 hour weeks instead of 60-70 — double the output in nearly half the time.
And like all General Kinematics equipment, Tazelaar’s system has been virtually bullet proof. “Where can you go buy a used piece of equipment,” asked Tazelaar, “not touch it, and set it up, and have it run for three years? We’ve replaced two belts, two springs, and a rocker arm — that’s it. It’s built to last.”
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” are the tenants of the Recycling Triangle, and for General Kinematics they are the hallmarks of their business. According to Reeves, the Economy Disposal Service (sister company to Taz Recycling) story is one that embodies that spirit. “This is an extreme case of reuse,” said Reeves, “and we’re glad to support it. General Kinematics is known for quality, durable products, and to have a second life on a system like this is fantastic.”
Fantastic, but not unusual. General Kinematics equipment is engineered for longevity. The durability of the systems allows GK to not only create better products, but also form stronger long term relationships with their customers. “We don’t think in a five to seven year life span,” said Reeves, “it’s really 20-30 years. We don’t want to make one sale and be done with it either. We’re here for the long haul.”
With the success TAZ Recycling has experienced with their GK Finger Screen, they’re already looking down the road to future expansion with a GK De-Stoner. In the mean time they will continue processing up to 300 tons of materials a day with no end in sight. And in a family and a company that enjoys tough, hard work, General Kinematics feels right at home.