B.L. Duke Named Finalist for Fastmarkets AMM Awards

B.L. Duke is pleased to announce that they have once again been named a finalist for Fastmarkets AMM Awards for Steel Excellence in the Scrap Metal Company of the Year category. This is the second consecutive year that B.L. Duke has been named a finalist.

Adding to B.L. Duke’s 2019 success’, we were recently named one of Crain’s Fastest Growing Companies for the 4th time!  Every year, Crain’s compiles a list that recognizes Chicago-area companies for significant growth over a five-year period.  B.L. Duke has made the list in 2015, 2017, 2018, and now 2019.  This year, we were ranked number 24 out of 50 companies.  Since last year, we have increased our yearly revenue by 34% and have added over 10 new employees to our team.  We are extremely proud of all our accomplishments and growth over the last year. Lastly, we are grateful for our team for their hard work and dedication to making B.L. Duke a bigger and better company year after year. 

2018 Fastmarkets AMM Finalist
2018 Fastmarkets AMM Finalist

“From officially launching our new stevedoring and storage division, B.L. Duke River Transport, to investing in technology and equipment that’s elevated how we do business, 2018 was another game-changing year for our company,” said Lou Plucinski, President & CEO of B.L. Duke. “I’m personally very proud of our team and all the work they’ve put forth that’s helped us gain this recognition.”

Every year, Fastmarkets recognizes the highest achieving companies for world-class innovation in steel and related industries. The finalists for 2018 span across 13 categories including flat steel and tube and pipe producers, raw materials providers and recyclers, as well as purveyors of financial and legal services critical to the industry, among others. Winners across all categories will be announced on June 18, 2019 in New York City.

Chicago Scrap Metal Recycling

“Firms that are finalists embody best-in-class practices as measured by global standards. This year’s outstanding finalists demonstrate that innovation and initiative are powering the industry’s strength and resiliency,” Fastmarkets’ CEO Raju Daswani said in a press release.

2018 was a continued year of growth and expansion for B.L. Duke, also named one of Crain’s Fast Fifty for the second year in a row. In addition to this recognition, B.L. Duke launched B.L. Duke River Transport on a 30.5-acre property with a 250,000 square foot warehouse, added a second peddler buy back, re-invested in new equipment, implemented groundbreaking new technology to serve their customers, and added 33 new team members, including an active member of the Air Force Reserves. They also donated time and money to local charities.

“We’re honored to be nominated among many important players in our industry and look forward to even more innovation and growth in 2019 and beyond,” said Plucinski.

For more information, contact Shannon Collins, at scollins@blduke.com or visit blduke.com.

Would you be interested in locking in your scrap price for anywhere from one to twelve months in the future? If so, B.L. Duke can now offer you a fixed price with customizable terms. No more waiting month to month to find out what you are going to get for your material.

We can offer these fixed prices through the utilization of scrap futures to hedge the risk. A hedge is an investment that reduces the risk of adverse price movements to a specific asset. In this case, that asset is your scrap metal. Whether you have a project on the horizon where you will be producing an abnormal amount of scrap or you produce a steady amount of scrap per month, we can help reduce scrap market risk by selling futures contracts for the months you expect to sell us the material.

How does it work? We enter into a written agreement whereas you agree to sell B.L. Duke a committed number of tons per month for an agreed upon period and B.L. Duke agrees to pay a fixed dollar amount for that period, regardless of market conditions. Think of this as an insurance policy on your scrap metal revenue for the agreed upon period. This will allow you to forecast your scrap revenue over a given period without the worry of markets going down. The fixed price would be established on the day that you committed to it as we will be utilizing futures markets to allow us to provide this fixed price to you. In order to make it worthwhile for both parties, we suggest that the tonnage covered by this agreement be a minimum of 1,000 tons over the period of the contract.

“Hedging scrap market risk by utilizing scrap futures is an innovative way that can help mitigate exposure to the scrap market in 2019,” says Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke.  At the November 2018 Fastmarkets AMM Conference in Rosemont, ferrous scrap futures were a key topic along with freight rates, the zorba market and the automotive outlook for 2019.  According to an article posted on the AMM website, Five things we learned in Chicago, the Section 232 tariffs have heightened volatility and uncertainty in 2018, which have increased the need for better price risk management tools.

Contact your B.L. Duke buyer today to set up a time to discuss your recycling program and how we can lock in a scrap price free from fluctuations. Follow B.L. Duke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for news and market updates in the steel and scrap metals industry.

We’re more than excited to announce B.L. Duke was recognized as one of Crain’s Fast Fifty Companies for 2018! Each year, Crain’s releases its Fast Fifty list, which recognizes Chicago-area companies that have shown significant growth over a five-year period.  This is the second time we’ve made this list; with the first time being in 2015 for growing nearly 300 percent in five years.  Between 2013 and 2017 we’ve grown over 400%!  In 2017, we increased sales revenue by 65% and added 32 employees to our workforce.

We’ve had so many exciting happenings in the last year, it’s hard to keep up.  This year we were also named a finalist for the 2018 American Metal Market’s Steel Excellence Awards in the Scrap Metal Company of the Year category. In addition, we recently completed plans to double our footprint with the acquisition of the Gerdau Rolling Mill next to our Joliet campus, which will allow us to plan for additional products and services that will pass on even more cost-savings and conveniences to our customers. Check out our NEW division B.L. Duke River Transport, which offers stevedoring and indoor/outdoor storage services for your finished steel product. With our prime location on the Des Plaines River in the Chicagoland area, BLDRT provides cost-saving transportation efficiencies through transloading to rail or truck direct to your facility.  On July 30th, we also announced the Grand Opening of our over the scale business in Joliet and are now open to the public.

Lou Plucinski, President & CEO

“It’s truly an honor to be named among the impressive list of honorees across many thriving industries,” said B.L. Duke President & CEO Lou Plucinski. “Hands down, this recognition is the direct result of the hard work of our team. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together as a company in the past few years.”

For more information or a list of services you can check out our website at www.BLDUKE.com or call 773-778-3000 and ask to speak to a sales team member.

scrap metal price

There are major scrap metal price changes unfolding for both the American Metal Market and Scrap Price Bulletin.  These changes will have a direct effect on the Chicago’s scrap market.

Just 6 months ago, we shared that the  American Metal Market  (AMM) divided the Chicago market into 2 categories:  Historical Footprint and Expanded Footprint.  The Historical Footprint is the original

Chicago Scrap Metal Recycler

Source: American Metal Market – Example of Historical vs Expanded


“Chicago” index.  The Expanded Footprint, introduced in January 2018, includes prices from 3 additional central Indiana steel mills and one Iowa steel mill.  The AMM has published both indexes in tandem since January 2018.  According to the AMM’s newest article in regard to the matter, “effective July 2, 2018 the words “historical” and “expanded” will be removed and Chicago Expanded will permanently replace “Chicago Historical.” The index will be renamed “Chicago” with the additional mills included in the price assessment.

Chicago is the first region to include remote scrap pricing in an “Expanded Footprint.”  The mills included in the new expanded footprint have historically had to pay premiums to compensate for the additional freight from Chicago.  AMM published both indicators in tandem for 6 months to give users ample time to adjust contracts to work with the new assessment.

Some AMM commodities like, Cut Structural/plate, No. 1 Bundles, and No. 1 Busheling have aligned seamlessly between the Chicago Historical and Expanded indexes.   However, Machine Shop Turnings, No. 1 Heavy Melt, and No.  2 Heavy Melt have seen the largest disparity with an average difference of $15/gt.  “The change in prices is a non-market adjustment and not a monthly price move,” AMM states.

Scrap Metal Price Chicago

In similar news, AMM’s sister publication Scrap Price Bulletin (SPB), previously known as Iron Age, will discontinue its own pricing.  Based on a period of feedback, SPB’s Ferrous Scrap Price’s will mirror AMM’s Consumer Buying Prices.  Some of the general changes will include one single value price instead of a range (High Side-Low Side) and adopting the AMM schedule.  Prices will settle before the 10th of each month. The point of this proposed publication is to focus more on pricing used in the North American Region, especially consumer buying prices.  The goal is merge the two publications to ensure the same prices.  This new change will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

For more information on the new scrap metal price structures, contact us or call us at 773-778-3000 and ask to speak with one of our sales team members.


We here at B.L. Duke are pleased to announce that we have been named a finalist for the 2018 American Metal Market’s Steel Excellence Awards in the Scrap Metal Company of the Year category. Winners will be announced on June 26, 2018 at The Edison Ballroom in New York City, New York.

“We’ve worked hard over the years to deliver outstanding customer service and revolutionize the scrap metal recycling business,” said our President & CEO, Lou Plucinski. “It’s an honor to be named a finalist among so many great companies in the industry.”

Every year, American Metal Market recognizes the highest achieving companies in the steel industry for innovation and initiative across multiple categories. This year’s finalists total 53 companies across 15 categories. Finalists were selected by senior American Metal Market editors, and those entries will be scored by steel industry veterans who serve as judges to select the winners. B.L. Duke is the only finalist from the Chicago-land area. Other finalists in the Scrap Metal Company of the Year category include Ferrous Processing & Trading Company, Liberty Iron & Metal Inc, PSC Metals, Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc, Sims Brothers Recycling, Triple M Metal LP, and W Silver Recycling Inc.

“We have big plans in store for 2018,” states Marissa Plucinski, VP of Sales. “They include innovative technology and additional scrap processing capabilities that deliver excellent customer service and unbeatable pricing.”

This recognition comes after a year of continued innovation and growth for us. In 2017, we increased sales revenue by 65% and added 32 employees to our workforce. In addition, we recently completed plans to double our footprint with the acquisition of the Gerdau Rolling Mill next to our Joliet campus, which will allow us to plan for additional products and services that will pass on even more cost-savings and conveniences to our customers.

For more information or a list of services you can check out our website at www.BLDUKE.com or call 773-778-3000 and ask to speak to a sales team member.

B.L. Duke Metal Recycling Coat Drive

The end of the year is always filled with excitement! With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, people shift their focus onto holiday parties, door busting deals and New Year’s Eve plans. We find it important to remember that it is also the season to be grateful.

B.L. Duke will continue our commitment of being active in the community by hosting a coat drive for Pillars Community Services.  We’re looking for brand new winter coats and accessories (hats, scarves & gloves) for children ages 0-6 years old. B.L. Duke will be collecting monetary and new coat donations through December 13th. Industrial Buyers Shannon Collins and Kaylee Garvey will then use those funds to buy new coats and deliver them to Pillars Community Services on December 15th. Email sevoy@blduke.com or kgarvey@blduke.com if you would like to get involved, we can even arrange trucking if you need your donations picked up!

Scrap Metal BL Duke Chicago Coat Drive

The end of the year also brings us time to reflect. B.L. Duke has been blessed this year, giving us the opportunity to give back as often as possible. This year B.L. Duke teamed up with the Illinois Trucking Association to deliver goods and supplies to those affected by Hurricane Harvey down in Houston. We collected donations at our Forest View and Joliet locations from employees and customers. We are proud of our efforts and are pleased to say that we collected a full semi-trailer load of supplies for those in need.

B.L. Duke also hosted its annual Breast Cancer Research Foundation fundraiser at our Forest View Processing Yard. This year, we raised money in a new way. We hosted our first “Tacos for Ta-Ta’s” party to help raise funds for breast cancer research.  B.L. Duke donated over $2,000 generated from our over the scale business from this event to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!

From the B.L. Duke family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year.

This month we are proud to be celebrating our 17th anniversary! Today, more than ever, we are laser focused on our mission.  “We are revolutionizing the recycling industry through technology and transportation efficiencies to drive responsiveness and maximize client value.”  The following video features our Joliet yard and showcases our growth and capabilities.

“Looking back at the last 17 years I’m most proud of the B.L. Duke team.” states Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke.  “We’ve adapted to the most challenging market conditions and continued to grow to become one of the top leaders in the industry.”

Since 2000, we’ve taken an integrated personalized recycling approach.  Today, we are able to offer our customers greater value than ever before.  We owe this success to our two convenient scrap processing locations and our new state of the art technology system, allowing us to be transparent through real-time load tracking.

Within the last year of the Joliet expansion, it’s abundantly clear why this move has set us apart in the industry. Our processing and freight capabilities, visibly highlighted in our new video, are the reasons behind this success.  This facility coupled with the tenacity of our team will drive our growth into the next phase of B.L. Duke.

Reach out to us if you are interested in touring our Joliet yard in person!

About B.L. Duke
B.L. Duke is an industry leading scrap metal recycling company in Chicago. Established in 2000, B.L. Duke has revolutionized the Chicago recycling industry through technology and transportation efficiencies to drive responsiveness and maximize client value. For a fresh look at your metal recycling program, contact B.L. Duke at 773.778.3000 or info@blduke.com



Duke's Donations: B.L. Duke Hurricane Relief


B.L. Duke is teaming up with the Illinois Trucking Association and collecting supplies to help those in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Donated items can be brought to the following locations:


B.L. Duke Headquarters                             B.L. Duke Processing Yard                         B.L. Duke Processing Yard
6470 West Canal Bank Road                     6400 West Canal Bank Road                     2 Genstar Lane
Forest View, IL 60402                                Forest View, IL 60402                                 Joliet, IL 60435

Monday, September 11 – Wednesday, September 27
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

We can also send a truck to pick up your donations!

For more information please contact Industrial Buyer, Bobby Brown at 773-778-3000 or bbrown@blduke.com


  • 5-Gallon Buckets
  • Adult Diapers
  • Baby Diapers
  • Baby Formula
  • Baby Powder
  • Baby Wipes
  • Batteries
  • Bibles
  • Bleach
  • Brooms
  • Contractor Type Trash Bags
  • Cordless Power Tools
  • Dog & Cat Food
  • Empty Spray Bottles
  • Face (dust) Masks
  • Fans
  • Fashlights
  • Hammers
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Ladders
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Nails
  • Paper Towels
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Tampons
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bath Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Portable Lights
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Shop Rags
  • Shop Vacs
  • Shovels
  • Sponges
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Sheetys
  • Utility Knives

B.L. Duke is proudly sending down a FULL trailer load of donations to Houston today, September 29, 2017! Thank you to the B.L. Duke team, our customers and colleagues. We’d like to recognize Tri-State Disposal​, Fiber Drum Sales​, Industrial Gas Engineering​, and Freeman Co.​ for their very generous donations. Thank you for coming together to support those in need.

Hurricane Harvey Donations


BLDukeSalutesPeriodically B.L. Duke will introduce a member of our family. We feel it’s important to help you put a face to a name and to salute a team-member for their ongoing dedication.

Shannon Evoy – Sales Manager


Day to Day at Duke

It is that time again, when B.L. Duke would like to salute one of our very own.  Shannon Evoy started her role here as an Industrial Buyer and Social Media Coordinator in 2012 and since then has grown tremendously.  October is the perfect month to recognize Shannon as she is a breast cancer survivor!

Before starting her career in scrap metal, Shannon worked in the financial industry.  However, her roots are deep in manufacturing and packaging within her family’s business.  With a background in public relations and marketing, Shannon has taken B.L. Dukes capabilities to a new level with her hard work and dedication.  Her energy is contagious and she exemplifies B.L. Duke’s Core Values.

Shannon’s main position remains on our sales team as a Sales Manager.  She also manages all of B.L. Dukes social media and marketing outlets.  She is a role model in the industry as the Vice President of the AWMI Chicago Chapter and will be the President January 1st.



Background & Family Life

Shannon grew up in Evergreen Park, IL then moved to Palos Park, IL.  Irish Dancing for the school of Lavin Cassidy played a big part in Shannon’s childhood, dancing for over 12 years.   She attended Marist High School and was part of the second coed graduating class.  She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a minor in Spanish at the University of Iowa.


When she’s not working, Shannon religiously practices yoga and enjoys spending time at her lake house in Sister Lakes, Michigan. Shannon lives with her ‘man friend’ Kevin Collins and her rescue puppy, Madison.  Shannon and Kevin have been friends since high school and look forward to getting married in September 2017!


Shannon is breast cancer survivor.  Shannon was diagnosed with Triple Negative, Stage 2 Breast Cancer in July of 2015 and officially beat cancer in January 2016.  In December 2015 her mom, Lynne, was also diagnosed with the same form of cancer.  During cancer treatments, Shannon continued working. Shannon’s positive attitude kept her going throughout the challenging journey.  Today, Shannon and her mother Lynne are cancer free and a perfect role models to live each day to its full potential!

B.L. Duke is holding a fundraiser in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month again this year … stay tuned for more details!

Jim Schulte – Industrial Buyer

Dispatch Manager

Jim Schulte joined the B.L. Duke family in July of 2011 as an Industrial Buyer and is known around the office as “Lance.” Previously, Jim worked in both the financial sector and construction industry.  Jim is truly an asset to the team; not only does he have an understanding of the markets but he’s also taking on more projects as a Demolition Manager.

Day to Day at Duke

Although Jim’s official title is Industrial Buyer, he wears a variety of hats. Besides working in the sales department concentrating on business development and customer retention, Jim also works with Duke’s Demolition Division. His latest challenge has been marketing non-ferrous commodities and sharing his market perspective via the Latest News Section of our website.

“I truly enjoy coming to work every day  I am fortunate to work with great people who have taught me about an industry I had no prior background in.  If you would have told me five years ago that I would be working in “scrap” I would have told you, you’re nuts!” Says Jim.Schulte-Fam


Background & Family Life

Jim was born in Blue Island, IL on the Southside of Chicago and was raised in Orland Park where he graduated from Carl Sandburg High School. He attended the University of Iowa where he received a BA in Political Science.  It was as the University of Iowa where he began dating his wife of 3 years, Jacquelyn. This last August the Schulte Family welcomed their first child, Danny, into the world. Besides “babysitting” as he likes to call it, Jim enjoys spending time at his family’s cottage in Sister Lakes, Michigan, golfing and cheering for the White Sox!

The Duke family would like to salute Jim for exemplifying B.L. Duke’s Core Values.  “One of Jim’s noticeable strengths is that he is so well rounded, states Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke.  “He has a firm grasp of not only operations and marketing but also the economics of running a business.  Jim makes big pictures decisions for the good of the whole company not just to benefit himself.”

Please contact Jim Schulte for more information or any questions regarding scrap metal pricing.

Mike Matyas – Logistics Manager


Mike Matyas joined the B.L. Duke family in June of 2008 as our Logistics Manager. Soon after his first day he earned the nickname “Jimmy.” Bringing over 28 years of experience to the B.L. Duke team, Mike’s logistical knowledge has been invaluable.

Mike acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise from his time working for Pennsylvania Truck Lines and Allstate Delivery. “Mike is the heart of our trucking operations,” states Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke. “He manages the service needs of our customers and the demands of our fleet and drivers. This is not an easy job!”

Day to Day at Duke

Giving Mike the simple title of Logistics Manager is an understatement. He wears many hats throughout the day managing all of B.L. Duke’s daily dispatch movements, fleet and drivers. Mike also oversees our maintenance and safety programs, as well as DOT regulations. “Recycling was a new industry for me when I joined B.L. Duke in 2008. I learn something new every day! I really like the people I work with; B.L. Duke is my second family,” says Mike.


Background & Family Life

Mike has been married for 27 years to his best friend and lovely wife, Nancy. Mike and Nancy have two children, Kevin and Kimmy, and two grandchildren. Mike grew up in the Southwest side of Chicago in the Garfield Ridge area. Outside of work, Mike spends his free time during the summer in his pool and working in the yard. He loves golfing, watching just about every sport on TV and is a self-proclaimed die-hard Cubs fan. Mike is looking forward to spending time with his family, closest friends and chocolate lab, Stoshu, this holiday season.


The Duke Family would like to salute Mike, a k a “Jimmy,” for his hard work, long hours and dedication!

Please contact Mike Matyas with any questions.

Mark Reilly – VP of Operations

Vice President of Operations

Mark Reilly joined the B.L. Duke family in May of 2008 as our VP of Operations. Relocating from St. Louis, Mark brought the perfect synergy to our team. His expertise of non-metallic recycling was the perfect marriage allowing B.L. Duke to offer recycling solutions for not only metallic materials but also non-metallics.

Day to Day at Duke

Mark manages all activities at our Ferrous Processing yard, including 28 yard personnel over 2 shifts – 6 days a week, all inbound and outbound loads and 35 pieces of scrap handling and processing equipment.

“I love working at B.L. Duke because there are no 2 days that are the same. I enjoy the challenges and obstacles in which we overcome as a company on a daily basis,” says Mark.



Mark was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri (GO BLUES!). Before joining our team, Mark was the General Manager for a waste hauling company, transfer station and landfill in St. Louis. He received his BS in Education from West Virginia University and his MS in Education from Southwest Baptist University. While attending WVU, Mark played soccer all 4 years and was named All American.

Family Life

Mark has been married to his lovely wife Brenda for 7 years and has 2 daughters, Emma and Jayesa. Some of Mark’s favorite hobbies include golfing, fishing, boating and biking.

The Duke Family would like to salute Mark for his accomplishments and continued success.

Please contact Mark Reilly with any questions.

At B.L. Duke we’re always striving to offer a fresh approach to the recycling industry.  We’re excited to unveil our new and improved website.  It offers a new look and cutting edge features to make communicating with our team a breeze!


B.L. Duke New Website

Looking for a quick response on the ETA of your pick-up or need to know what our receiving hours are?  You can now reach one of our team members with any questions via LiveChat!    We value your time and want to make it convenient for you to connect with us.  The application is user friendly and another way for anyone to reach out with a faster and more convenient response.   B.L. Duke is the first scrap company in Chicago to offer this technology and will be available via LiveChat Monday – Friday, 9AM-5PM.

Schedule A Pick Up

Schedule A Pick Up New 2

We have also redesigned our Schedule A Pick-Up application with you in mind.  Over the past year, we’ve received several suggestions on how to improve this application.  You can quickly jump on our website and fill out all the necessary info to schedule service.  Shortly after, a B.L. Duke team member will reach out to confirm the pick-up. However, you can still call us at 773.778.3000 or email dispatch@blduke.com to schedule a pick up!

For more information on how B.L. Duke can revolutionize how you recycle, please contact us at info@blduke.com