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Mining companies get behind Scrap Cancer campaign

November 25, 2013
by Heather Campbell
In: News

Turning scrap into cold, hard cash

Left to right are Dan Poirier of Vale; Tannys Laughren, executive director, Northern Cancer Foundation; Dave Duncan, mine manager, Copper Cliff Mine, Vale; Christine Harvey, marketing coordinator, BM Metal Services; and Roger Hines, Copper Cliff Mine, Vale, in front of a bin for collecting scrap metal.

Asking for money is standard practice in fundraising, but the Northern Cancer Foundation will also take scrap metal. Toasters, lawnmowers, boilers, cars, whatever. BM Metal Services, a division of Milman Industries, and other Sudbury area companies are turning scrap into cold, hard cash.

When BM Metal Services called Northern Cancer Foundation executive director Tannys Laughren with the idea, she didn’t think they would make very much money but was willing to try. That first year, they made $21,000 – far more than she expected.

BM Metal Services, a waste management and metal recycling company, partnered with the Northern Cancer Foundation to help collect and process the scrap.

The company manages the entire process, including collection, preparation and selling of the metal.

“This campaign is a fairly simple marriage for us,” said Shayne Smith, general manager of BM Metal Services. “We were looking for an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the community. My parents are cancer survivors and many of our employees have been or are touched by cancer. It is a noble cause to get behind.”

Donations are welcome at their yard, or can be dropped off in bins located at a number of locations around Sudbury.

The Scrap Metal campaign runs every October. The money raised for the Northern Cancer Foundation remains in the community and supports research, patient care and the acquisition of new equipment.

Vale and a few other mining and supply companies came on board in the second year of the program, almost doubling revenue to $35,000.

“Health Sciences North joined in as well, donating an old boiler that brought in $12,000,” said Laughren.

And one anonymous donor left a large ice machine by the bin recently.

Dave Duncan, mine manager at Vale’s Copper Cliff Mine, is hoping for still more community involvement. “Anything from around the home can be donated,” said Duncan. “Steel tables, chairs, lawnmowers. It is a great way to give to a good cause while recycling material that might otherwise end up in the garbage.”

Copper Cliff Mine won the Scrap Cancer Cup for 2011 and 2012, donating the most scrap metal. Carriere Industrial won in 2010.

To build on the success of the campaign, more bin locations are being added and more businesses are being recruited to help out. BM Metal Services will drop off a bin at any business interested in participating.

Long-term plans include starting more scrap metal campaigns in other northeastern Ontario cities.

Last year, the campaign brought in $65,000, prompting participating companies to raise the bar even higher in future years

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