In the early 1980’s, Jimmie Carr Foss, Sr., while being in the “new parts” business began purchasing salvage vehicles. Located within the city limits of LaGrange, N.C., the town respectfully requested Mr. Jimmie Carr to relocate. He willfully obliged and in 1981, Mr. Jimmie Carr built the original cinder block building that housed Foss Auto Salvage of LaGrange, and now houses LKQ. It was during this time with approximately 200 cars on hand that Mr. Jimmie Foss, Jr., with no prior experience, took over the operation.
In 1992 Stephen Foss graduated from Liberty College and began operation of Foss Auto Salvage of Greenville, N.C. The businesses worked independently of each other but after substantial growth the two brothers joined forces and began Foss Auto Recycling, Inc.
In 1994, with an eye towards expansion, property was purchased in Havelock, N.C. A decision was made to lease the property and not open a third yard. With that same eye towards expansion they purchased a location in Jacksonville, N.C., in 1995. Things were going well; scrap cars prices were good so they expanded into the Automobile Crushing Business. One crusher and one crew soon turned into three crushers and three crews. Unfortunately, without a clear strategic plan and the tightening of financial resources a short sighted decision was made to sell the crushers and pull back the reins of expansion.
Operations were status quo the next few years until 2001 when they purchased another Automobile Crusher. Business was good and by 2006 Foss had three crushers with two full time crews. In 2004, Foss purchased their fourth location in Durham, N.C. It was also around this time the idea was floated that they should consider putting scales in at all yards and look into metal recycling. Since they were already recycling crushed cars, metal recycling would be an extension of that business.
In March of 2006, Foss became a full-fledged scrap metal recycler at all four locations. By adding both large and small scales they were now a metal recycler and a salvage yard. With continued growth, the three headed business model of metal recycling, salvage yard (selling used parts), and automobile crushing was joined by another related business. In 2008 Foss opened their first U-Pull-It (customer pull their own parts) at the Greenville location. About that same time, the Havelock leasee opted out and that property became available. The Havelock N.C. location was designed with a U-Pull-It in mind, and Foss opened their fifth location late in 2009. The new business model was seeing continued growth so U-Pull-It’s were added in Jacksonville and LaGrange (The Durham yard did not have the necessary acreage to sustain a U-Pull-It).
In 2010 an offer was made an accepted from LKQ to purchase the salvage business and the Greenville U-Pull-It. Selling the salvage business allowed Foss Recycling to focus their energies on Recycling, Crushing, and U-Pull-It. In 2011 a fourth Crusher was added along with a third crew. This crushing crew operates out of southern Virginia and draws on a new customer base. With a new name, Foss Recycling, Inc. moved their Greenville operation across the street and continued business as a metal recycler. In LaGrange, they moved next door to an adjacent piece of property and constructed one of the finest recycling facilities in the Eastern United States.
In 2012 Foss Recycling purchased two existing metal recycling facilities located in Creswell N.C. and Belhaven N.C., from Poor Boys Iron & Metal. These locations were turnkey and transfer of operations was seamless. That same year, Foss Recycling purchased land in Wilson N.C. and opened a metal recycling facility in the city limits of Wilson. Additional property was purchased adjacent to the recycling center in Wilson and with a U-Pull-It in mind. This U-Pull-It opened in 2017.
In 2013 Foss Recycling purchased a salvage automobile location in Kinston N.C. This location was immediately converted to a metal recycling center with part of the property operating as a U-Pull-It. The Kinston location closed in 2015 due to the proximity to the LaGrange operation (only twelve miles apart). Another purchase was made in late 2013 in Chesapeake V.A. This location is unlike any of the other businesses because it operates solely as a U-Pull-It.
In April 2015, Foss Demolition was formed. Foss Recycling had been a participant in the demolition industry through its recycling arm and the decision was made in 2015 to form a separate entity for demolition. The thought process behind this new venture was that demolition work goes hand in hand with recycling. For years, Foss recycling had knocked down buildings, cleared property, and cut up and removed large obsolete equipment. Both businesses use high dollar equipment, trucks and trailers, and deal with lots of recyclable material. Jimmie and Stephen Foss are the majority owners, but two other partners were brought on board completing the newly incorporated business. In an effort to house the Demolition Company and obtain a strategic location in the western part of N.C, a closed recycling center was purchased in June 2015 in Gastonia N.C. This location currently operates as a metal recycling center and houses part of the demolition company. If all goes as planned, the facility will open a U-Pull-It in 2019.
In December 2015, after months of court proceedings and negotiations, an automobile shredder facility in Reidsville N.C., was purchased. This purchase changed the landscape for Foss Recycling, Foss was able to eliminate a middle man in regards to metal/automobile recycling. The material and automobiles they purchased could go straight to their shredder. Along with the Reidsville purchase, a location in Lynchburg V.A., was part of the deal and that location, while being a lease, began operations at the same time.
In February 2016 the Creswell location closed. Creswell was a lease property with the lease nearing its end. The assets were targeted to be moved to a location yet to be purchased, but negotiations had been begun for a location inMebane N.C. This location was opened in March 2016 as a feeder yard to the Reidsville shredder.
The Demolition Division was quite successful but there was some thought that strengthening the Interior Demolition and Asbestos arm of demolition would allow us a competitive advantage in a very saturated marketplace. In April 2016, Allied Contract Group was acquired by Foss Demolition. Mr. Mark Umbarger and his staff brought years of experience and expertise with this acquisition.
The shredder in Reidsville, a 2,500 horsepower Wendt, has the capacity to output 6,000 tons of shred. Foss initially was outputting 3,500 tons of material. In 2017 a decision was made to increase the output and to help achieve that goal, two additional feeder yards were purchased. The location in Providence N.C. serves the Danville Virginia area processing scrap metal. In November 2017, a location in Winston Salem N.C. was purchased, this location was fully operational with full service parts, self-service parts (U-Pull-It), and ferrous scrap. We narrowed the focus on the parts side keeping the self-service (U-Pull-It) while expanding the ferrous scrap processing to include non-ferrous.
The opportunity to add another shredder came about in late 2018. After calculating available shred feed from the six yards located in the East, a decision was made to purchase Duke Recycling in November 2018 in Halifax N.C. This is a 4,000 horsepower American Pulverizer, with the capacity to output 6,000 tons of shred.
There had been discussions for several years to add a Brokerage Division. A metal trading division would allow for larger volumes of material being bought and sold. The amount of metal being generated in-house with fifteen locations and two shredders was enough for Foss to make the leap and start the Brokerage Division in April 2019. The Brokerage Division is staffed with four full time Account Representatives conducting business all over the world.