How To Deal With Your Scrap Metal
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  1. #1
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    Default How To Deal With Your Scrap Metal

    Hey All- long time no speak.

    Things have been steadily progressing at the home shop, but not the to level, that I feel warrants having a truck to come pick up my chips on a regular basis. So I barrel my chips 55 gallons(x6) at a time and truck them myself to a local metal recycling center. I have been to at least 3 maybe 4 different places in town and so far I have yet to have a pleasant experience. The guys running the scale are usually awful bitter, and more times than not- the lady handing me the cash is anything but flattering. Aside from that, the money is hardly even worth the effort. I think Id be okay with having them steal from me if they were at least decent, and Id be fine with them being salty if they made the trip worth my while.

    So how can I better educate myself and begin to barter for higher scrap prices? Should I be using a broker? What are some of the things you do to make sure you are getting top dollar for you're scrap metal? Is there a website that I may use to keep track of current material prices(raw or scrap)?


    Thanks in advance!
    -Craig

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    Chips are just not worth much. Around here, $60/ton.

    The "trick" is to get bigger containers and make fewer trips. I have two steel containers essentially 5' cubed. I can get about 1,500 lbs in each. I fill them, 8 drums, and 2 more smaller containers. Then I load them all on a trailer and haul them in. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Usually gets me around $250 to $300. Maybe not worth the time, but better for the planet...

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    This place is in Los Angeles, but they send me a scrap metal price list every couple months. Get on their mailing list and you'll at least have a ballpark for what the price should be.

    Scrap Metal Recycling Los Angeles – Buyers of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

    If your chips are clean, you shouldn't have any problem getting someone to pick them up regardless of quantity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    Hey All- long time no speak.

    Things have been steadily progressing at the home shop, but not the to level, that I feel warrants having a truck to come pick up my chips on a regular basis. So I barrel my chips 55 gallons(x6) at a time and truck them myself to a local metal recycling center. I have been to at least 3 maybe 4 different places in town and so far I have yet to have a pleasant experience. The guys running the scale are usually awful bitter, and more times than not- the lady handing me the cash is anything but flattering. Aside from that, the money is hardly even worth the effort. I think Id be okay with having them steal from me if they were at least decent, and Id be fine with them being salty if they made the trip worth my while.

    So how can I better educate myself and begin to barter for higher scrap prices? Should I be using a broker? What are some of the things you do to make sure you are getting top dollar for you're scrap metal? Is there a website that I may use to keep track of current material prices(raw or scrap)?


    Thanks in advance!
    -Craig
    .
    a lot of businesses the boss has no ideal how bad some employees treat customers.
    .
    i remember 35 year ago i would go to company stockroom to order metal and the stock room clerk almost always would find something he did not like on the paperwork and throw it back at you. it was a running joke by the old timers to send the new guys there and let them deal with "Jimmy" at the stockroom. Jimmy was not all their in the head. 1/2 a bubble off we used to say
    .
    many businesses hire people at low wages and they often have a bad attitude. sometimes they are the boss's son being told they have to work the job
    .
    or go to pizza place and hand the guy money and he cannot calculate change to give back, like every time he cannot calculate what change to give back. usually easier to give exact amount

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    Typical scrap yard experiance.

    I will say that the average person they deal with is bitter, angry, ugly, argumentative, and in this area some type of addicted thief as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    The guys running the scale are usually awful bitter, and more times than not- the lady handing me the cash is anything but flattering.
    Well jeeze, nothing changed with that in the last 40 years.
    But seriously, you're expecting a 'pleasant experience' at a scrap yard?
    That's funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    but better for the planet...
    and if it wasnt for that Id probably throw them in the trash just for spite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mebfab View Post
    and in this area some type of addicted thief as well.
    I agree, but while I may look like a punk a$$ kid I am much cleaner and reasonably well spoke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Well jeeze, nothing changed with that in the last 40 years.
    But seriously, you're expecting a 'pleasant experience' at a scrap yard?
    That's funny.
    Well not anymore... now I just want to get educated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allloutmx View Post
    and if it wasnt for that Id probably throw them in the trash just for spite.
    My steel chips are relatively few, and a serious loss to take to the scrapyard. I felt bad about putting them in the dumpter until a friend who works maintenance at the local incinerator informed me that there's a huge magnet that pull all steel out of the trash stream before it's burned. So it's getting recycled anyway.

    Not sure how the aluminum is separated, perhaps air separation which would not work on chips. I know of a shop who put a couple hundred pounds of magnesium chips in the dumpster when the owner's back was turned. He got reamed out by the incinerator manager when it almost brought down the facility. That tells me nonferrous chips don't get separated, but they get directly recycled here anyway.

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    I have a local guy brings me empty barrels and hauls the full ones away. He pays for solids and I give him the chips for free.

    I call him when the barrels are full- no hassles, no fuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I have a local guy brings me empty barrels and hauls the full ones away. He pays for solids and I give him the chips for free.

    I call him when the barrels are full- no hassles, no fuss.
    Tried that one time. Had nice straight scrap barrels that looked decent in the shop, recently obtained. Felt sorry for a sketchy dude in a crappy pickup truck that came by asking about
    scrap. Basically pleads with me to take my scrap, and 'split the money 50-50'.

    I loaded 6 barrels onto his truck, thinking it would save me the time and hassle of taking them there myself. Told him........BE CAREFUL with the barrels, don't bang them up.
    Dude brings them back, all bent to shit. Says the tail gate's broke, had to flip them over the top of it. All I could do is laugh and shake my head.

    Incredible.
    But in no way surprising given the type of people that do that sort of thing.
    Plus I'm certain he cheated me on the proceeds and kept 80% of the loot.

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    I hear what you are saying. I have dealt with scrap yards for 35 years. With few exceptions, they are a nasty bunch. I think it is because they deal with a bunch of low life people, so they develop this attitude. I have my truck loaded now to go to the scrap yard. I am not looking forward to it. Bob

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    I tried not to laugh when our local recycler was crying about the people who would fill cans with water and leave in the freezer overnight to increase the weight of the huge sacks of cans they were recycling. Makes up for the times I'm sure they've screwed me.

    Last time I was there with 3 barrels of 6061 chips, they found maybe 1/2oz of steel chips when running a large magnet thru the chips. What is the generally accepted tolerance for steel in alumminum chips before it becomes dirty aluminum chips? Whatever I probably got for the 6061 it wasn't worth the effort at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    ...Dude brings them back, all bent to shit. Says the tail gate's broke, had to flip them over the top of it. All I could do is laugh and shake my head.

    Incredible.
    But in no way surprising given the type of people that do that sort of thing.
    Plus I'm certain he cheated me on the proceeds and kept 80% of the loot.
    I have a pretty good guy. Bosnian transplant. He usually brings me nice barrels, we weigh, I get paid.

    At least one of the larger metal recyclers here will show up with a truck and an empty drop bin. They will set down in the driveway, you empty your barrels, and they pick up and go. You have to wait for your money, but they haven't cheated me on the weight.

    In 11 years I have made exactly one trip the the scrapyard. I do the bin or barrel thing- hauling it myself doesn't pay.

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    Ha, I have to drive 75 miles one way to recycle my chips, in my Volvo XC70! At best I can get 350 lbs of aluminum borings a trip. My suggestion is to call around for the best price and don't worry about bad attitudes. As you can imagine I get some pretty snarly looks as I am unloading my plastic tubs of chips. I don't make any money recycling but at least I am not paying to dump it.

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    you don't want to deal with "a scrap dealer", you want to deal with " the scrap dealer". You have yet to find it.... but start with phone calls.... even if its a bit further away.... someone who does you right is worth it.

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    One scrapper friend (really is a nice guy) runs
    a tooling store, but also buys scrap (retired cop BTW)

    Has a list of lowlifes not even allowed on the property.
    ------------------------------------------
    Largest scrapyard here in Erie, they have signs
    "If you have excessive body odor, you'll be asked
    to leave the premises."

    I agree chips don't bring much, mostly they burn up
    during melting, sitting in the yard, they sometimes
    leech oil and/or coolant.

    Briquetting makes them more valuable, but is costly to do.
    I have wondered about making a small version to adapt to
    a logsplitter, maybe using 2"-3" pipe, with a funnel on
    top. Something simply welded up, and bolted onto the
    ram.

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    When you figure this one out, please let me know. This is something I have been struggling with, lately. I have spoken with other shop owners ( both large and small ) and so far, there really isn't any good answer.

    Chips around here are only fetching $40 - $60 per ton, and they're NOT fetching them. As we get busier and busier, the chips have actually started becoming an issue. Up until now, because we've been a small shop dealing with small components ( held in one hand or between fingers ), in small quantity, the chips were never any issue and certainly never of any real size. Two 30 gallon barrels would last for months. Sometimes longer. The WEDM's waste wire was a far greater concern and much more easily carted to the yard for much larger returns.

    Lately though ( the last 6 months ), the parts are getting larger and larger, and quantities are growing, as well. Enough so that I'm filling four of those barrels in days now. Frankly, not only is it not worth my time to load them into a vehicle and take them in for the pennies, it's not worth my back. Not for the pittance one gets. And unfortunately, we are not "big" enough yet, nor produce enough scrap to make it worthwhile for one of the companies to come retrieve them.

    It's a problem.

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    Took three trips to the scrapper today, he pays the same for chips as solid for steel, $100 a ton as of today. Clean copper was $2.20 per lb, and aluminum sheet stock and shaker frames (11ga) was 45C per pound. PS, people who work in scrap yards spend their spare time as rapists in Lifetime movies. Never changes.

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