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

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Background

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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!

LiveChat

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

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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

Tune into WBBM 7780

Check out WBBM 780 AM for our Radio Ad!  Email info@blduke.com today to see how we can revolutionize how you recycle.

Listen on June 20th at 5:49AM or June 21st at 5:41AM or 7:50AM!

WBBM Newsradio –  780AM

Scrap yard in Joliet

We’re excited to announce B.L Duke has grown!  Over the last six months we’ve added 28 employees, 10,000 tons per month and a 25-acre scrap yard in Joliet.  This new yard increases our sales territory and offers additional competitive advantages.

“The Joliet yard expands our service range south and west of the Chicago metro area. With logistics being our biggest expense, the second location now allows B.L. Duke to be more competitive in this region,” says B.L. Duke’s VP of Sales, Marissa Plucinski.

With the addition of two of the largest ferrous balers in the region, we’ve tripled our baling capacity to over 1000 tons per day. Conveniently located on the Des Plaines River and equipped with two barge docks, dual balers and  two CN Direct rail spurs, B.L. Duke is the only scrap metal company in the Chicagoland area servicing industrial customers with balers and barge access.  These resources allow B.L. Duke to drastically decrease transportation cost and market materials to both domestic and international markets.

“This new facility gives us a competitive advantage,” states Lou Plucinski, B.L. Duke’s President and CEO.  “The additional barge access allows B.L. Duke to take advantage of what has been stronger southern and international markets.”

With a focus on transparency and responsiveness B.L. Duke has complemented this expansion with the roll-out of new GPS logistics technology.  B.L. Duke is arming drivers with tablets that enable customers to track real-time pick-up information, pictures and load details.

We are grateful to our customers who partnered with us through the downturn.  B.L. Duke is committed to revolutionizing the recycling industry while sticking to our core values.  Our growth can be attributed to our willingness to innovate,  focus on new technologies and emphasis on safety and efficiency.

For a fresh look at your recycling program, contact B.L. Duke at 773.778.3000 or info@blduke.com.

AMM-logoIn a recent interview with American Metal Market Daily, B.L. Duke President Lou Plucinski discussed the advantages that small- and mid-size scrap metal companies like B.L. Duke experience during down markets.

He attributes his company’s recent success to the company’s size and agility.

“Being our size allows us to be more flexible to our customers. We can go anywhere fast. Mill demand changes fast, and being able to be flexible in shipments and grades helps mills as well,” Plucinski said.

Plucinski also discussed the impact that the recent drop in ferrous scrap prices has had on the industry as a whole. B.L. Duke’s edge through the downturn was attributed to taking a fresh approach within the industry.

“We know the stigma scrap metal companies have, and B.L. Duke is truly revolutionizing the industry because we have brought a new level of transparency with customers with groundbreaking software systems that allow customers full access real time,” said Plucinski.

Read the full article, Small Yards Have Edge During Downturns, Exec at www.amm.com.

B.L. Duke delivers customized recycling programs with game changing efficiencies.  Established in 2000, we’ve integrated recycling, logistics and demolition to deliver programs that streamline operations. Learn more about B.L. Duke at www.blduke.com.

For a fresh look at your recycling program contact B.L. Duke at 773.778.3000 or info@blduke.com.

Crain’s Chicago Fast Fifty CompaniesWe’re more than excited to announce that B.L. Duke was chosen as one of Crain’s 2015 Fast Fifty Companies! Every year, Crain’s releases their infamous Fast Fifty list, which recognizes companies that have shown significant growth over a five-year period.

According to Brigid Sweeney of Crain’s Chicago Business, “B.L. Duke was recognized because the company has grown nearly 300 percent over the past five years by recycling metal, plastic and cardboard refuse, processing it and selling it to steel mills and end consumers.”

The list includes Chicagoland companies from the IT, Healthcare, Construction, Transportation and many more industries and we’re honored to be the only company representing the recycling industry this year.

President

Lou Plucinski, President

“We’re humbled to have made the list among so many notable companies.  It’s an honor to be recognized,” said President & CEO Lou Plucinski.  “I remember not that long ago loading our first truck and today due to the tenacity and creativity of our team we’re shipping multiple commodities via barge on a monthly basis.”

When Lou was asked what is currently spurring our rapid growth, he explained without hesitation, our sales and operations staff.  B.L. Duke has been successful at acquiring new market share but even more successful at retaining it.  We can only attribute that to our team creates great relationships and delivers on what we promise.

B.L. Duke’s team is revolutionizing the recycling industry.  We’re committed to evolving our practices as the industry needs change.  We recently invested in the latest technology in scrap management which creates a new level of communication and transparency with our customers.

For a fresh look at your recycling program, contact us at info@blduke.com or call 773.778.3000.

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Happy Earth Day! We spent the morning celebrating with St. Symphorosa’s fourth graders. St. Symphorosa is located in Chicago, IL.  The 4th graders were tasked to make crafts out of recycled items and all proceeds from the sale of these items were donated to an ecological cause!

Earth-Day-7-576x1024The money raised from selling the recycled projects is going to Living Lands and Waters and also to sponsor an animal at Brookfield Zoo. Living Land and Waters is a 501 (c)(3) environmental organization that hosts river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other key conservation efforts along the Mississippi River.

earth-dayWe had a great time at St. Symphorosa celebrating Earth Day and supporting students’ efforts to raise funds for a great cause!

Typographic Earth Day Poster

We’re excited to announce our new mobile website – www.blduke.com! Our team has dedicated time and energy to create a mobile friendly website with your needs in mind. At B.L. Duke, we strive to keep up-to-date with the newest technologies, focusing on those to help you operate more efficiently and provide recycling management tools at your fingertips! The new website has many new features including scheduling a pick-up from the convenience of your smartphone, keeping up with the latest news and market prices, or simply getting directions to our facilities.

Schedule A Pick Up

Customers can conveniently contact dispatch

Mobile Website Schedule A Pick Up

Latest News

Stay up to date on all relevant market information, company news, etc.

Mobile Website Latest News

Directions

Turn by turn navigation

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If you’re reading this on your desktop – please check us out on your smartphone or tablet. We always welcome any feedback at B.L. Duke, in fact we encourage it!  Please send us any questions, comments, or suggestions. Contact Us

IMG_0974-31Whatever the scope of the task at hand, B.L. Duke is dedicated to providing a solution for our customers. On October 17th, 2014, B.L. Duke was contacted by a long time customer to salvage and recycle a construction barge that had broken in half and sunk in the Chicago RiverThe 200′ long barge was being used to haul clay from a high rise construction project before it sunk in the West Loop between  Lake and Randolph street bridges.

As the General Contractor, B.L. Duke’s main goal was to safely raise the barge from the bottom of the Chicago River and transport it to a dry dock to be cut up and recycled.  The endeavor was a coordinated effort that included Clark Construction, Ozinga, Thatcher Construction and Roy Strom Trucking and Excavating.  Understanding the urgency of the situation, these great Chicago establishments leaped in with both feet, immediately allocating resources to the project.  The US Coast Guard and Chicago Police Marine Division provided assistance with coordinating commercial and pleasure boat traffic safely around the wreck site.  The Army Corps of Engineers and the USCG Salvage Engineers in Washington D.C. consulted on the salvage plan and issued permits for the operation.

screenshotpic-300x166City-300x225This was an extremely time sensitive operation.  Not only was the barge blocking the way for commercial traffic on the Chicago River, the O’brien locks on the Cal Sag was scheduled to close for reconstruction the 1st week of November.  This closure would block the only other waterway connecting Lake Michigan with The Chicago River, The Illinois river and ultimately the Mississippi.

On November 7th, the barge was successfully resurrected and floated downstream to a safe area in shallow water out of the way of traffic. Many techniques were used in the salvage including but not limited to:  De-watering of the barge tanks using special underwater salvage hatches and utilizing 40′ steel tanks that were floated inside the sunk barge to provide mid-ship buoyancy.  Since the barge was broken in half, another 200′ barge was secured to the side to provide longitudinal stability for the trip downstream.  Two tug boats were needed for the transport. Egan Marine answered the call with their 2200 horse power 120′ tug, the “David E.” and The “Keiley E.”

B.L. Duke will process and recycle over 550,000 lbs of scrap metal. To learn more about B.L. Duke’s recycling programs and value added services, contact us today.

CTA-RAIL-1024x576B.L. Duke was awarded the bid to remove and recycle 85 Chicago Transit Authority Railcars. These cars have been in service since the early 1960’s and are nearing the end of their lifespan. According to the CTA, over1,300 railcars currently operate over 8 routes.

 

As a part of Building a New CTA and Building a New Chicago, “The CTA has programmed $455.1 million over the 5-year period for the purchase of new 5000 Series railcars. The new cars will replace the 2200-, 2400-, and 2600-Series rail cars that have reached the end of their useful service lives.”

B.L. Duke has a competitive advantage with our vertically integrated Recycling, Demolition, and Logistics divisions. According to Lou Plucinski, President of B.L. Duke, “We provide a multitude of services which allows our customers to consolidate vendors and operate more efficiently; saving them time and money.” B.L. Duke is the first recycling company to be awarded the business that has the capability to not only recycle, but also transport the CTA rail cars. We own and operate the heavy equipment and trucks needed to safely handles these railcars.

Please contact us at B.L. Duke today for more information on how we can help your company or municipality recycle.

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