The Junk Man of Riverside

He calls himself a “junk man” and a renegade of sorts in the industry that he said he fought his way into and now leads with the largest supply of the scrapped inner-workings of cars in one place.

Meier grew up in Whittier with short stints in Fontana and Ontario, the son of a truck driver who would sometimes pick up loads from the massive food distribution warehouse in Riverside that would eventually become home to The Recycler Core. The nearly 300,000-square-foot facility, which stretches 1,000 feet in length, fits 7 to 8million automotive parts. The aisles, packed with matching parts, resemble scenes in the original “Star Wars” film from 1977 when the heroes find themselves in peril inside an intergalactic trash compacter.

“I wanted to do something I believed in. I wanted to recycle,” he said.

He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t smoke. One of his only vices may be buying too much of the commodities he sells just in case a customer might come along and need a hefty supply of manifolds, a part for a Model A or Ferrari or any other core part for a model of car, foreign or domestic, he said. And he has a fondness for the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” of the Disney universe for its warning that despite the character’s ability to wield great magic, it can all end fairly swiftly if not controlled.

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