Southern Metals Recycling, Inc traces its roots to a pushcart operated by Max Alper in New York, NY in the early 1920s. Eventually, Max purchased land in Long Island City and opened a small scrapyard, where he was joined by sons George and Seymour Alper.
In 1951, George and Seymour were tired of the rat race in New York and decided to search for a place with a better quality of life, where they could raise their families. After searching for sites throughout the South, the choices boiled down to Baton Rouge, LA, and Wilmington, NC. They chose to move to Wilmington, and in 1952 they purchased the facilities of Southern Junk at Front and Wright Streets, where they opened Southern Iron and Metal.
In 1973 Southern Iron and Metal opened a second yard behind sister company Queensboro Steel on Highway 421, several miles north of Wilmington. George Alper managed the company, capably aided by Sam Long and “Pete” Bryant. In 1986 the company’s name was changed to Southern Metals Recycling, Inc.
In 1991 Seymour’s daughter Marilyn Alper Davidson became the first member of the third generation to join the firm, where she worked until her untimely passing in 1998. In July 1998, the Front Street facility was devastated by a major fire, and Seymour’s son Jonathan supervised the cleanup and reconstruction. The Front Street facility reopened in July 2001. At that time Jonathan and George’s son, Mark, moved from Queensboro to join the company.
In 2006, Mark’s son Jeremy became the fourth generation of Alpers to join the firm, and he now manages the Highway 421 Facility. Recently in 2013, Southern Metals Recycling opened up their 60,000 square foot warehouse at the 421 location to resell discounted steel and other metals to the public.