With a horse, buggy and wheelbarrow, Trijan Industries got its start in 1917 as Petrolia Iron & Metal. “I’m the fourth generation in the business. My great-grandfather, Michael Shabsove, started collecting scrap from area job sites during the oil boom,” says Doug Slipacoff. The business has had a few name changes, locations, and partners over its 100-year history. “My father Lawry Slipacoff took over for my grandfather Robert Slipacoff, and has been in the business for over forty years. My grandfather, along with my Dad, really built up the business after taking it over. I’ve been working with my Dad for eight years now. We’ve made a lot of changes in that time.” Today, they process millions of pounds of scrap each year.
The business is located at 1279 Plank Road, a location they’ve called home for over thirty years. “We rebuilt our yard in recent years. We constructed a brand new 12,000-square-foot warehouse, invested in new cranes, equipment, and a new bailing system,” says Slipacoff. The business is retail-friendly and services the general public and industrial customers. “This industry is evolving rapidly and with the rise in recycling over the last ten years, we needed to invest in new infrastructure. People want to do the right thing and dispose of materials responsibly.” Slipacoff went to school in the United States on a hockey scholarship, and received a Management and Sports Administration degree.
The family-run company has always given back to the communities it serves. “It’s important to support local charities. We are involved with the YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign and have donated to minor hockey, baseball and soccer programs. We also support the arts by donating to events such as Jazz and Blues in the Village, among others.” Slipacoff also gives back by volunteering his time. “As a former college hockey player, I was very involved in coaching at the Junior level, locally. I like working as a team, having that responsibility as a group, and pushing for a common goal. You use those same skills in business.” Trijan Industries has fourteen employees. “Many of our employees have been with us a long time, 20-30 years for many of them. We have a great team and they are all good at their respective jobs.”
While the majority of their business is industrial, the retail side of the business has picked up in recent years. Originally, they saw ten people a day; now it’s closer to fifty. “It’s a small percentage of our business, but it’s an important service for the community. We do e-recycling of old televisions, VCRs, anything with a chip in it.” Technology and equipment have helped the Slipacoffs keep up with the demand. “When you talk about productivity, a lot of equipment has changed, including cranes going from cable to hydraulic. Everything is computerized now, and there is very little downtime. The old cranes used to load a truck in three hours. We can now load that same truck in 35 minutes. Both my great-grandfather and grandfather wouldn’t believe how far this industry has come.”