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Meet Mike Ekhouse

Operations Manager, EMR Dallas

Jack Arksey

Mike Ekhouse

“We’ve always worked hard to meet the highest standards at our yard – providing a safe and friendly place for the public, tradesman and industrial customers,” says Mike Ekhouse, Operations Manager at EMR Dallas.

The site – which used to operate under the name Gold Metal Recyclers and is the largest non–ferrous metal recycling facility in the DFW Metroplex and for EMR – employs over 120 employees.

Mike is a passionate believer in implementing the world-leading ISO standards regime at EMR Dallas, helping it to become certified for ISO9001 (Quality Management) and ISO14001 (Environmental Management).

When Mike arrived on site in 2016, he instigated a major redesign of the facility with an investment to improve the cleanliness, organization, and sustainability of the site.

“One of the first things we did was to make a number changes to protect the local environment. We want people to feel comfortable when they visit and for the site to look attractive from the outside, too. "While ensuring EMR Dallas meets the highest standards possible for a recycling site has been a longstanding passion for Mike, he has also worked hard to ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible.

“Having a fresh pair of eyes on a problem is never a bad thing – and when I started here, I was trusted to look at our processes in granular detail and find ways to save time and money. I worked with a local university on an in-depth study, and we discovered that every piece of metal that arrived on site was travelling, on average, 1,000ft. When you are accepting the level of material we do per month, that translates as a lot of unnecessary money being spent.”

Mike installed a new baler, as well as a 100ft-long conveyer belt to move material. “We invested in a bunker system that surrounds the baler conveyor belt increasing operational efficiency” he adds.

Mike says that focusing on the efficiency and smooth running of the plant is one of the many reasons that his team members stay at EMR Dallas for so long.

“We have employees who have worked here for 37 years and that’s thanks to a culture of loyalty, dedication and doing everything we need to make sure the site runs like a well-oiled machine,” he says.

It is this culture that Mike instills with his exceptional leadership and ability to develop and motivate his team ensuring that EMR Dallas is the successful site that it has become.

Mike is proud of everything his team has built at the site. But the positive impact doesn’t stop at the gate. The EMR Dallas team is a strong pillar of the community, not only in terms of charitable donations and volunteer hours, but in how they treat everyone they meet.

As EMR moves closer towards reaching net-zero across its global operations by 2040, Mike’s next ambition is to ensure EMR Dallas leads the way for EMR USA’s Southern Region.

“People look up to us and ask us about our compliance and ISO certifications because we’ve already been through it and have that experience. We want to be the site that sets the example in the US and have already introduced green technologies, such as electric fork-lift trucks. American customers aren’t yet quite as demanding when it comes to sustainability as they are in the UK and Europe, but this is changing fast.”

With Mike at the helm, EMR Dallas is in a great position to ensure it capitalizes on this green transition and prepares EMR USA for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.