Modesto Junk Co. celebrates 100 years

California scrap metal firm was founded in 1920.

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March 17, 2020

Modesto, California-based family scrap recycling business Modesto Junk Co. Inc., established in 1920 by Alex Highiet, is celebrating 100 years in operation this year.

The company is now in its fourth generation of family ownership, according to Keith Highiet, the firm’s president. Keith is joined at the family firm by his father Jeff and his sister Alexis. Keith’s grandfather Harvey, who was founder Alex’s son, helped lead the firm until his death in 2014.

A March 15 article by the Sacramento Bee newspaper and website quotes Highiet family members as citing devotion to customer service—including fair prices—as the foundation of Modesto Junk Co.’s multi-generational success.

The company won a state small business award in 2008, and its attention to operations and service were portrayed in a 2005 Recycling Today article.

Jeff Highiet tells the Sacramento Bee that Modesto Junk Co. planned no special celebrations to commemorate its 100 years in business. Instead, he commented, “We’re going to celebrate by working each day.”

Reached by Recycling Today, his son Keith pointed to the emerging COVID-19 coronavirus situation as yet one more reason for Modesto Junk Co. to keep its eye on day-to-day operations. “It's times like this now—with the current coronavirus situation—that we rely on our many years of experience and relative preparedness to get us through to tomorrow, business-wise.”