Cooper Recycling completes $2M expansion in Monroe

Cooper Recycling’s new sensor sort machine takes auto shredder residue (ASR) and removes fine pieces of copper wire and stainless steel, saving the materials from the landfill.

OVERTON COUNTY – An Upper Cumberland recycling firm recently completed a $2 million expansion of its Overton County facility – the company’s first addition since breaking ground there in 2009.

Cooper Recycling, a nearly 30- year old business that specializes in metal processing, recycling, car crushing/bailing and more, added new equipment, called a sensor sort machine, at its Monroe shredder facility. Construction on the project started in August and wrapped in January.

The equipment will take shredder waste, or auto shredder residue (ASR), and pull out fine pieces of copper wire and stainless steel – saving those materials from the landfill, said Steve Cooper, owner, Cooper Recycling. The equipment sits on a recently poured one-acre concrete pad.

“It will help us be more profitable, too,” he said. “It should bring our revenues up about $100,000 a month.” Cooper said it’s the first expansion of the Monroe facility – which sits off Highway 111 – since the $10 million, 16-acre site was complete in 2009. Cooper Recycling operates two other locations in the UC – including facilities in Livingston, on Airport Road, and Sparta on South Carter Street.

In Monroe, Cooper shreds items like junk cars and appliances. Cooper says they collect scrap within a 160-mile radius, including Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

With the new equipment, he says they’ve added five new workers. The company employs 80 across the region, from truck drivers to equipment operators, clerical staff and more.

He expects the company to continue to grow as technology improves. Cooper Recycling financed the equipment purchase.