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  • Is it worth scrapping the brass pins from mains plugs?

    Hey all,
    I've recently undertaken my own time trial to see for myself whether it's a waste of time or not trying to salvage the brass pins from all the plugs I've been throwing in the bin!


  • #2
    G'day Chris, You are quite correct when you break it down to an hourly rate. So if scrapping is your main business enterprise, then is isn't worth it.

    As a part time hobby scrapper, I take a different view. What I did was compare the value of an average three pin plug at 30 cents a kilo and the value of the brass extracted at $5.20 a kilo. These prices are what I have been getting here in Queensland, and we all know that the prices can vary from yard to yard and week to week.

    What I found was that an average 3 pin plug weighed 42 grams, therefore a value of 1.26 cents. The brass pins weighed 7 grams, therefore a value of 3.64 cents.

    So by me stripping the pins, I have increased the value almost 2.9 times. You can extrapolate the figures out to volume and get a better idea. For instance, a kilo of plugs, about 24, is worth 30 cents. A kilo of plugs would give you 168 grams of brass worth 87 cents.

    So yes it is all about pennies and not worth the effort for a full time scrappy.
    OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
    http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply Okeden - and it's nice to see someone else alive in here!
      Scrapping isn't my main business - in fact I haven't sold any scrap at all for over 10 years... but I still do like to get value for my time.
      I guess everyone is different in that respect and also value can be measured in enjoyment, or even satisfaction for that matter! So the hobbyist scrapper who has lots of time and really enjoys pulling things apart would see value where I don't!
      At least people can make up their own minds if I show facts & figures in my youtube trials

      $5.20 is a good price for brass! Has it gone up recently?

      Cheers,
      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Chris

        The $5.20 was the amount I used when I worked it out. At the moment I get about $5. But as I said, it varies from state to state and from week to week. Like I see a Victorian steel price of $80 tonne, but up here we can get around $300 for grade one steel. So it's a huge variance. And even within your own state you will get big differences between yards.

        I live about 300 klm NW of Brisbane and have a very good relationship with our local scrappy. In fact we are good mates. If I want to cart all my scrap to Brisbane I will get more return than I do locally. But my mate looks after me. Like he gives me white goods, motors and all that stuff that he can't afford to strip. He sees it as a win win situation. He gets premium price for stuff I strip, and I get top going rate for the stuff he gives me to scrap.

        So mate, it varies wildly from place to place.

        Cheers
        Bill
        OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
        http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

        Comment


        • #5
          That's a perfect situation Bill.. it's nice when dealing is fair, transparent and has fringe benefits!
          I live about an hour north of Melbourne and have just started looking around at yard pricing. There's one yard in Shepparton (about 30 minutes north of here), but their prices are shocking... so I'll probably be doing some runs to Melbourne this year. I guess you really need the competition of different yards in close proximity to get a fair price!
          Cheers,
          Chris

          Comment


          • #6
            Trouble with country scrap yards is they have to then get it to the Capital City. That costs them obviously. I'm very lucky with my situation. Okay, Shepp is closer to Melbourne than I am to Brisbane, and you have the Hume Freeway to travel on.

            Obviously you wouldn't go to Melbourne with half a load, you would want to make it worthwhile. So you need to factor in your travel costs and compare the nett result with what you would get at Shepp. I do know my way around Victoria. Grew up there, about 30 years, before moving to Queensland.

            Do know of a place at Mt. Evelyn - Evelyn Recycling. Their prices are mostly reasonable, steel price is a bit cheap but sure you could negotiate better. They have an online site that actually displays their prices, although the current list hasn't been updated since August.

            Anyway Chris, cheers with your endeavours
            Bill
            OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
            http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Bill - it's nice to see online prices, but then they do need to be updated regularly.

              Mt Evelyn is almost 2 hours from here - I think I'm better checking out some of the northern yards around Craigieburn as that's only an hour's easy driving down the Hume with little traffic.

              Just getting back on track with the plugs... do most yards buy them just as plugs (for around 30c/kg)? And can all sorts of plugs go into the mix?
              I don't think I've ever noticed a price for plugs in any price list I've seen?

              Ben - do you sell them, or just bin them?

              Anyone else?

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi there

                Where I go they take plugs as steel. But then they don't really care what you put in the bin. Copper fans, plastic and all, go as .15c so it is a give and take situation as far as I am concerned.

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                • #9
                  15c seems pretty good for mixed rubbish! Where are you Scotty - in Melbourne?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had a few UK mains plugs, lot of brass in those.
                    They were cut off to put Ozzie plugs on, and were the molded on type so couldn't be re-used.

                    My reasons for scrapping them was:
                    1. Plastic has no value at all.
                    2. I don't have much brass anyway, so a bit here and there means someday I will have enough to make it worth the trouble selling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I certainly agree with the UK plugs. Especially the non moulded ones. One screw for the case and one for each pin and the fuse holders, worth scrapping those for sure.

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                      • #12
                        Yep, I noticed on some of the UK scrapping channels that their plugs had much chunkier brass pins! I reckon there'd be almost twice the weight of brass in those, which would certainly make the exercise more profitable. I had figured that the plugs had no value otherwise - but now others are saying they get a price per kg for plugs, or throw them in with the steel. So there is some value without doing a thing - albeit very little!

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