Recycle business rip off or not ?

Davers

Gold Member
Jan 8, 2013
8,116
7,122
N.of , I-285...GA
Detector(s) used
Whites Spc xlt & Tesoro Tejon- Now back ...Fisher 1266-X. TRX Pointer. New .Teknetics G2 + . New AT Pro .
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Well

I turned in crushed Aluminum cans last July 21 , got 34 c a lb , ..Kitco base metals had the spot price at 70-72 Cent a LB.

Yesterday I turned in more cause the Kitco 'Base Metals ' spot price was $1.00 a lb , BUT the recycling place S&A still paid 34'cent a pound .
& Stated the " the price for Aluminum cans had not changed in 4 months " But , I saw the price history & seen where it hit $1.00 a Lb in the past 30 days 'Give or take ' & hit $1.20 at a point a number of months back .

So was I ripped off ? Or is there a system or similar that dictates the price a certain recycle-er pays give the amount I have or something else .?

+ I been seeing signs at many supermarkets saying there is an Aluminum shortage :icon_scratch:

I been sitting on these cans for awhile , & about 220 lbs of Brass & 300 + of Copper , #'s 1 BB & 2 + 300+ pounds of different wire types .

Trusting these people is hard these day 's ..Heck in the past as well .

All my stuff is clean & I work hard to seperate different types , but they don't care & want to pay the lowest price possible .

Also 'Conveniently' there is no-one there who speaks English well enough to speak clearly.

Oh well I go back to calling different yards every-time I want to turn in my scrap .

Rant Over .
 

galenrog

Bronze Member
Feb 19, 2006
1,998
2,177
You were NOT ripped off. A lot goes into converting your waste aluminum cans into 2200 lb ingots. It is not simply melting and pouring, despite many YouTube videos. Once you learn the entire process, and the costs, you may gain an appreciation for the price you get. No, I do not work for a scrapyard. When I sell, I get about the same price you do.

Time for more coffee.
 

Plumbata

Bronze Member
May 13, 2012
1,342
2,189
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
White's
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Also consider the expensive logistical challenges facing all aspects of global trade. China is flooded and hoarding bulk agricultural products from around the world because their breadbasket is underwater, they're probably preoccupied with more important issues than buying our rubbish to turn into Happy Meal toys.

That said, there will almost certainly be both inflationary pressure and demand pressure coming quite soon as countries around the world engage in metals-intensive infrastructure projects to jumpstart economies. I'd hold until next spring if possible.
 

Jason in Enid

Gold Member
Oct 10, 2009
9,593
9,229
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
be happy you get 34 cents! My local scrap yard pay 25 cents. What are your option? take what they pay, or throw them in the trash.
 

JKicker

Jr. Member
Jul 10, 2017
57
108
Tullahoma, Tennessee
Detector(s) used
Ace 250
Minelab X Terra 705
Garrett AT Max
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
You were NOT ripped off. A lot goes into converting your waste aluminum cans into 2200 lb ingots. It is not simply melting and pouring, despite many YouTube videos. Once you learn the entire process, and the costs, you may gain an appreciation for the price you get. No, I do not work for a scrapyard. When I sell, I get about the same price you do.

Time for more coffee.


Also, aluminum from a scrap yard takes extra steps (at a cost) to re-melt into a usable product. Cans are the worst since the water that may be trapped in them can cause a re-melt furnace to explode.
 

Jason in Enid

Gold Member
Oct 10, 2009
9,593
9,229
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Also, aluminum from a scrap yard takes extra steps (at a cost) to re-melt into a usable product. Cans are the worst since the water that may be trapped in them can cause a re-melt furnace to explode.

Yep. I used to work in diecasting for Mercruiser. All the scrap and flashing went into bins to go back into the melt and they constantly reminded workers to not throw pop cans in with the scrap. Remaining moisture in the cans could get plunged into the melt, and water expands 1500X or more when it converts to steam. A giant gas bubble exploding would spray a mist of micro aluminum, which is extremely flammable, and ignition would be like a small nuclear device detonating.
 

Timbermaster

Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2018
370
1,651
MT
Detector(s) used
AT Pro, Nokta Makro Simplex
Primary Interest:
Other
The scrapyard is the middle man. They are buying as low as they can and selling as high as they can, sort of.
 

Timbermaster

Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2018
370
1,651
MT
Detector(s) used
AT Pro, Nokta Makro Simplex
Primary Interest:
Other
I received a similar lesson when I sold four 5 gallon buckets of rifle brass. I thought I would get close to market price but I got about 65% of that if I recall. There had to be some meat left on the bone for them to make a little on it.
 

OP
OP
Davers

Davers

Gold Member
Jan 8, 2013
8,116
7,122
N.of , I-285...GA
Detector(s) used
Whites Spc xlt & Tesoro Tejon- Now back ...Fisher 1266-X. TRX Pointer. New .Teknetics G2 + . New AT Pro .
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
be happy you get 34 cents! My local scrap yard pay 25 cents. What are your option? take what they pay, or throw them in the trash.

Ill donate them before I throw them away , yr response means nothing .

25 cent yr getting ripped .:hello2:
 

OP
OP
Davers

Davers

Gold Member
Jan 8, 2013
8,116
7,122
N.of , I-285...GA
Detector(s) used
Whites Spc xlt & Tesoro Tejon- Now back ...Fisher 1266-X. TRX Pointer. New .Teknetics G2 + . New AT Pro .
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Also, aluminum from a scrap yard takes extra steps (at a cost) to re-melt into a usable product. Cans are the worst since the water that may be trapped in them can cause a re-melt furnace to explode.

I get that , my ship is always washed out , no dirt (if they contain dirt , water or other debris , i throw then into the scrap steel .
But
Hey ? I know how to make my price higher , so I may apply those tactics in the future . 8-)
 

OP
OP
Davers

Davers

Gold Member
Jan 8, 2013
8,116
7,122
N.of , I-285...GA
Detector(s) used
Whites Spc xlt & Tesoro Tejon- Now back ...Fisher 1266-X. TRX Pointer. New .Teknetics G2 + . New AT Pro .
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I received a similar lesson when I sold four 5 gallon buckets of rifle brass. I thought I would get close to market price but I got about 65% of that if I recall. There had to be some meat left on the bone for them to make a little on it.

I get that a well , I seen many a yard in my 40 years of recycling , buying 100's of lbs of Brand New Copper Pipe , & rolls of wire that were obviously stolen , many still play that game tho the laws have been much stricter in the last decade .

If they want people not to litter or throw away recyclable metals , plastics etc , they should pay more & make it worth peoples time .

Until then land fills & roadsides , creeks will be trash pit's .

Thanks for your reply's
 

Plumbata

Bronze Member
May 13, 2012
1,342
2,189
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
White's
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Folk like Marin Katusa believe that among base metals copper (and alloys) in particular will potentially see a very healthy boost soon. Apparently China has been stockpiling cheap copper for their own near future infrastructure and industrial needs but when many other countries start big national projects (think FDR) and need copper too prices could get interesting. Hard to say but I've been collecting a less impressive pile than your tidy mountain and think March-May will be a better time to sell.
 

GoDeep

Bronze Member
Nov 12, 2016
2,120
4,515
Detector(s) used
Whites, Garrett, Minelab
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Yes, you got "ripped off", no, there is nothing you can do about it. They are a business that is going to pay the lowest they can, yet still attract sellers. You can bet though, when they sell, they search out the highest price and they can afford to sit on it until prices are higher. Another thing that plays into their pricing, there is little to no competition, as most sellers aren't going to drive hundreds of miles looking for the best price, we all pretty much are confined to our local yard.
 

Last edited:

pepperj

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2009
36,400
134,116
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Deus, Deus 2, Minelab 3030, E-Trac,
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Think of it like retail backwards.
Meaning when you buy a widget you pay a certain price. Some will sell it at a lower price than others.
So we have retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturers

Guess where most stand-at the retail level.

Scrap works the same way.

Little Ma & Pa operation-sells to bigger yard, or if they have the volume they sell to a broker of that one metal group.
In turn that yard will sell to a smelter, which will sell to another or directly to a manufacturer.

You can phone around and get a sense on what the demand is for cans, the hard to transport, silly, wasp infested items. I could put 10-15 tons in a bin of metals-cans a ton or bit over.
Time consuming to brick them, baling was another option, them just holding them till one had enough to sell was a pain.

The lowly can-had to processed/shredded/delaminated/bricked/smelted. Just can't dump cans into the pot as it would just go up the chimney basically.

The biggest thing that I can suggest is trust-that being get paid for what you separate-and for the weight that bring in.

You have a pounds of X the small-large platform scales can go in increments of 1/2/5/10/20lbs so where do you get weighed up.

Small mixed get weighed on the inside scales. Now if it's a floor scale, electronic,, do the simple test.
One should be able to see the scale read out, so stand on each corner of the scale, then in the middle.
The 5 weights should be the same. If not a load cell isn't correct (or the company isn't) Just go to another yard.

I had an independent weight company come in 4X a year to certify my scales-they didn't make an appointment they just showed up in the middle of any business day.
Everything waited until they finished and posted up the findings for the scale.(Above each scale)
(Most yards get a certified scale-nobody rechecks that scale-unless they are ripping off the world and the authorities check the weights out/or the law requires an update.)

Yes it sucked to be half way through the weigh up-but I was the only scrap yard that did this. Why?
Because I treated everything honestly-I didn't want to loose, and the scrap belonged to the customer until they signed the form and they were paid.

I was the second biggest yard in the eastern part of the GTA, the biggest was a company that did small/med/big a feeder yard.

The biggest margins are in zinc, lead, cans, insulated wire is probably being the highest.

Earn the trust of the yard and it works both ways as they will trust your loads.

Separate the metals, ask questions on how you can get a better price.

I was an open book when it came to educating the customer. Reason being is it made me money, less separation, cleaner product. quick in/out =$$$

I went toe-to toe with the biggest yard for 10yrs in pricing. Still they could out do me by 5-10cents a pound on stuff if they wanted to apply pressure on me. I worked on 8-10cent margins during those 10yrs.
So you think you're getting ripped off when you sell a bag of cans/or any other product, think about this.

You sell a 100 lb of copper to me for $1.00 a pound. 100x$1.00=$100.00 in your pocket.
I had to separate, put it in a bin/tote, store it, transport it, sell it. Sometimes had to wait a few days to get my money even, and always paid by cheque-not cash like you got. My final take was $110.00

Now I had a mortgage, taxes, heat, wages, utilities, fuel .........They list is endless for expenses and running costs. Just the back pocket visa was tipping 15-20K a month for fuels/parts/.......

So in the scrap world it works like this "If it was easy-It would have been done-Scrap 101"

When I started out processing my own scrap, driving over the scales, fighting for my loads, I was lucky to get $10 per hr for cleaning scrap up good enough to sell. But if I put enough hrs in-I made money.

I owned the yard for 13 years my weeks were still 85-100hrs a week-I wore out-sold-retired at 48yrs old. Yes one can make it on scrap.

Honesty was the best policy

Funny little story: While sitting in the office of the former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs he told me that he made his first money in scrap. How?

"I climbed over the Cherry St yard's back fence when I was a kid-took some scrap-went around to the front and sold it back to them" :laughing7:

Folks look down their noses at the lowly scrap truck driving around picking up any thing metal to sell. I tip my hat at that person as it's a hard, honest days living. Many customers were those types, drove from morning to dusk, had a mortgage, paid the bills, went to church on Sundays, and I would trust them with the till if I turned my back as they looked after mine in turn.

I have no secrets-nor do I tell no lies.
 

Plumbata

Bronze Member
May 13, 2012
1,342
2,189
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
White's
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Once I was selling a load of #2 copper among other metals, about 20 pounds worth, but when I got the ticket it said I had 168 pounds of #2!! Naturally I alerted the foreman immediately, the newbie who accidentally stepped on the scale got a healthy reaming, the scrappers behind me looked at me like I was nuts and said I shoulda kept quiet, and then the guys in the office thanked me, shook my hand and gave me a 10.00 honesty/hamburger bonus. This was in Columbus Ohio at the height of the heroin/opiate crisis and a good half of the clientele were either simple addicts or thieving addicts who mysteriously found vast supplies of nothing but big HVAC condenser unit coils. Also rather mysteriously, every vacant house in the city had their condensers disappear around the same time.

That scrapyard was getting screwed every second every day, with people dumping washers they had filled with water, dryers full of broken paving bricks, loads of cans with sand filled ones peppered in, and the lowly homeless dopesick scroungers would collect up good donated canned food just to push to the yard and "sell for weight". Pretty nasty degenerated place if you ask me, scrapping ain't easy especially when you're dealing with criminals and addicts all day long.
 

Last edited:

pepperj

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2009
36,400
134,116
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Deus, Deus 2, Minelab 3030, E-Trac,
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Once I was selling a load of #2 copper among other metals, about 20 pounds worth, but when I got the ticket it said I had 168 pounds of #2!! Naturally I alerted the foreman immediately, the newbie who accidentally stepped on the scale got a healthy reaming, the scrappers behind me looked at me like I was nuts and said I shoulda kept quiet, and then the guys in the office thanked me, shook my hand and gave me a 10.00 honesty/hamburger bonus. This was in Columbus Ohio at the height of the heroin/opiate crisis and a good half of the clientele were either simple addicts or thieving addicts who mysteriously found vast supplies of nothing but big HVAC condenser unit coils. Also rather mysteriously, every vacant house in the city had their condensers disappear around the same time.

That scrapyard was getting screwed every second every day, with people dumping washers they had filled with water, dryers full of broken paving bricks, loads of cans with sand filled ones peppered in, and the lowly homeless dopesick scroungers would collect up good donated canned food just to push to the yard and "sell for weight". Pretty nasty degenerated place if you ask me, scrapping ain't easy especially when you're dealing with criminals and addicts all day long.

It was one policy that I implemented that the scrap had to come to the yard via car/truck/motorbike=No grocery cart paddlers it just got the stage where the minor crimes in the neighbourhood got too high.
Go and crap in in another one not your own back yard.
The beat cops used to show up over a BBQ lid that was stolen 2 weeks before-crazy waste of resources and time. (In the meantime the son of the complainant stole his scrap from the large nursing/hospital facility. Case of pot calling kettle black)
I had one policy and I lived by that policy "Is that your scrap?" If the answer was yes then that suited me fine.
(After just starting out in business this guy threatened to blow my melon off with a shotgun.)
From that day forward it changed my views on many things when it came to loads.
If it turned out to be stolen, we just handed the paperwork over, and carried on. Lifetime ban for the person that brought it into the yard.

The rocks, bricks, water, iron, mixed into the non-ferrous scrap (which I only dealt in) was found countless times.

In one guy's load we found bricks up the aluminum downspouts.
The next time he came in we weighed him up, took it off the bill.
We found rocks this time-replay.
Next time he returned we took it off the bill-claiming his innocence the whole time.

He returned an hour later looking for the Eastwing framing hammer. ( That we found rolled up in a piece of siding, strike 3.)
Nope seen no hammer, sorry the load has already been processed and bailed.
20 yrs later still when I use that hammer it brings me a certain amount of satisfaction.:laughing7:
 

Plumbata

Bronze Member
May 13, 2012
1,342
2,189
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
White's
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Nope seen no hammer, sorry the load has already been processed and bailed.
20 yrs later still when I use that hammer it brings me a certain amount of satisfaction.:laughing7:

Hahaha, beautiful! :laughing7:

The cops issued a city, maybe even statewide ban on the copper/aluminum condenser coils to curb the rampant property damage which was annoying for me but quite justified. The criminal scrappers got their payback however, by peeling the copper sheet roof right off the downtown Police headquarters!! Ballsy as hell, haha.
 

pa plateau hiker

Bronze Member
Jul 15, 2012
1,073
1,270
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Don't feel bad, Davers. I had been saving disposable aluminum baking pans for 6 years from an annual event here. I had 52 lbs and I got a whopping $2.08 when I took them in. I will not sell my aluminum cans, scrap aluminum windows and doors or copper. The price has to come up sometime.
 

Plumbata

Bronze Member
May 13, 2012
1,342
2,189
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
White's
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Don't feel bad, Davers. I had been saving disposable aluminum baking pans for 6 years from an annual event here. I had 52 lbs and I got a whopping $2.08 when I took them in. I will not sell my aluminum cans, scrap aluminum windows and doors or copper. The price has to come up sometime.

Ugh, sounds like my results after saving up clean zinc for a long time only to get 5 cents a pound. I thought with market price around 1.00/lb then I'd at least get .25 but no dice. Stopped selling lead ages ago because ya can pour ingots and sell on eBay for top dollar but I've just been piling it up, probably got 600lb in the corner of the garage now. Pewter (tin) is the granddaddy of base metals, if scrap pewter is poured into bars and sold on eBay it's worth 8-12 a pound currently so very good to hoard cheap pewter items from sales/thrift stores. Not sure but probably have 120-140lb stacked now.

I expect prices to go way up on base metals by next Spring, so hold if you can afford to.
 

pepperj

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2009
36,400
134,116
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Deus, Deus 2, Minelab 3030, E-Trac,
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
That's the issue with the trade, pay low on zinc, lead, german silver, pewter.
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top