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October 09, 2008 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-10-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Business t entrepreneursh

;len
Nest elocirnfi-::,
.:4- -..dent; time Bischer of Macomb
Irnvizhip, treasurer; Sandy For
of Bloomfield Hilt:, CEO; and Ste /en
Po -,4, , n M.D. of Bloomfield Hi/ic, head
of plasttcs and foam

.),'
"

Staff photo by Angie Bean

Greening trend helps
expand venerable
family-owned salvage
company.

Bill Carroll
Special to the Jewish News

I

n 1927, the Rosen Salvage and
Waste Paper Co. in Detroit used 13
pushcarts to collect scrap metal,
paper and other waste. It then sold the
materials to companies so they could
manufacture new products. That's how
Henry Rosen, a Jewish immigrant from
the Ukraine, made a living.
More than 80 years later, his descen-
dants, using the modern name of GLR

Recycling Solutions, based on Groesbeck
Highway in Roseville, have turned the
company into a $65 million a year busi-
ness in a $3 billion yearly industry.
The firm has six buildings on 14 acres,
employs 220 people and now uses 16
trucks to convey almost 200,000 tons
of materials a year to 30 smelter plants
around the world to be recycled for use
in new products.
Better yet, about 350 green-conscious
companies and individuals bring waste
to the Roseville site.
Although recycling can actually be
traced back to the days of Greek phi-
losopher Plato in 350 B.C.E. — arche-
ologists say a lack of certain materials
at that time showed some things must
have been reused — the green move-
ment really didn't pick up momentum in
the United States until 10-15 years ago.
GLR Recycling Solutions has been at

the forefront of that campaign, becom-
ing the largest single-stream recycling
operation in Michigan; single-streaming
allows people to deliver mixed materi-
als, which then are sorted by machine.
"We were in this business before
greening and recycling became fashion-
able," observed Ben Rosen, 84, of West
Bloomfield, who quit high school at 17
to enter his father's business in 1941.
"I figured I'd get more of an education
by learning this business than going to
school, and I'm glad I did because this
was a great business to get into."
He's now president and still comes to
the office almost every day.
The other family members of the
multi-generational business are Ben's
son, Sandy Rosen, 44, of Bloomfield
Hills, who is CEO and vice president;
Ben's daughter, Ilene Bischer, 42, of
Macomb Township, secretary-treasurer;

and Dr. Steve Rosen of West Bloomfield,
who gave up his medical practice to
head the plastic and foam operation. He
still teaches radiology.

Shifting Sands
The company was basically a scrap
metal business when Henry Rosen, who
died in 1973, changed the name to H.
Rosen & Sons and moved elsewhere in
Detroit before Ben took over, called it
Great Lakes Recycling, and brought it
to Roseville in the late 1970s; it became
GLR Recycling Solutions in 2006.
"My father hit it big when he bought
his first truck, a Ford pickup, in the
1930s," Ben Rosen recalled. "He added
more trucks and that enabled us to pick
up materials from the Big Bear super-
market chain, Kresge, Woolworth and

Zoned for Recycling on page A40

October 9 • 2008

A39

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