Scrapping for the Environment

scrapping for the environment

More and more every year the is a general consciousness about the environment and how it is time to make a change. The reality is the only changes seem to be about the changes to the environment for the sake of the ozone and the possibility of a global warming catastrophe. We are not saying these things are not important, but it is time to look at other areas such as metals, and the need for us to take our old metals and start scrapping for the environment as much as we tend to scrap for cash.

Every single day, as a species, we create about 4.6 pounds a day of trash…much of it recyclable. As a matter of fact, about a third of all daily trash is recyclable. We currently recycle about 1.4 pounds per day, unfortunately, only about 33% of Americans recycle properly on a regular basis. According to the EPA recycling and composting prevented 87.2 million tons of material from being disposed in 2013, up from 15 million tons in 1980. Diverting these materials from landfills prevented the release of approximately 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the air in 2013 — equivalent to taking over 39 million cars off the road for a year. That’s a solid number and something that if more people new about, would probably get behind.

Even though, we recycle scrap metals, the full mindset of recycling should be on the forefront of our minds on a regular basis, more like Germany, England and other European countries that America lags behind in it’s efforts to recycle.

Is it possible, that if we were paid to recycle more, more Americans would get involved? It is possible, greed has always been a mantra for getting something moving. The reality is though, if it’s not enough to simply clean the environment, like we clean our homes, cars and yards..there is no point.

Garage Sale Scrap

garage sale scrap

Most scrap metal pros have their daily habits and go with it. Start early, know the garbage routes, and stay one step ahead. The truly experienced scrap metal pro, will have multiple tentacles to grab scrap from. The most brilliant of all will have people calling him to get rid of their scrap for them. These aficionados generally get these people from the simplest of places, garage sale scrap.

With garage sales occurring every weekend across America, there is a never ending supply free ready to be hauled scrap metal to be found and sold to line your pockets. Garage sales are the unsung heroes of this hobby/business.

It’s best to scour craigslist or the local ads for the closets and largest garage sales to check. The best scrappers will tell you to visit twice, once early in the event and keep a list of items you want, make the lowest possible offer you can, then return an hour before shut down the next (or same) day and make a next to nothing offer. Generally at this point the sellers are exhausted and ready to pretty much pitch anything else that needs going.

Once you have gotten all you can for next to nothing, let the family know what you do. Offer them a business card and ask if there is any other items they may need removed or hauled off. Even offer to haul the rest of there unsold goods off to the dump for a small fee,especially if your scrap yard is nearby. This is all in the effort for them to remember you the next time they need a washer & dryer and/a refrigerator or something else valuable in the scrap arena. Soon, the whole neighborhood will be calling you before they even think of selling to someone else at their next garage sale.

What Not To Recycle

what not to recycle

We are a metals recycler. Not that we don’t think about recycling in general, but for the most part, we’re pretty busy counting tons and tons of metals, and determining where the heck to store it until it’s time to go. The reality is though, as Arizonians, we pride ourselves on conservation efforts such as water conservation, light pollution and yes, all forms of recycling in general, not just ferrous and non-ferrous metals. So we did our research and we found what not to recycle. I know at the end of the day, we were a bit shocked, but then again, we have been sorting metals forever, why would we expect anything else from the rest of the recycling industry, but here goes!

First thing to understand is, if you use the blue recycling bins, you may be recycling 90% on the money, but that last 10% where you threw in some left over McDonald’s or maybe a pizza slice or two, you have ruined that whole bin of possible recyclables and turned it into a bin of trash. That came as a shock to us, but it shouldn’t have..just like laundry or scrap metal, separate everything.

Plastic bags from Fry’s, Basha’s or wherever you shop are a huge no no, and we didn’t know know. Shopping bags and other plastic films — such as sandwich baggies, dry-cleaning bags or trash bags — can get stuck in recycling equipment, forcing repairs and stopping recycling production. While plastic films or soft plastics aren’t allowed in city containers, they can be recycled in bins found near the entrance of many grocery stores. Reusable shopping bags are another alternative, and some grocers give discounts for using them.

Want another shocker, pizza boxes. I’ve been folding my pizza boxes forever and dropping or stuffing them in the blue bin forever. Until now, it seems as though cardboard though recyclable, that was used for transporting hot or cold foods, is off the list. These forms of cardboard are not recyclable, but wax coated ones are.

Lastly, we have a bit of a confusing one (although at this point, they have all perplexed me) Styrofoam..can’t burn it, can’t recycle it. Nope good ol’ Styrofoam should not be added to the blue bins after all, it’s useless for recycling purposes.

So we’ve run into some hiccups, don’t let that stop you though, because if you get it wrong, they’ll stop for you.

Scrap Metal Detecting

scrap metal detecting

It’s not the easiest way to find scrap metal, but scrap metal detecting, with a metal detector can not only be a fun hobby, but can be rewarding financially as well. First things first, a metal detector is needed. Unlike scrapping in bins or discard piles or junkyards. Scrap metal detecting takes a bit of patience and time…with a good detector.

Here are the features of the right metal detector:

Target Identification: You want your detector to be able to signal you when you locate something. Most modern detectors will actually have LED screens that show you the outline of the metal it locates.
Ground Balancing:Ground Balancing helps determine that the natural minuscule minerals in the earth are not setting off your detector. It’s what we call “the worm that ate the dime”theory. Trace elements of metals can be found in the earths soils. If your detector cannot disseminate between what is worth digging and what is not, you will spend all day searching for nothing.
Tone Difference:Some sophisticated detectors can determine the ore or alloy itself. Then it relays it back to your metal detector through tone and lets you determine the next step.
All Metal Mode: All metal mode is exactly what it sounds like. If you happen to have a detector that determines different metals, you may want to keep this feature running and make a determination after signal. Sometimes though, if your detector can’t identify the metal, you’ll have to make the decision yourself which could be time consuming.

The beauty of scrapping in this way is two fold. You can enjoy doing it with others, it is far less travel intensive, fuel intensive and construction or deconstruction in this case is far lower. The best part is, not only can you find scrap metals, but you can find other things as well, that could potentially be of value.