P&M Recycling Depot is sorting out what Yukoners need
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.”
Besides service, another important part of the depot is sports. McInroy grew up playing several sports, which is why P&M sponsors everything from hockey and soccer, to broomball, curling, and baseball. Trophies and photos hang on the walls in McInroy’s office, and he’s quick to show off the latest additions--top awards from the 2012 Dustball Softball Tournament for the women’s team (Yukon Gold) and men’s (P&M Recycling Guns).
“With the Guns, it’s a team that some of us started when we were around 19 years old, and obviously those guys playing now are much better than I ever was. So, they continue playing, and I continue watching and sponsoring,” McInroy says with a laugh.
“If you keep [children] active and out of trouble they will develop a teamwork ethic. I think that’s incredibly important.... If it’s a couple of dollars to facilitate kids having a good time and if they remember my name in 20 years, great--so be it. And if they don’t, at least they got to play baseball, and I’m happy about that.”
McInroy’s easygoing nature is palpable--he admits his staff don’t call him “Sir” or “Boss”; it’s just “Pat”--but he’s a businessman through and through with an eye on where to go next. He says the future is bright with the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon Government setting targets to increase recycling territory-wide by 2015.
“In three short years there’s a lot of work to be done.... A lot of people want to recycle; they’re just not sure how to do it,” McInroy says. “I enjoy nothing more than going to businesses and saying, ‘Well, this is a problem, but we can fix it.’ I think it’s going to be an exciting time to be a recycler in the territory.” Y