Inspired by the dumpster diving thread and the interesting salvage people find but may not necessarily find a use for.
Considering people around /diy/ tend to be pretty thrifty and also have an eye for the 'potentially useful', does anyone in here dabble in selling scrap metals or electronic scrap to scrapyards and recycling companies?
I've been considering dabbling in it a bit, since I consider the value of my labor negligible because I like fiddling with things in my spare time, like taking things apart or stripping wire while I watch the youtubes, and sorting items is basically how I relax.
I don't expect to make any significant amount of money, it's more just for fun and to get rid of scrap wires that I felt bad just tossing, and it makes me feel a bit better knowing it may be used and won't end up in the lungs of some poor Chinese or Pakistani or Ghanese e-waste salvager.
For those who do sell scrap, how far do you go for it? Melting down circuitry for gold? Dumpster diving? Ever buy cheap shit at thrift stores just to make a few cents profit? Just idly stripping wires? Not even bothering stripping wires? Illegally melting pennies (pre-1982 especially)? Even more illegally stealing copper pipe?
What materials do you salvage? Just metals? Plastics? Whole components?
Or, alternately, no one here gives a shit about scrapping for money and the thread dies.
Fucking this. I used to board houses when the bank took them to help deter theft. Sometimes the houses were vacant and stripped when we got there, sometimes for months. At some point somebody realized that you can get "a lot" of money for the water meters. They started pulling the meters out of houses before the water got cut off, and since the meter is before the house shut off valve water just started dumping into the house. We found a basement where something must have got sucked over the floor drains because it just kept filling up. 10+ feet of water before it started dumping out the side door. One was running under a raised foundation and washed it out.
Not OP. But why is it that anyone on /DIY/ sees "scrap" and they think thievery?
There are many companies that deal in legitimate scrapping and even my neighbors primary business is scrapping.
That said OP, scrap, even legitimate is still bottom of the barrel income unless you go massive volume. Hundreds of tons a day type volume.
Repurposing/acquire and repair will make you more money for your time on the one man op scale.
Last year i dabbled some. I saved up a bunch of copper pipes and wire that was going to be thrown out. took apart old ceiling fans and such. I ended up just bringing all my ferrous metals to the dumb because i live in an apartment and its not worth walking over piles of $0.02/pound scrap. but i made about 40 bucks on a pile of copper i kept under my bed.
OP, x demo guy here. I've made thousands and thousands in my spare time scrapping.
Right now scrap ain't worth shit. We just scrapped a 40ft flatbed trailer, like for an 18 wheeler, it had a slab of 6"x 30' steel on it that would have brought a couple thousands of dollars a few years ago , they gave us 500 and change.
That being said prices are always going up and down. Nows not the time to walk down the highway collecting cans for beer money. But if your situation is such that you can stockpile a lot of stuff for a long period. And you've got the time to wait for the market to pick up, go for it.
When I say wait, I mean like potentialy 20 years or so. I know it sounds ridiculous but I've seen farmers and people with a lot of spare space who made a small fortune squirreling stuff away for years.
Right now I wouldn't even consider saving iron or steel. It's not worth shit now and youll need to much to make it profitable.
Copper, aluminum, brass are your cash. You'll get considerably (often 2x) more for "clean" metal. Meaning if you cut the elbows off the pipe, burning jacketing off the wire ect.
Yes I've stolen scrap. Never was a nigger about it and ruined a perfectly good home for crack money of anything. But I've raided a few old factories that were being gutted or demolished.
China can produce metals so cheap that scrap is worth Jack shit. There was a peak in scrap prices just as China started to mass produce but now that China has so much stock and low demand, the prices have dropped.
Unless you're scrapping copper or stainless steel, or a fuck load of aluminum, don't expect to make a lot.
I used to do it to make up my wage but it quickly ended up not being worth the trouble.
In the UK now though there's a lot of laws that have been introduced so if you take a load of stripped copper wire most reputable scrap dealers will want a proof of source, be it your electrical training CSCS card etc. Same goes for copper pipe, but some do overlook this and just ask for your address.
No fuck you.
This. Crackheads destroying giant rooftop units for fucking $300 of wire and copper bends on coils.
This guy hit the nail on the head. When they were building the Three Gorges dam, scrap was high and was a nice couple extra hundred a week.
Now, I just store copper and brass in some big barrels if I come across it in case the price ever rises again. I throw wire away unless it's 4 or larger, then I just store it away too.
I got into the scrap business right out of high school started off buying cores like catalytic converters, batteries, alum rims, I done well at that so I branched into whole cars done ok at that for a little bit then the market went to hell.. that combined with everyone and their brother wanting to be scrap guy pretty much ruined it, im setting on about 50 whole cars right no that I cant afford to sell and like 150 batteries and 50 converters
I knew an old methhead when I was in college. He was a scraper, drove around in his shitty old truck all day grabbing metal off the curbs.
Told him that I would buy good large pieces of scrap from him and some electronics at above scrap value. He brought some pretty good stuff sometimes. At first I assumed he was storing good shit and just unloading it on me. After about a month, it became obvious that he was stealing a lot of the shit from some place so I distanced myself from him.
My dad is an electrician and he grabs all of the larger scraps of wire from the job site. He uses the short runs as much as he can since that's worth way more than scrap value. What he doesn't use he throws in a big trash can and brings in when scrap values are high. Strip it bit by bit as you throw it in.
Well my first thought was to call your fucking country gay, but I figured I wouldn't act like a douche and go there.
Around here they ID you at the scrap yard and take your name.
That has kept the crackheads in control. When someone destroys a roof for the flashing, or electical equipment for copper, there's usally not ready to drive an hour to sell it somewhere that they won't get caught unloading it.
That way it doesn't infringe on everyone's right to make a living. So fuck you
Pennies yeah, a real demo company doesn't fuck around w/ residential bull shit. That shits for 3 Niggers and pickup inc.
We did factories, chemical plants, powerplants, decommissioned military bases ect.
That shit ain't running on 220. We're chopping lines 5 inches thick.
But you're probably joe blow electrician that isn't working projects on that scale.
Have you worked w/ stainless? You need a special setup w/ your torches cus acetylene ain't doing it. And you ain't got a plasma cutter unless they've rented one for some special purpose.
Forget the chopsaw cause you'll never have enought blades. And sawzalls are just for faggots.
Fuck it. Not worth the effort .
Most copper you run into is thin enough you could hack out w/ a hatchet if you had to.
Yes I've worked with stainless and yes I've sold stainless scrap.
You're going the long way around to make a pointless argument.
Stainless steel scrap is worth money regardless of what bullshit you're talking about.
I didnt have to cut anything up, nor did the scrap merchant I took it to. Just load it into a van and drop it off. They move it on.