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History of Iowa Auto Recyclers
While attending my first National Auto Truck Wreckers Association or NATWA convention and after seeing the benefits of belonging to an association like NATWA, I came home that fall of 1957, wanting to start an Iowa association. John Ruggiero of American Auto Parts in Omaha, NE, was just organizing the teletype communication system between salvage yards in Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa, and he gave me a list of name of salvage yards in Iowa. About the same time Charley Riggs from Lincoln, NE, stopped in, asking my thoughts on starting an auto parts locator magazine, which he did start. I called a meeting on December 19, 1957 at the Hotel Fort Des Moines in Des Moines, IA to form the Iowa Auto Truck Wreckers Association or IATWA. The first elected officers were President Isadore Tucker of Tucker Auto Parts Co., Des Moines. Vice-president Al Wolfe of Coralville Salvage Co., Coralville and Secretary/Treasurer Charles Riggs of the newly formed Salvage Locator magazine. Charley Riggs sold membership along with his Locator business, as he contacted salvage yards for ads in his Locator.
John C Vander Haag

June 3-4, 2016
Mason City, Iowa
John C Vander Haag, 
May 2015
There are 200 automotive salvage facilities in Iowa.
Auto recycling was the original recycling industry. 
IAR was founded in 1957

I have enjoyed the Association and all the members over the years. Was it worth all the effort and time? YES. The National and Iowa Automotive Recyclers association made my life interesting and worthwhile.

I re-organized the Association on March 6, 1965 with the following people elected to Office: President John C. Vander Haag, Southside Salvage, Sanborn. Vice-president Charlie L. Walker, Walker Auto Salvage, Waverly. Secretary Charles C. (Bud) Walrod, Hawkeye Auto Salvage, Van Meter and Treasurer Henry Katz, Katz Salvage, Marion. There were 24 businesses in attendance. With the help of other determined members we have kept the Association together and feel we have one of the better state associations in the industry. 

Henry Katz of Katz Salvage in Marion, IA, retired after a number of years and I assumed his position as Treasurer until I retired from the Association and also from our business, Vander Haag’s Inc. in Spencer, Iowa in January 2001. During my many years as Treasurer we started to buy some stock in the recycling business industry and did very well financially. 

I have enjoyed the Association and all the members over the years. Was it worth all the effort and time? YES. The National and Iowa Automotive Recyclers Association made my life interesting and worthwhile.
John C Vander Haag

A culture formed that truly set the tone for the future success of the association. In keeping with the times another name change was instituted on August 27, 1977 to the Iowa Automotive Dismantlers and Recyclers Association. ​​
On March 4, 1991 the association changed to the present name Iowa Automotive Recyclers, proving if nothing else we are willing to adapt! The ability to adapt and a strong network of recyclers is likely key to the many successes the association has realized over these past 60 years. 

The vision, dedication and service given by John C and Ruth Vander Haag have had an enduring impact on the Iowa Automotive Recyclers. That legacy was honored at the 2016 annual Summer Outing.

204 Alta Vista Ave Waterloo, Iowa 50703 | email: IowaAutoRecyclers@gmail.com |Fax or  call: 319.233.7970