Oral history interview with George and Arthur Weinstein in preparation for the 2014 Scribe with a focus on Jewish scrap metal dealers.
George came to Vancouver from Romania as a child in 1928. His father Isador made a living as a peddler with his horse and buggy. George remembers helping his father process scrap throughout his childhood. In 1952, they founded Allied Salvage & Metals at 315 Powell Street. George's son Arthur also remembers helping his father as a youth and officially started working with the business in 1965. In the 2000's Arthur purchased the current location on Mitchell Island and continues to expand their services. Arthur's son Ian became an employee in 2003, carrying on the traditions of this true family business.
George and Arthur Weinstein are owners of Allied Salvage whose mission is to ensure top scrap metal recycling productivity, while maintaining a positive work environment and demonstrating loyalty to their employees and all of their customers. They aim to ensure that their family values as an organization are kept in line with their environmentally sustaining business practices. Their vision is to be the lower mainland's leading scrap metal recycling yard.
Allied Salvage is, and has always been, a family business. The company was initiated by Arthur Weinstein's grandfather, Isador Weinstein, in 1952. Isador's son, George Weinstein, joined the company shortly after its inception. Arthur Weinstein, the current director and grandson of Isador, first became involved with the company in 1965 during his teenage years. Arthur Weinstein's son, Ian, has now been employed by Allied Salvage since 2003. The company's history spans more than 50 years and four generations. In addition to being family owned and operated, Allied Salvage was founded upon, and has developed around, family-oriented values.
Isador Weinstein, deeply committed to conservation and recycling, was a visionary ahead of his time. The founding principles of his business were the reduction of needless waste and the preservation of natural resources. During a period in North American history not typically noted for its environmental consciousness, Isador took his anachronistic concerns for the natural world and implemented them practically through a corporation; Allied Salvage provided an early precedent for the profitability of ecological business models. In addition to applying his concern for the environment to his business, Isador Weinstein also instilled environmentally conscious values in his descendants. Just as the reins of Allied Salvage have been passed down from father to son across four generations, so too have the original values and principles that inspired the formation of the business - environmentalism, conservation, recycling and hard work -passed from father to son. To Arthur Weinstein, the scrap business is tantamount to "mining the surface of the world", decreasing reliance on conventional mining and prolonging human access to natural resources.