Border Steel and Recycling expands to Miles City


Stabler Steel of Miles City became Border Steel and Recycling on Jan. 2, but the business isn’t new to eastern Montana. Border Steel and Recycling also has locations in Sidney; Plentywood; Williston, N.D.; and Glendive (their corporate headquarters).

The Smelser family started Border Steel and Recycling in 1985, but their start in the salvage business began four decades before that. 

Rex Smelser started a junk business in Miles City in the 1940s. He saw that farmers, businessmen and railroad managers throughout eastern Montana needed an efficient and profitable way to recycle their scrap metals, so he traveled throughout the region collecting the materials and reselling them.

The next three generations followed him in the business.

Because of Smelser’s work in Miles City, great-grandson Brady Smelser sees Miles City as more than just another location for the business.

“I’m very excited to come here,” he said of his move from Glendive.

Buying Stabler Steel was a good opportunity to expand their customer base, Smelser said.

The former owner was Ken Stabler, who also operates Stabler Trucking, LLC.

Ernie Gawryluk, Border Steel branch manager, said he believes there is enough demand for steel and recycling in this area for more than one business; plus, having competition is good for the customers.

“Competition is healthy for everyone, and customer service is our number-one priority,” Smelser echoed.

Gawryluk said they are little guys who are big on service.

“Knowing the customer comes first is why our doors are open,” he added.

“New steel sales are our bread and butter,” Smelser said, therefore they will expand the current steel supply at the Miles City location.

“We’re beefing up the inventory,” he said.

They offer structural and finished steel products, steel fabrication and recycling. They also buy hides from hunters, ranchers and meat processors.

Border Steel and Recycling will continue to offer Miller welding equipment.

The Miles City location has four employees and may have a couple more in the spring. Rachel Stabler, formerly of Stabler Steel, is staying on. 

Miles City’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday at 12 Peggy Lane in the Industrial Site west of town.

For more information, see or call 874-7428.