Curbside recycling collector, That Metal Guy, one of hundreds in London who take what city won’t

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

When you kick old electronics or a worn-out appliance to the curb, the city won’t take it for recycling but it usually disappears, anyway.

So, where does it go?

Cue Tony Laviolette, also known as That Metal Guy.

Laviolette’s a full-time recycler — one of hundreds, he says, in London.

“Some people just go for bikes. Some people just go for appliances. Some people just go for the precious metals: copper wire, cast aluminum, stainless steel, brass. Then there are the guys that go for everything.”

Laviolette is a guy who goes for everything.

He’s been in the business of recycling for six years.

Laviolette takes what the city won’t from the curbside; appliances, electronics, barbecues. What the city leaves behind, he’ll pick up — for free.

When he started recycling full time, Laviolette says he would pick up 300 to 400 pounds of metal a day at random.

Now, he tracks daily recycling zones, drives through the appropriate zone multiple times a day and does individual pickups. He says he averages 8,000 pounds a day.

Most of what he picks up he is compensated for at one of the metal recycling yards in London. With what he can fix, the self-taught repairman will refurbish and keep, sell or give away.

Earlier this summer he partnered with a Tim Hortons in St. Thomas to auction away 25 bikes that he repaired. The proceeds were given to Tim Hortons Children’s Camp.

Laviolette says he works between three and 18 hours a day, seven days a week and does all the lifting himself.

As a full-time scrapper, Laviolette supports himself and his four-year-old daughter, who lives with him part time.

Laviolette is also working on a documentary about his life as a full-time recycler. With the self-made film, he’s hoping to bring light to a field of work that he wants recognized with legitimacy and as a profession.

“My whole point is to raise awareness. People in my industry who do what I do need proper training and they need funding.”

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search



Leave a Reply