Based in Ballysimon, Co Limerick, United Metal Recycling (UMR) Group has over 150 years of experience when it comes to metal recycling and the trading of scrap metals. Building Ireland touched base with director Eoin Hegarty to find out all about the company – from its origins to business today.
Business continues to grow at UMR Group and directors Tony Donlan (Managing) and Eoin Hegarty mean to keep it that way as their company enters into their 12th year in business. UMR Group employ 85 staff and operate with 30 heavy commercial vehicles in its fleet. They are industry leaders when it comes to metal recycling.
The company’s name is synonymous with top class service in metal recycling, waste management and demolition all throughout Ireland.
Building Ireland spoke with Eoin Hegarty – a man whose family’s involvement in the metal recycling industry spans generations – to learn more about the ins and outs of UMR Group and the direction it’s headed in.
“My father John Hegarty and Tony Donlan merged their companies in 2005 and eventually set-up UMR Group,” Eoin outlined.
“The history goes back for generations in my family: we sought bigger and bigger projects and we found that we could be very competitive as time went on. Over the past 12 years, UMR Group has shipped more than 750,000 tonnes of scrap metal across the globe, having the largest material handler in Ireland which is operating at its port facility.”
Over the past decade UMR Group has seen significant expansion in the services that it offers its clients. The company has long-established dominance in metal recycling and have been able to take and adapt that experience and respond to the growing needs of clients. In terms of Recycling – direct market access, coveted end of waste criteria and without doubt the experience – senior team members have seen it all over the years and have unquantifiable knowledge and experience in metals recycling in all its forms.
UMR Group is now widely recognised as specialists in demolition and in its tailored waste management solutions. “Our dedicated demolition team are working nationwide with such companies as Hines Property Group, Sisk, Vision Contracting Ltd, Shannon Foynes Port Co., Irish Cement, Conack Construction and Boston Scientific to name but a few. Our projects range from Grand Parade and Central Bank in Dublin to Lisheen Mines decommissioning to aircraft dismantling.
“We offer Demolition services and PSCS expertise in the complete Strip-Out of Buildings; the way we carry these out are specifically beneficial for Re-Development Projects, with project planned meticulously and assessed to ensure maximisation of recycling and reuse, for example where perhaps brick works can be salvage for later use in gardens or curbing or where items can be retained or refurbished. We also offer the complete demo service with various machines on offer to look after hard demolition.”
Diversity has been key to the company’s growth as well and in recent years, the company has also made strategic investments in a number of former industrial and pharma properties which it has rejuvenated, rehabilitated and leased out. Some of these properties include former GSK facility, Sligo, Former Smurfit Kappa site, Kells, Meath and Molex, Shannon. At present, UMR Group lease and manage 2.35 million sq feet and this expansion within the Group complements its existing offering.
As Eoin himself outlined, the decision to “rejuvenate properties” and then lease them to clients has proven to be a major success thus far and they are keen to continue the practice. “It’s a part of the company that is really starting to flourish now and Tony (Donlan) has been the driving force behind it from the start. “It’s something that’s really taken off for us and we’re proud to be doing it and have more projects in the pipeline.”
Even with the challenges of the past 24 months brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the government lockdowns implemented to combat the spread of the virus, the team at UMR Group has managed to persevere through.
“The first lockdown (in March 2020) impacted us greatly here,” Eoin pointed out. “Very quickly though, we were notified that we were an essential service for some of our clients.
“We operated through the pandemic but, unfortunately, were closed to the public during the lockdowns, but our lorries were still on the road.
“During the pandemic, we never stopped, and, like any business, we worked diligently to ensure that we kept our staff safe.”
Since its inception in 2010, UMR Group has grown its staff numbers from eight up to 85 full-time and we aim to continue our growth over the next 5 to 10 years by expanding into other areas that synergise with our current operations.
So, all of that considered, what has been the secret behind this Limerick venture’s continued growth and undoubted success?
For Eoin, much of it comes down to continuously providing efficient work which has been central in gaining the trust of clients.
“It’s an unwavering service and we pride ourselves on providing the most efficient and cost-effective service for customers”
Busy times indeed and, seemingly, it’s across all fronts – property, metal recycling and demolition.
Professionalism, determination and loyalty have been the longstanding values that underpin UMR Group so, that considered, it’s not hard to see why their clients choose them first.
Eastway Business Park,
Tel: 061 603 848
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, July 2022, Vol 8 No 7