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Our History

Far West Recycling (FWR) was founded in January, 1980 by Tom Lindbloom, president of Conifer Douglas Logging in Roseburg, Oregon and Ron Frashour, former plant manager for Independent Paper Stock.  The first facility of FWR was located in Beaverton.  In the first month of operation, FWR sold a combined 100 tons of Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) to Willamette Industries, Albany and Old Newsprint (ONP) to Publishers Paper, in Oregon City.

In February 1982, with financial assistance from Willamette Industries, FWR purchased E-Z Recycling which was located on Swan Island in Portland, Oregon. E-Z Recycling was the recycling division of Fred Meyer.

In the spring of 1985, John Drew joined FWR as an owner/manager at the Beaverton location. John opened a brokerage division to buy and sell the trim from the box plants and materials from pulp and paper mills. In 1988 Ron Frashour sold his interest in the company to John.

The facility at Swan Island became too small for the increased volume of materials and activities at E-Z Recycling. In 1993 a new facility was located in Northeast Portland near NE 122nd. This facility was acquired with Willamette Industries financial assistance, remodeled to meet the needs of FWR, and occupied by September 1993. With the expansion at E-Z, the brokerage division moved from Beaverton to Portland. This allowed additional staff to help increase their business. By the end of 1994 the plants and Sales and Marketing divisions were functioning as equal partners and contributing to the success of FWR.

In 1995 two new relationships emerged, Neighborhood Recycling in Portland and Business Services Hawaii in Hilo, Hawaii. FWR partnered with Margaret and Shon Pahio of Business Services Hawaii to finance recycling equipment and a building so that they could offer recycling opportunities on the Big Island of Hawaii. Neighborhood Recycling became a part of the FWR family in October 1995, when one of the oldest recycling facilities in Portland was in danger of closing their doors. After years at its historical location at Fred Meyer’s headquarters complex, Neighborhood Recycling relocated in 1997 to SE 28th and again in 2007 to SE 17th and now full cirle to it's current location at SE 26th avenue just a few blocks away from the Fred Meyer complex. 

Over the years, John Drew has shared his ownership of the company with key management and in 2005, John passed the reigns of the company to the current President & CEO, Keith Ristau. John continues in his role as Chairman of the Board and participates with Keith in an executive group that includes Vice President & CFO Mike McCracken.

Today there are a total of four FWR facilities in the Portland Metro area. Six managers own FWR. FWR  facilities currently process approximately 165,000 tons of recyclables annually. In addition, FWR Sales and Marketing Brokerage department buys and sells over 21,000 tons of recyclables annually. They continue to invest and grow in the future of recycling. With new modern plants in Portland, Tualatin and Hillsboro, FWR is able to offer processing and marketing for recyclables to most of the residents and businesses in the state of Oregon. All the facilities in Oregon combined employ 150 people.

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