Month late: Scrap yard to debut 'METAL' program

As previously reported, the CEO of the company that operates the Meade Avenue scrap yard long known as Coiner's Scrap Iron and Metal had promised to relaunch walk-in sales to artists and others in February.

"So I called the Charlottesville office," says artist Mike Fitts, who was featured in the Hook's story, "and they said they knew nothing about opening up again for walk-in sales."

Ditto for David Slezak, Director of Community Service at Tandem Friends School, and a former Boy Scout troop leader, who is advising an Eagle Scout candidate on putting up a bluebird trail.

"We need one-inch scrap metal pipes to mount the bluebird houses in public areas," says Slezak. "We used to get them from the scrap yard when I was a troop leader."

After calling, he says he emailed the company headquarters to complain.

Well, the company, Cycle Systems, seems to have finally gotten the message.

According to company spokesperson Jennifer Villa, the company is in the process of launching a program called 'Material Every Talented Artist Loves,' or METAL, in March at the Charlottesville location.

"We are in the process of developing a more robust initiative that will suit the needs of the Boy Scout troop," Villa says in an email. "Once a month, on a Saturday, we will open up our facility to allow artists– or any in the community, young or old– to enable them to purchase materials for their needs."

Villa goes on to say the Roanoke-based firm is finalizing requirements for the program, such as requiring long pants, hard-soled shoes, and signed liability waivers. Hard hats, she says, will be provided. The firm is also investigating safety concerns related to young children.

"We apologize for any confusion," says Villa. "We pride ourselves in making sure every customer leaves happy."

Beginning on March 31, the Cycle Systems facility at 100 Meade Avenue will welcome artists and other scrap combers on the last Saturday of every month from Noon to 1pm.

"Cycle Systems has long seen the potential for turning scrap into art," said Brenner in a company release. "We routinely commission art made from scrap for our locations throughout Virginia, and we're pleased to launch a program dedicated to making it easier for artists to find unusual and interesting material to create art in our community."


It's "troop" leader....

It's so relaxing, searching for that piece of meal of just the right dimensions, or having that perfect potential, kind of like beach-combing, or gazing at pebbles in a stream. I can't wait.
Thank you, protestors, for appealing this to Cycle Systems.

@Hey now: Thanks for the sharp eye on the spelling of troop. Fixed now!--hawes spencer, lazy editor

@hawes - never would I use the term lazy and your name in the same area...

I do like the idea of further recycling the metal there but I can see so much potential to do other things for the community too. How about contests of local artists creating items which proceeds could go to charity? Or perhaps the winner would be one of the "Art In Place"?

I'm all for making it easier to buy some of the cool things that get taken to Cycle Systems BEFORE they get melted down (and shipped to China) but Cville Native's idea seems backwards to me. It would be a much better idea to take most of the "Art in Place" monstrosities to the scrap yard than to mine the scrap yard to make more ugly public art.

Glad they've seen the light. Now, if we could just get an attitude adjustment of the "lady" at the window. Surly and self-important.

I think that lady doesn't get fired because she knows about how CS takes in and smashed air conditoners, etc without checking for refrigerant.

They just make you sign a disclaimer (when you leave) which is in English, a strange language not practiced by a good number of their peddlers.