Member Feature: United Metals Recycling

If someone offers you a pair of headphones with an invitation to listen to Metal Monday, you might be surprised to find that it isn’t an Iron Maiden medley at the start of the week, but rather a podcast hosted by scrap metal masters Brett Ekart and Nick Snyder.

“We decided to start podcasting as a way to help promote our company, our customers, and the recycling that happens behind the scenes in Idaho,” said Brett, the CEO of United Metals Recycling. “We have a lot of customers doing great things and this is a platform to cross-promote them.”

Metal Monday is just one piece of the podcast suite produced at United Metals in Boise, Idaho. Episodes of Recycled Idaho and A Scrap Life tell the stories of Idaho businesses and beyond as they shed light on recycling and environmental stewardship through the voices of manufacturers and industry experts. This creative approach to marketing is just one reason the recycling company has flourished for nearly 50 years. 

Founded by Brett’s grandpa, Bert Ekart, in 1972, United Metals Recycling has grown through the acquisitions of United Electronics Recycling, Barger Mattson Auto Recycling, and many ferrous and non-ferrous processing facilities in Boise and Twin Falls. Now, with recycling yards in Boise, Twin Falls, Payette, Caldwell, and Heyburn, Idaho, and La Grande and Baker City, Oregon, United Metals is the region’s foremost expert on transporting and processing scrap metal.

“The heart of our business is servicing manufacturers,” said Nick, the United Metals purchasing and marketing director. “As they go through their daily production processes, they have end-of-life material like metal scraps that they need to get rid of. It’s important they get those materials moved out quickly and they might as well make some money doing it. That’s where we come in.”

End of life materials from manufacturers include aluminum shavings from machine shops, die cut trims, excess trailer decking, wiring, and everything in between. But United Metals, who prides themselves on exceptional customer service, supports more than enterprise-level recycling.

“We’re involved with all sorts of industries like construction, utilities and manufacturing, but we’re also here to help the ladies who save their pop cans and the folks who need to get rid of the old car that’s been sitting on the side of their house,” Nick said.

As United Metals solves waste problems for local businesses and the community, they’re also addressing larger environmental needs. By recycling more than 100 million pounds of material per year, they’ve reduced landfill volumes throughout the Northwest and provided individuals and organizations with alternative ways to dispose of their waste material.

“We’re damn good at taking care of our customers and we’re committed to the areas we serve,” said Brett.

Brett and his team of nearly 200 employees are not only committed to the work they do across the region, but also to the manufacturing associations they are a part of, including the Idaho Manufacturing Association (IMA).

“We’ve found that you get out of it what you put into it, and that’s why we remain highly involved in local organizations like IMA and the Idaho Towing Association,” Brett said. “These organizations are dedicated to protecting and promoting their members’ best interest throughout the state.”

Brett emphasized that by having a seat at the table in the manufacturing industry through their IMA membership, United Metals is positioned to learn more about the problems manufacturers face and collaborate to find solutions that benefit everyone involved. The values of collaboration and inclusion extend to how Brett and his team interact with and train their employees.

“We’re a recycling company, but our employees wear a lot of hats,” he said. “That’s valuable to our team, our customers and to the industry as a whole.”

Delve deeper into the story of United Metals Recycling at