Monday, October 20, 2008

Retraction of inaccurate info from earlier posts

Recently I was asked to correct some of the information I posted to this blog.

I'd said that scrap yards in Pennsylvania paid more for steel than Maryland scrap yards paid. In the scrap industry, prices are volatile, they can go up and down quickly.

The geographical distance from a scrap yard to where ever the processed scrap ends up can have a big impact on the prices that a scrap yard is willing to pay you.

Supply and Demand

I learned what I know about dumpster diving by actually driving a Roll Off Truck. The companies that I worked for usually delivered dumpsters to construction sites, and buildings being demolished. I was amazed to see $400 CASH or MORE being paid to the Roll Off company. Often the construction company that hired us either didn't know or didn't care if we had to pay to get rid of the load or if we got PAID to get rid of the load... they were concerned solely with getting paid to finish the job.

I learned where the scrap yards were physically located, what hours they were open, WHEN they closed (get stuck in traffic with a loaded tractor trailer and you'll pay attention to if you can make it by closing or not)... and HOW MUCH each scrap yard paid!!

How much a scrap yard would pay for what type of material was something that I was personally VERY concerned about. How the scrap yard determined what they were going to pay (and it could vary each day)was none of my business (even though I attempted to find out everything I could about the business)... for the most part I was told that Supply and Demand drove the whole show. For example in Baltimore (a major seaport), in 2004 China was buying up all the scrap steel it could get it's hands on. (that may not be true in 2008)

Soon afterwards I started going through the loaded dumpsters that were left at our Roll Off yard and pulling out what steel would fit in my pick up truck.

Not all scrap yards are created equal

Some scrap yards had a double standard!

You pull on the scales with 15 tons and you can expect a certain price and a bigger degree of latitude on weather the load is classified #1 steel or tin.

Pull on the scales with 1000 lbs in a pick up (get a visual on the bumper scraping the asphalt because you've overloaded your pick up's suspension) and you'll get treated quite another way.

Of the hundreds of loads I personally brought into a dozen or so scrap yards all over East Baltimore, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Laurel Maryland... I found out real quick who was fair and who thought of you as a pain in the a** to be ignored.

Come in with a CDL truck and get one thing, come in with a pick up and get another.

Reliable Recycling in Frederick Maryland

Not one of the above mentioned scrap yards in all four states I worked in treated us more fairly that Reliable Recycling.... they pay the same if you have 400 lbs because you didn't have access to a forklift, and if you have 2000 lbs loaded on a trailer behind your pick up.

About the Pennsylvania paying more than Maryland bit:

It seems my friend that hauled his steel up to Pennsylvania went there not because the prices paid were a bit higher (the cost of gas to get there made this not make sense)... he took it up there more because the place he took it to weren't as picky as to if it was legal or not

All I can speak with authority about is what I've seen... in 2004 if you took an abandoned car to a scrap yard you had to have the title to it if it was newer than 1986. If you took in a car older than 1986 you did not have to prove you owned the car

Some scrap yards will make you give them ID before they'll accept what you bring in.


what if later it turns out you stole that:
  • copper gutter

  • aluminum radiator

  • Air conditioning condensor

  • Roll of heavy cable with copper inside

  • ???

    Some smaller scrap yards might look the other way... which is why some scrappers are willing to travel farther to off their load.

    I'm now wondering if my buddy that took me up to PA did so not because they paid more...

    That picture of a Roll Off Truck above?

    I drove that truck for a year before my Dad died and I moved from Baltimore to Frederick Maryland. I did that companies website and they gave me a pick up in return.

    PS) someone asked me why I blog on so many topics... well, I do Search Engine Optimization in Frederick Maryland... I can hit any target in any target market, get a website to rank in the top ten at will.

    These smaller blogs create advertising income for me, If I get paid a nickle a day for each article at the end of the year I found I made about $18 for a half hours work... pretty nice rate of return even if I do have to wait a year to get paid.

    No comments: