Emergency Material Services logo
Scott Pollan

Scrap industry professional launches metal trading, services business

Chicago-based Emergency Material Services, focused on ferrous metals, supplies scrap, manages material flow and coordinates labor teams.

August 25, 2020

A couple of years ago, Scott Pollan says he saw an opportunity to start a metals trading and labor services business. 

In January 2019, Pollan officially launched Emergency Material Services LLC, Chicago. The new metals trading and labor services business is focused primarily on ferrous metals. Pollan says the business supplies metal scrap to Chicago-area recyclers and models material flow in facilities to optimize fuel usage and promote safety. 

In addition, Emergency Material Services helps to coordinate short-term labor teams for light- and medium-industrial manufacturers. Pollan says the company recruits teammates on a project-by-project basis. “The company maintains a database based on availability, qualifications and pay rate,” he says. “Labor hours add up fast, so I strive to lead lean and effective teams.” 

The company also facilitates transportation logistics for producers of industrial metal scrap. 

Recycling Today recently connected with Pollan to learn more about his new business venture.

Laura Suprenant Photography
Scott Pollan

Recycling Today (RT): What prompted you to start Emergency Material Services last year?

Scott Pollan (SP): I never sat down and thought about it. Obviously, there is a date of incorporation, but the process was more organic than an instantaneous eureka moment. Clients reached out to me, and it wasn’t small talk; they had material emergencies, and I had solutions. 

RT: In addition to leading Emergency Material Services, you’re also working at a Chicago-based precious metals trading firm Zaner Group currently. How are you juggling time between the two jobs?

SP: The Zaner Group team has a proven track record of being industry experts. Matt Zaner, Peter Thomas and Tom Garland know what a metals business needs to do in order to mitigate commodity price risk. If I want to achieve the goals I have in mind, I need to know how to mitigate price risk, too. 

How do I manage the time? Mr. Zaner and I work together to create a schedule that meets his needs and achieves our parallel goals. 

RT: Ferrous scrap is your new business’ specialty, but do you handle any materials in addition to that?

SP: Emergency Material Services can handle all grades of metal and nonmetal recyclables. My practical trade experience opens the door to new material streams. Trades are typically based on the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ material grading system.

RT: Do you work with scrap yards or go direct to mills with clients’ materials?

SP: Emergency Material Services can transport materials to scrap yards, mills and other industrial processing facilities. Every client has different needs, and I work to meet the customer’s quality specifications.

RT: What are your plans to grow the business?

SP: [That] Emergency Material Services retains clients. When you get down to the brass tacks of running a company, client retention is what builds a brand -- repeat customers and completed projects.