In Memoriam: Harry Kletter

Scrap industry veteran was CEO of ISA Inc., Louisville, Ky., for several decades.

January 7, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

Harry Kletter, founder of and long-time officer of Industrial Services of America Inc. (ISA), Louisville, Ky., has died at the age of 86.

Kletter started his scrap recycling business as Tri-City Baling Co. in the early 1950s. He took the company public and changed its name to Industrial Services of America in 1969. The company diversified into waste hauling, national waste handling contracts and equipment manufacturing.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Harry’s passing. Harry was an important person in my life and was the reason I originally came to Louisville,” says Sean Garber, current president of ISA. “Harry was an important person to all of us, and we are very saddened by this news. The entire ISA family extends its deepest condolences to the Kletter family.”

Kletter became a director of ISA in 1983 and served as the company’s chairman and CEO for nearly 30 years. Kletter resigned as CEO in May 2013 but remained chairman.

In 2003 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), now known as the National Waste & Recycling Association.

In 2009 Kletter took part in Recycling Today’s Heritage Roundtable, a partial transcript of which can be found here.

ISA was the subject of a Recycling Today profile in September 2000 featuring extensive comments from Kletter that can be found here.