Editor's note: This is one in a series of profiles of businesses nominated for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Small Business Award.
Thanks to a remodeled office building, landscaping and general cleanup, the old junkyard north of 21st and Mosley has never looked better. It turns out the changes are more than cosmetic.
“We’re not like a normal junkyard,” said Clint Cornejo, who owns AllMetal Recycling with his cousin, Kolby. “Our goal is to be the new image in metal recycling.”
AllMetal is one of the nominees for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Small Business Award for “tier two” businesses — those that employ 26 to 100 people.
While AllMetal still buys and sells metal from the general public, about 80 percent of its business today is with commercial and industrial buyers and sellers of the stuff.
That’s a big change from when the Cornejo family took over the business. The cousins’ fathers, Ron and Marty, got into the scrap metal business by buying Caster Iron in 2009. After selling their construction business, Cornejo & Sons, in 2010, the family bought Kamen Recycling and several smaller businesses and consolidated them into the former Kamen property on 21st Street. Kamen had been in business since the late 1800s.
Clint and Kolby started working at AllMetal after college and bought it from their fathers in 2015. At first, Clint said, the company dealt more with the general public. The goal was to make it “clean and friendly” compared to competitors. “It’s inviting for the public to come to our yard and get service in a safer environment. We do all that stuff — old appliances, scrap automobiles.
Today, however, the company gets most of its metal from manufacturers in the aerospace and agricultural industries, refineries, fabrication shops, construction and demolition sites and other sources, often setting out and collecting containers in Wichita and the surrounding area. The company even stations employees at some busier sites to manage the scrap stream.
“They (customers) want to make airplane parts, they don’t want to handle scrap,” Cornejo said. “We try to provide different services than our competition and not be just a scrapyard.”
The company employs about 75 people, ranging from mechanics and welders to office personnel. The company handles both ferrous metals — those containing iron — and non-ferrous ones such as aluminum.
AllMetal doesn’t melt down scrap metal, but rather sorts, processes and packages materials — by crushing cars into “bales,” for instance — to be sent directly to mills that do, located around the United States and world. Ferrous metals are shipped out via the railroad while non-ferrous metals go out by 18-wheelers. The railroad access “gives us the capacity to reach out to more markets and be aggressive on pricing, which in turn allows us to be more aggressive on the buying side.”
Non-ferrous metals bring a higher price. The prices of some metals change daily.
“It’s definitely a commodities-based business,” Cornejo said. “We’re always following the copper markets, aluminum, nickel.” AllMetal sells new and used metal through a sister company, AMR Steel & Supply, located next door.
Clint said Kolby handles most operations at AllMetal while he concentrates on business development and customer relations. But, he added, “Titles don’t really mean much to us. We’re here every day and involved in all aspects of the business.”
He said he’s heard appreciative comments about the company’s spruced-up look. “It was definitely a project,” he said. “We had a vision in mind. We just got after it and make it happen. The people of Wichita have obviously taken note of it. We hear great things.”
Address: 800 E. 21st St.
Owners: Clint and Kolby Cornejo