A small beginning can lead to a big future. Just ask Pat McInroy, owner of P&M Recycling Depot, in Whitehorse.
“Our first day we thought we were going to set the world on fire, but had it not been for the bottle drive I’d done at my own house, we probably wouldn’t have made very much money at all. Back in my single days, my roommate and I had a few pop cans lying around,” he says with a smile.
“That first day brought in about six dollars. So, in the beginning there were a lot of cribbage games and gazing into the future. Turned out it worked, and, 14 years later, here we are.”
Pat’s father, Joe, started the business with a focus on recycling non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, and brass. In June 1998, the opportunity came to expand into a bottle depot and processor. Sadly, six months after that, Joe passed away.
“But you’ve got to keep working,” McInroy says. “He’d be mad if I didn’t. That’s the way he was, and he was a pioneer in the waste industry and the recycling industry. I’m just trying to keep his legacy going.”
For the first four years, P&M worked out of a small portion of its current building, tucked away near the clay cliffs, in downtown Whitehorse, on Ray Street.
“Quite honestly, we didn’t need two staff at the beginning. Now, we have 10 staff,” McInroy says of the growing operation.
Initially, the depot relied on commercial customers, like bars and restaurants, but over the years more households are bringing in everything from bottles and cans, to cardboard and magazines.
McInroy says the strength of the business has been in its convenient location downtown and that P&M will sort customers’ recyclables for them.
“That gives us our little niche in the market, and now it is quite a convenience for people,” he explains. “We’ve just tried to offer the best service that we possibly can to Whitehorse and Yukon residents.”