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Berger Recycling Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Mon November 19, 2012 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The newest Bobcat loader — an M-Series S750 — easily handles scrap metal with a Bobcat industrial grapple and bucket.
The newest Bobcat loader — an M-Series S750 — easily handles scrap metal with a Bobcat industrial grapple and bucket.
The newest Bobcat loader — an M-Series S750 — easily handles scrap metal with a Bobcat industrial grapple and bucket. (L-R) are Charles, Adam and Sam Sinel of Berger Recycling. Charles and Sam are grandsons of the founder, Hyman Berger, and Adam is a fourth-generation family member who works for the company.

A giant mural painted on the side of one of its buildings celebrates the 100th year of Berger Recycling in Pawtucket, R.I. The artwork, 100-ft. long and 15-ft. high, highlights local landmarks along with the people, processes and equipment that have made the family-owned business so successful.

Among the items pictured in the mural is a Bobcat skid-steer loader, a fixture on site for almost half the time the company has been in business.

“Bobcat equipment has been important to us, so it’s only fitting that we include one of the loaders in the artwork that illustrates our history,” said Adam Sinel, vice president of operations. “We don’t think any other machines would stand up to the abuse we put our loaders through. This is a very tough work environment, and for decades our Bobcat loaders have been exceptionally reliable.”

As a result of the long record of dependable performance, the company currently owns six Bobcat skid-steer loaders to move materials around the 3-acre recycling center — a new M-Series S750, two S300s, two S130s and a 753, along with attachments such as an angle broom, pallet forks, industrial buckets with grapples and snow/light material buckets.

Four Generations Old

Today the firm is owned by Sam and Charles Sinel, grandsons of the founder, Hyman Berger. Their father, Abe, ran the business until his unexpected death in 1958. At that point, their mother Edith took over and spent about a decade in charge until her sons joined the business. Adam, son of Charles, is the fourth-generation family member to work at the company.

When asked about Berger Recycling’s history with Bobcat equipment, Sam readily produced a bill of sale dated Nov. 19, 1965, when Edith purchased an M444 Bobcat loader for $3,120.

“Since that day, we have never used another brand,” Adam said. “Other manufacturers have tried to sell us machines over the years, but just by looking at their loaders, we knew they wouldn’t hold up as good as Bobcat equipment. Just one example — the Bobcat tailgate is as rugged as they come; the others looked like they would rip off or puncture in a second. It’s just not worth it to have anything other than Bobcat loaders working in these conditions.”

And when it comes to work, the machines are kept plenty busy around the recycling facility.

Material, including scrap metal, waste paper, plastic, electronics, wire, textiles and batteries, are brought in six days a week, often dumped on the ground, sorted by the loaders, and then carried to the conveyor system that delivers it to the balers. The final products are bales ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 lbs. (454 to 1,360 kg).

“We use the S130s to handle the lighter material such as paper,” Adam said. “Those smaller machines are fantastic. At times we use them to go into a truck box and grab containers of waste paper and loose cardboard. One of our loading docks has a very narrow turn so the S130s are valuable in navigating through that area.

“The bigger machines — the S300s and the new S750 — have the power to handle scrap metal with ease,” he continues. “They take a beating, but are extremely durable. We also use them with the angle broom and water kit to clean up, both inside and outside.”

Better Visibility, Improved Uptime

The M-Series S750 has more than met the expectations of the owners and operators. The sealed, pressurized cab not only keeps out dust and noise better than other machines, its forward-design cab offers a wider view of the work area. And the cab has more space for the operator to improve comfort and productivity.

To maximize uptime, Bobcat M-Series loaders have hydraulic pressure-release quick couplers integrated into the loader lift arm, and a guard provides further protection. Additionally, the M-Series model has a lower rear frame that extends past the tailgate to protect the loader from damage, which is especially beneficial in harsh operating conditions such as recycling facilities.

“It’s a phenomenal machine,” Adam said. “My family has seen firsthand how Bobcat machines have improved for 47 years, and the S750 certainly continues that trend.”

This article was reprinted with permission from WorkSaver Magazine, Fall 2012 Issue.

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