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Sunshine Recycling attributes their success to exceptional material handlers

001by Gwenyth Laird Pernie

Material handling attachments are essential to success in the scrap and recycling industry. According to Joe Rich, owner of Sunshine Recycling, Orangeburg, SC, attachments are like “hands” to the recycler. They are what come in direct contact with the feedstock. More importantly, the machines that support the attachments are only as good as the attachments.

“Consequently I believe that the positive, symbiotic relationship between our material handlers/excavators and the attachments/tools has been our recipe for success,” he said. “They enhance one another’s performances, producing a cost per ton friendly production capacity.”

Sunshine Recycling was founded in 1996 by the husband and wife team of Joe and Lena Rich. Since then, they have brought innovation to the recycling industry. Together, they have built a business that delivers a full spectrum of integrated metal, concrete and asphalt recovery and recycling services, both onsite and mobile, while maintaining the highest  environmental standards. Over time, their company’s three divisions have become the most successful processing and recycling operations in the southeast. The divisions include Sunshine Recycling, Sunshine Aggregate and Sunshine Auto Salvage.

Rich said, “Over the past 18 years, I have accumulated more than 20,000 hours in the operator’s chair running a number of makes, models and designs of material handlers. The first one I operated was an hydraulic excavator converted to a material handler with a 5 tine dinosaurmstyle grappler attachment. This is where my training began and it has evolved into finer equipment over time.  With this experience, I have also learned the business and the difference between a state of the art piece of equipment and something that isn’t up to par with the new engineering standards.”

Sales sells the first one and service sells the rest

According to Rich, a major factor in the success of their recycling business is because of the number of material handling attachments they have purchased from Company Wrench. Equally important is the equipment service they receive from Company Wrench. It has been exceptional.

“Company Wrench specializes in the scrap and recycling industry, which is very time sensitive. For example, if scrap metal prices are going down 50 dollars per ton next month, and we have 10,000 tons to move, we can’t afford for the equipment to be down. Company Wrench understands the importance of keeping a recycling business up and running,” said Rich.

The Terex Fuchs 5 tine Orange Peel grapple

One of the most versatile material handler attachments Sunshine uses is the Terex Fuchs 5 Tine Orange Peel grapple, attached to their Fuchs MHL360D material handler. According to Rich, Sunshine uses the grapple to demolish, dismantle autos, scrap handle, process concrete, clear land, load gravel, load clay, dig ditches, take down trees and more.

Rich said, “One of the main assets of the Terex Fuchs 5 Tine Orange Peel grapple, is the tremendous amount of closing force, control and security it gives us in handling concrete. We can quickly and securely grab, lift, move and stack a 44,000-pound piece of concrete. The points of the grapple tines are designed so there are many wear surfaces for it to grab. It can forcibly grab a piece of steel bandar and pull it out of the ground. It can remove a piece of rebar from a jaw crusher when crushing concrete. It can grab the side of a massive building and pull it on its side.  It can also grab small and finite things like the fine copper wiring from a car. It can even pick up a plastic bottle of water, without breaking it, and set it back down.”

Rich continued, “One of the best features of the grapple is that the cylinders’ piston rods and hydraulic lines are protected from external damage and impact, making the cylinders very durable. Furthermore, the grapple is built with a protective surface of HARDOX on all its wear surfaces and it comes with hardened manganese steel replaceable tips.”

Modified grapple accommodates aggregate

Since different sized material can pour out of the grapple when loading or unloading a truck or loading a crusher, the grapple had to be modified for use in the aggregate/concrete division. “Big paddles or wings were welded on the side of the grapple in order to hold the rock/gravel in place for handling the dirt and fine gravel,” Rich explained. “The replaceable manganese steel tips resolve the issue of high wear that occurs when handling aggregates.”

Rich added, “The Terex Fuchs 5 Tine Orange Peel grapple is a very user friendly, intuitive piece of equipment. The control and versatility is unparalleled in the industry. It’s like an extension of your hand.”

Other attachments play an important role at Sunshine Recycling

Sunshine uses three LaBounty®  CP80 Concrete Pulverizers, mounted to standard excavators. The pulverizers are used to remove rebar and preprocess concrete before it is crushed in the aggregate yard. The CP80 was designed for quiet and controlled demolition and recycling of concrete bridge decks, walls, floor slabs, foundations, silos, culverts, encased beams, pre-cast materials, railings and similar materials. It excels in separating concrete from rebar by producing two recyclable products.

A LaBounty MSD3000R hydraulic shear is the tool of choice for demolition and recycling operations when Sunshine needs to cut and process steel. Since LaBounty Mobile Shears were engineered for scrap metal processing, demolition and road/bridge reconstruction, building demolition and wood demolition and recycling, they are a perfect fit for Rich’s operation.

Sunshine also uses two LaBounty BLS80 bucket linkage shears for processing ferrous material sent to steel mills. The BLS80 is basically a miniature version  of the LaBounty MSD3000R hydraulic shear; however is far cheaper to run and better for cutting and thinning smaller material. LaBounty BLS Bucket Linkage Shears were designed specifically for cutting light to medium size material such as structural steel, pipe, rebar, tires and concrete, as well as for processing ferrous material for steel mills.

Rich concluded, “When we started Sunshine 18 years ago, we didn’t even own a forklift. Now Sunshine is a 75 acre facility with three divisions. They all prosper and do well because of the great efforts of our 46 employees and staff, and because of the involvement of the community. Together we can make a difference. To be successful these days, everyone must pull in the same direction. It’s a team effort. If you don’t think it is, think twice.”

For more information on Company Wrench, contact Dick Mizzell, Southeast regional manager, at 803-206-6900 or 803-642-0060.


Joe Rich wins South Carolina’s Orangeburg County Economic Development Ambassador of the Year Award

Award presented at the 23rd annual Industry Appreciation Week, held in March 2014 in Columbia, South Carolina. 

“Sunshine is very humbled and honored to have received this award and while we would love to take credit for where we are as a business, that is not the reality or the truth,” said Joe Rich upon receiving the Development Ambassador of the Year Award. “This award for economic development is really a tribute to all those that have gone before us, that worked hard and were dedicated for many years to lay the ground work for the opportunities that Sunshine Recycling has benefited from along with the many other businesses in the community and the state.”

“To insure future growth and opportunities not just for our community but for South Carolina, business owners must carry on the hard work that was laid down in front of us. We recognize that even if a business doesn’t locate in Orangeburg County, we service companies in four states. That hub of development is important to us; anywhere that new businesses set up shop within proximity to us is good for all business in Orangeburg County,” stated Rich.

Rich continued, “Sunshine has always encouraged and participated in the economic development of our community.  We do this because the recycling business is very reliant on the community in which they operate; the more successful the local and state business community is the more successful Sunshine will become. We are blessed to be in a county and state that works hard, together, to grow the local and state economy; a county that supports the county council, the public service, the private sectors, the local manufactures and businesses by aggressively recruiting and retaining businesses and industries. Economic development takes the educators, politicians, fire fighters, police, business owners,  every single element working together in a common goal of strong economic development for both current and future generations.”




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