by Shannon Murphy, Organization Committee Member
The business was founded by David Friedland, an immigrant from Latvia who settled in Lansing and began trading objects as a peddler. This eventually evolved into scrap processing, said Mike Bass, current vice president of the company and David Friedland’s great grandson. Bass said Friedland Industries plays an essential role in the process of recycling – They are one of the few places that take in large metals from manufacturers, bulk paper from local businesses and household items from residents.
“You can bring (your washer and dryer) to a place like us, we process those, upgrade them to the highest commodity as metals, then sell them to mills,” Bass said.
The company also prides itself on community involvement, and recently won the 2015 Old Town Business Partner of the Year Award.
In addition, they offer a free document destruction day at the facility open to anyone with paper that needs to be recycled or destroyed – this year’s event is April 16 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The company is also a major part – and sponsor – of the popular Old Town ScrapFest. The festival is July 16-17 this year. The event starts with teams picking out 500 pounds of scrap metal from Friedland, then having two weeks to create a piece of scrap art. The sculptures are put on display during the festival and are auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction are shared by the artists and the OTCA. Friedland is a major sponsor of the event, and Bass serves on the Old Town ScrapFest committee.
Recycling is a way of life in Old Town, and nowhere is that more apparent than at ScrapFest…and nobody demonstrates that better than Friedland Industries.