Community Engagement

Earth Day

As a proud steward of our planet’s natural resources, Schnitzer celebrates Earth Day each year with a day of service in our communities. On Earth Day 2019, many of our employees, along with their families and other community members, businesses, and organizations across all of our facilities and regions participated in the global celebration. Highlights of the day included:

  • Schnitzer volunteered to clean up local parks across our footprint. Employees and family members from our Portland, Oregon headquarters, as well as facilities in Providence, Rhode Island; Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire; Folsom and Fresno, California; Tacoma, Washington; Surrey, British Columbia; and McMinnville, Oregon, participated in cleanup events.

  • Schnitzer partnered with Meeker Middle School in Tacoma, Washington, on a scrap drive where students collected 6,260 pounds of recyclable metal. The proceeds were used to purchase uniforms and school supplies.

  • The Schnitzer Southeast region held their annual customer appreciation cookout, where they gave away seed packets to attendees to encourage tree planting.

  • All Pick-n-Pull retail stores participated in a reuse awareness campaign through radio public service announcements, and through our website and social media platforms. Messages in both English and Spanish raise awareness about the importance of recycling and share tips for reusing and recycling auto parts.

Disaster relief

When natural disasters strike, employees across the Schnitzer family come together to help colleagues near and far. Our charitable foundation, known as Recycling for a Better Tomorrow, helps employees and their families recover from disasters that occur in areas where we operate. When an event occurs, we notify employees by email, on our internal website, and through flyers posted in our facilities. Employees may make donations to the foundation, which are matched by Schnitzer.

Promoting safety in our communities

Schnitzer’s unique business model allows us to contribute to the safety of local communities. For example, unneeded vehicles at Pick-n-Pull yards can be valuable training tools for police and fire departments. Pick-n-Pull locations regularly host K-9 Certification Training for dogs that assist law enforcement officers. The dogs practice sniffing out various materials and, when training is complete, the materials are safely removed by law enforcement personnel. Our yards also serve as a training ground for fire departments, where trainees learn to use specialized tools and techniques for extracting passengers from vehicles in the event of an auto accident.

Captain Anthony O’Brien

These unique training opportunities are only possible through the valuable, long-term partnership between Schnitzer and the Everett Fire Department.

We also enhance safety by keeping weapons out of circulation. Since 2009, the Boston Police Department has brought guns from closed criminal cases to our Everett, Massachusetts, shredding facility, where they are destroyed.

Hunger relief

Schnitzer's National Food Bank Initiative has been in place since 2010. Since that time, we’ve raised almost $2.4 million in non-perishable food donations, cash, volunteer time, and Schnitzer matching cash contributions, which amounts to donating more than 7 million meals to more than 40 local food banks. In Fiscal Year 2019, we ran fall and summer food bank fund drives at our Pick-n-Pull stores that raised more than $230,000 in donations, supporting more than approximately 699,000 meals. At our headquarters in Portland, Schnitzer partners with the Oregon Food Bank. We sponsor a truck that distributes food donations and recently held an office machine scrap drive, the proceeds of which went to support the food bank. In September 2019, Schnitzer was selected as the organization’s Corporate Donor of the Month.

Schnitzer’s Tacoma facility partnered with Meeker Middle School to help establish a schoolyard garden that, beyond growing vegetables, is also fostering environmental stewardship and community involvement. A special education teacher proposed creating the garden to help teach her students about garden maintenance. Produce grown is donated to local food banks and sent home with families facing food insecurity. Schnitzer provided funding to help make the garden a reality.

$2.4 million

raised for food banks
since 2010


We understand the importance of educating the next generation about the value of recycling and sustainability. That’s why we support a number of environmental education initiatives in partnership with schools and organizations near our facilities:

  • Schnitzer is an annual supporter of Civicorps’ Academic & Professional Pathway Program and sponsor of Civicorps’ High School Diploma Graduation for Resilient Young Adults. Civicorps is a charter school located directly across from our Oakland facility and has a recycling program at the school. We’re aligned with their efforts to help Oakland youth find meaningful jobs and promote the value of the recycling industry locally and regionally.

  • In the Northwest, Schnitzer supports and serves on the board of the Tacoma Youth Marine Foundation, which provides an outlet for local youth to learn maritime skills, leadership, and environmental awareness. We also partner with Citizens for a Healthy Bay on cleanups, patrols, and programs.

Monique Valenzuela,
Executive Director,
Youth Marine Foundation

We are grateful for the support of Schnitzer Steel Industries and members of their leadership team. Schnitzer’s support allows the Youth Marine Foundation to maximize its resources and continue to provide life-changing skills and character development programming to the Puget Sound’s diverse youth population at far below market value or no charge.

Meghan Hibner,
Institutional Giving
Manager, Civicorps

Schnitzer Steel is not only Civicorps’ neighbor in West Oakland—they are also one of our key corporate partners and an inspirational example of a company that cares about the local community. Schnitzer has supported the youth we serve by providing internships that serve as stepping stones to living wage careers. In addition, Schnitzer’s financial contributions help us provide the resources our participants need to excel in our program. We are grateful for Schnitzer’s generosity and commitment to young people.

Mentor Mike Grant, Southwest Regional Asset Manager with Civicorps graduate Kevin Saefong, Warehouseman at our Oakland, California, facility

  • Biology and field ecology students from the Lincoln School visited the Everett, Massachusetts, facility in 2019. In their classes, the students had learned about the effect of water quality on marine life, and their visit to Schnitzer allowed them to learn more about real-life applications of water treatment. Students also learned about recycling scrap metal, deepening their knowledge of real-world sustainability practices.

Natalie McKinney,
Executive Director, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation

For over a decade, Schnitzer Steel has been an essential community partner in our work creating a better Hawaiʼi through resource recovery. Schnitzer Steel’s generosity has allowed us to help several hundred schools and thousands of community members engage around environmental conservation and recycling through the Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drives. We are continuously impressed with Schnitzer Steel’s willingness to share resources and support non-profit organizations who are working to preserve this beautiful place.

  • Our Kapolei, Hawaii, metals recycling yard continues to support Aloha Aina Recycling Drives in partnership with the Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation, a non-profit specializing in community- based recycling and education programs. Schnitzer donates all proceeds from the drives to local schools, which are used to purchase much-needed classroom supplies. Our Hawaii facility also participates in the Fishing for Energy Program, through which obsolete fishing gear is sorted for metals recycling by Schnitzer, and non-recyclable material is converted to energy at third-party locations.

Shelly Kroll,
American Red Cross,
Donor Recruitment
Account Manager

The support of Schnitzer Steel is an amazing gift to all who receive blood and are associated one way or another with the need.

Our facilities also support schools through donations of needed supplies. For example:

  • Schnitzer supports Atlanta-area schools through school supply drives and bookbag donations for students in need. We recently purchased basketball uniforms for a local school and hosted a neighborhood block party.

  • We donated bottled water to Etowah High School and Westbrooks Christian School in Attalla, Alabama, for students to sell at athletic events to raise money for their booster clubs.

  • In Puerto Rico, we support schools in the city of Salinas, particularly Felix Garay Elementary School and the local Escuela Superior by donating air conditioning equipment, school supplies, and toys through a local Toys for Tots program.

Helping those with less

At Schnitzer’s corporate office in Portland, we’re always looking for ways to help people in need. We held our second annual blood drive in Fiscal Year 2019. We also host an employee giving event during the holiday season. For our giving event in Fiscal Year 2019, we worked with Raphael House, a local domestic violence shelter, to collect basic items to donate to women and children starting new lives. Pick-n-Pull offers a vehicle donation program that allows owners to sell vehicles while directing the proceeds to worthy causes. In Canada, our charity partner is The Kidney Foundation.

Flavia Robles de la Fuente,
Executive Director,
The Kidney Foundation of Canada

The partnership between Pick-n-Pull and The Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Car program has been going strong for over 20 years. The program supports research to help find a cure for kidney disease. We are proud to continue working together and are thankful for the partnership that impacts so many lives.