CDRA Member Spotlight: Ron Richey

Ron Richey, CEO at Staton Companies in Springfield, OR

Ron Richey

What materials do you recycle? Can you describe the volume and types of incoming materials you process?

Typical structural demolition recycling: Metals, larger dimensional wood, concrete, re-usable hydraulic, electrical and pneumatic equipment. We don’t share our volumes but approximately 20 percent of our annual volume by tons are landfill disposal fees.

How did you get started in the business?

I owned an excavation business and was approached by Staton to go to work for them in 1983 (during the Jimmy Carter recession). I accepted their offer. 

What are the biggest challenges in your market and C&D recycling?

Efficient sorting of all materials, mostly on site, but we perform some in-house off-site sorting here at our yard.

Where are the biggest opportunities?

Future customers who are looking for a Smarter, Faster, Safer demolition company.

How long have you been a member of CDRA?

I think since back in the late 90s, but then I’m the one who can’t remember my wife’s birthday.

What inspired you to join CDRA?

Bill Turley and the CDRA have always been a reliable resource for Staton and me for any conflicts, questions, and problems associated with rules and regulations in the demolition recycling industry. More importantly, the fast responses and answers I have always received have saved my bacon on several occasions. It’s the kind of service that creates instant and long-lasting loyalty between good business associates and friends.

What do you find most rewarding about working in this industry?

It’s never boring. It’s very rewarding. And full of sharp, collegial competitors.

What challenges have you faced over the years and how have you overcome them?

Some serious recessions, scrap price swings, and tight bidding. To overcome them you have to follow sound financial principles and keep your focus on good bids and good business accountability.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I love Drag Racing. Started in the mid 1970s. I was fairly successful at the divisional level in NHRA Competition Eliminator B/ED (B Econo-Dragster), a front motor small block chevy with a power glide transmission. Once my wife and I had two kids I had to give it up. But my current work car, a 2018 Yukon Denali, has a Whipple Supercharger, long tube headers & exhaust, and a full computer re-program. It dyno’d out at 647 HP and 677 FP TQ. Still gets 23 MPG at 70+ MPH. I love the hurt look on the faces Camaro, Mustang, Charger, & Corvette drivers as I pull away from them when we’re both at full throttle on the freeway.

How do you think the industry is changing and what trends do you see coming up on the horizon?

Rules, rules, rules and more rules. That’s the trend. The regulators don’t know much about our work, so you have to know the rules better than they do. Make sure you follow the rules and make sure you have a good attorney who can defend you when the regulators are wrong.

What advice would you give to someone interested in this industry?

It’s much more complicated than you think. It’s now a very sophisticated industry. At Staton, it takes us about five years to get new employees fully trained in safe, efficient demolition work.

Best piece of business advice you’ve gotten or learned over the years?

Getting into demolition, or bidding work in the demolition industry is like eating a whale: You do it one bite at a time.


Would you like to have your company in a spotlight like this? Contact CDRA Executive Director William Turley at [email protected] or 630-258-9047. 

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