Thinking Recycling

Interview with Having Steenhuis, Owner of Steenhuis Recycling B.V.

Having Steenhuis, Owner of Steenhuis Recycling B.V.

Environmentally friendly disposal of iron, metals, but also batteries and computers as well as plastics is more important today than ever, since environmental protection and a livable future have moved up to the top of the priority list. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Steenhuis Recyling B.V. has roughly tripled its activities in the last ten years and has established itself as a specialist for professional and environmentally friendly recycling in the German and Dutch markets.

A look at the website of Steenhuis Recycling B.V. reveals impressive figures: Just short of the end of 2023, many transformers, metals, and over 48 million kilograms of iron have been recycled. "Recycling has become an absolute necessity," says Having Steenhuis, owner and 3rd generation of the family business founded almost 100 years ago, which today also dismantles large plants and machinery.

Steenhuis Recycling Own Fleet of Vehicles
Steenhuis Recycling takes care of transport with its own vehicles
Steenhuis Recycling On-site Dismantling of Machinery and Equipment
Employees carry out the dismantling of machinery and equipment on site. Thus, every object is ultimately transportable

His great-great-grandfather used to trade in rags. Later on, with each generation, a specialization occurred and today 40,000 to 50,000 tons of scrap and metal are handled annually. "We offer a good service and are extremely reliable," says Having Steenhuis. "At the same time, we think along with our customers. We would prefer to be involved from the development phase of a new product to consider the 'End of Life' aspect. When creating something new, one should also consider what happens to a product afterwards. It is important that it can be recycled."

We want to become super ‘green’

Recycling should be integrated into the production process right from the start to save time, energy, and above all, valuable resources. Because the environment is an aspect that will be the decisive factor in the future of recycling. "Metals are of high value to our customers. That's why a good basis of trust is needed so that I can pick up the goods without paying for them right away," explains Having Steenhuis. "We have customers in the Netherlands and in Germany. Before we win a customer in Germany, we have to provide more service. But once we have won them over, they stay with us – some customers we have had for 50 years, real relationships have been established. Then customers are also willing to pay higher prices."

Steenhuis Recycling Headquarters in Winschoten
The Winschoten location offers professional machinery such as hydraulic handling cranes, forklifts, and metal presses

Although Steenhuis Recycling specializes in scrap and metals, it is also allowed to collect soil, sand, and waste. "We have to keep an eye on the cost spiral. If less and less is produced in Germany and the Netherlands because of rising prices, then I wonder where I will get my scrap from. We have to think differently to remain competitive," says Having Steenhuis. In the coming years, the company wants to develop even more towards the environment to be truly super green – step by step.