Pima cleans up dilapidated manufactured homes

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Ty Traylor of Metal Mite Recycling demolishes a dilapidated manufactured home along U.S. Highway 70 in Pima.

Metal Mite Recycling crucial to cleanup effort

By Jon Johnson


PIMA – For years, the dilapidated manufactured homes sat unoccupied along U.S. Highway 70, unfit for use and served only as a blight on the commercial corridor of the town of Pima.

With a little compromise, a good deal from local recycler Metal Mite Recycling, and a desire to clean up the highway commercial corridor, the trailers have been demolished and the cleanup of the lots is underway.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Metal Mite Recycling owner Ty Traylor stands next to a pile of metal after tearing down and sorting through a dilapidated trailer.

A group of five unlivable manufactured homes along U.S. Highway 70 owned by former Pima Mayor Leroy Smith were dismantled by Metal Mite Recycling on Thursday. The trailers were separated into piles of wood and the metal was taken away to be recycled. Two other trailers – one behind Heritage Park and the other just west of the Giant gas station – have also been demolished with only piles of wood left.

Town Manager Sean Lewis said the Pima Fire Department will conduct training by lighting the piles of leftover wood on fire in the next couple of weeks. Afterward, the lots will be totally cleaned of debris. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The leftover wood piles will be utilized by the Pima Fire Department in fire training scenarios.

Lewis had been attempting to clean up the dilapidated trailers for years and said it was discussions with Metal Mite owner Ty Traylor that ultimately helped it come to fruition. Lewis said that previously other recycling companies had demanded payment so high that it was more than the land was worth, so landowners and the town had little motivation to clean up the mess. Enter Metal Mite Recycling.

“Because of the amount of metal he’s able to get off of these properties, he’s really made a good deal for us,” Lewis said.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: The trailer’s frame shown here in the foreground is recyclable.

Traylor, with the help of his wife, Kelsey Traylor, cleared the five residences along the highway, as well as the other two in the other locations.

Lewis also praised the landowners for stepping up and helping the process to get done.

For the town, the roughly 2-acre lot along U.S. Highway 70 is directly across from the Graco car lot property it recently purchased and will build a 100-foot by 80-foot metal manufacturing/warehouse building to be the new home for Occupational Health Services. The building will also have three separate offices to one side available for rent. The Graco building currently on the lot will also be burned by the Pima Fire Department for training purposes in the next couple of weeks. Demolition will then commence, followed by construction of the new facility.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Sean Lewis: The new building on the former Graco lot will be a copy of this Open Loop Energy Inc. building but with three additional offices on one side and a faux rock finish on the exterior.

Lewis said with the town cleaning the Graco lot and making it into a nice commercial area that it was optimal to clear the area across the street as well.

“I want to thank Ty Traylor for doing it for a price the homeowners and the town can live with,” Lewis said. “I want to thank the homeowners and the landowners for agreeing that this is a needed project. Leroy Smith and the town had been at odds for years. And really, all it took was sitting down with Leroy and listening to his needs and concerns. And once I put the town’s needs and concerns in the same boat, we both understood each other and it was an amicable deal. I believe both sides are very happy with it . . . I really think we’re going to have a lot more moving forward.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis predicts more dilapidated manufactured homes will be demolished and removed in the near future.