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  • Scrap processing or value adding

    Most scrappers I know do their scrapping the same way. Pick up someone's junk, pull out anything worth pulling out like copper wire or motors etc and take it in. Driving distances and sometimes not getting much are a distinct possibility and can sometimes hurt a little financially. I've been wondering if there are any or many 1 man operations or businesses not much bigger that purely buy their scrap for the sole purpose of breaking it down to the next level to make their money. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as this would take a lot of the uncertainty out of scrapping. I've scrapped a lot of fridge motors lately and can have one completely opened and copper removed in only a few minutes. If I could buy them in bulk, it'd a more boring but constant business. What are your experiences and thoughts?

  • #2
    A Fridge motor and copper out in Minutes ,,, now id love to see a video on that . Blasted things take for ever , but maybe that's just me . I'm in the Mallee and or towns are small with no hard rubbish any more, I was thinking of just doing a mail box drop and offer to pick up all scrap electronics and white goods rather than them taking it to the tips and being charged for it . That way you would know when you went to town what you were getting rather than hunting around . But that's just me out here

    Comment


    • DJGrecycling
      DJGrecycling commented
      Editing a comment
      9 inch grinder and wire cutters makes easy work of the fridge motors .. And the oil makes it easy for the copper to come out

  • #3
    Screw grinders. I hate them. I bought a cheap plasma cutter off of ebay. Best scrapping tool i ever bought.

    Comment


    • DJGrecycling
      DJGrecycling commented
      Editing a comment
      Yea there good I got a 55amp 3 phase cutter... All fun and games till stuff catches on fire lol .. I'm also a big fan of oxy/acet just for the fact you can cut a lot thicker stuff just takes abit more time

    • Tybo
      Tybo commented
      Editing a comment
      I was going to say it'd have to be oxy to get a fridge compressor out that quickly, but plasma is just as good.

  • #4
    Much like yards, if you were to buy your scrap for the sole purpose of breaking it down, you'd have to buy it dirt cheap. The labor involved in pulling something apart just for the scrap means that you'll usually just break even, if not go backwards. Most items apart from hot water systems, air-cons and microwaves, only have a scrap value of less then $10, so unless you were doing large volumes, my opinion is that unless you really enjoy it, it's not worth it. People ask me all the time, "would you give me money for my broken washing machine, or my CRT that still works". I nicely say no. I don't buy scrap, and never will. I struggle to process the free stuff I get, let alone anything I'd buy.

    Comment


    • Niggle
      Niggle commented
      Editing a comment
      My idea is to only buy scrap and devote my time to processing it rather than picking up people's scrap which can be time consuming at times. What do you think?

    • Tybo
      Tybo commented
      Editing a comment
      What are you going to buy in particular? What value will have on items? Will you buy by weight or by each item?

    • WEEE Ben
      WEEE Ben commented
      Editing a comment
      Buying scrap is just as time consuming as you still gotta pick it up or deal with someone, you won't get anyone bringing it to you, well, not enough anyway.
      Scrap yards buy scrap metal so they would just take it there, being a scrap metal dealer involves a lot of tax stuff, accreditation ect, it's different to recycling
      as scrap metal attracts a lot of shonky characters, laundering money etc.

      It's kinda what stuffed up scrappers in the USA, too many people wanting scrap they pay for it, so now a lot of people think their fridge or pc is worth big bucks, simply because people are advertising to buy which makes people think there must be lot's of money in 'em, when you tell them their once $2000 pc is worth $4 to you, people get a shock, that's why we call it waste, just rubbish and any value you get is absorbed by receiving and processing.

      A fridge is worth what? $10 scrap value? so if you paid half, do you think someone's going to drag a fridge to you for $5? they'd rather leave it on the street.
      Commercial e-waste recyclers do buy most of their product but they rely on volumes and deep pockets, they will approach say BHP and offer to rebate for their e-waste, but you need to have a lot of accreditation to get that work.

      So I can't see it being worth it straight up, especially if your thinking domestic e-waste, you could offer to buy things when picking up junky e-waste but why would you? your picking up junk.=

  • #5
    Im looking to buy fridge compressors by the ton from a major scrap yard in Sydney.

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    • #6
      Well that's kinda different but scrap yards know scrap and they know where to get best value, if your the best option then I'd be concerned of the profit you will make
      becaus escrap yards had to buy it in the first place.

      I do know of guys buying fridges from large service centres or recycling centres, that would be your best option, at least thy got it first for free but say in Melbourne, those fridge guys are very well established already, one crew I know send them to India for repair and re-sale.
      Buying eWaste link here

      Comment


      • #7
        Just me doing my maths here, but this is how I see it:

        Fridge compressors are bought for around 20-30c a kilo by scrapyards. Most are between 10-30kg, or $2-$9 each, so a tonne would have say 40-60 units. What rate is the scrapyard going to sell them to you? Say they add 30% on and sell it onto you at 25-40c/kg, and you pay between $250-$400 for a tonne. You say each unit takes you a couple of minutes, let's say 3 x 40-60 is between, so 2-3 hours to cut them all out.

        Do you know the ratio of copper to steel in a fridge motor? If I had to guess, I'd say around 5% is copper, the rest could go as HMS, which at the current rate is around $100/tonne(?)

        50kg of copper @$5.50/kg = $275
        950kg of HMS @10c/kg = $95
        Total = $370
        And you may have paid $250-$400
        Not including pickup, then drive back to cash in, power for plasma cutter and the 2-3 hours work.

        Of course this is all speculation, and if these numbers are different then it's something else. But I'd be asking these number questions first, as it might be pretty tight margins.

        Comment


        • #8
          Unless you want to be the next Sims Metal, then I would think long and hard before I raced off buying any scrap. Maybe I'm just lucky up here, but I can generally get all the scrap I can handle.

          Also got a great deal going with my scrap buyer. Because he is a one man operation, he can't afford to pay anyone to break down scrap. He handles the steel and has a car crusher which gets a good workout. So he gets me to strip the looms and any electric motors, including the behind dash air cons and heaters. I take it all home where I strip everything down to the last nut and bolt, the looms of course only get clipped of plugs and any metal pieces. Then I sell it all back to him.

          His view is that I provide value added scrap and after paying me he can still make more on it than if he just crushed the whole lot and got paid shred. After I finish, he degases and then rips out the motor, rear end, front suspension, gearbox and radiator and any battery. He then fills the shell up with as much shred as he can fit in it, and then into the crusher.

          He also throws a lot of white goods my way, and any fridge compressors. Same deal.

          So I know not everyone is going to be in a position to do a deal like this, but the moral is, when you get scrap, break it down until there is nothing left to break down. Separate everything, even your nuts and bolts and screws. A ten litre bucket of nuts and bolts is heavy and it is classed as heavy steel. And don't forget all those brass connectors on the wiring in white goods, I know they don't weigh much, but once again, when you fill that bucket up, the weigh in very well. And at around $3.80 a kilo, brass is good stuff. And don't forget, when you have washing machines, microwaves etc, behind the control panels you quite often get silver mylar. And don't forget all the switches, good place to find small amounts of silver.

          Look, unless your into scrapping in a big way, you have to be looking at volume. Each piece on its own might not be worth much, but fill that bucket up and it starts to be a different story.

          Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my view of scrapping as a hobby for making some nice pin money. Cheers.
          OKEDEN SCRAP & PM's
          http://www.okedenscrapandpms.com.au

          Comment


          • #9
            Well I'm going to give it a go. It seems for a lot of the guys on here that scrapping is just a hobby. For me its additional income 95%, hobby 5%. If I could simplify my process by having it come on a pallet, and then processing and delivering meaning I could put the long yards in at home then the better for me.

            Comment


            • WEEE Ben
              WEEE Ben commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah well it's worth a try, I scrap for a living, it's my only income so I understand what your trying to do.
              The advice you've got is most likely the outcome you'll get, very little response but you haven't clarified what scrap your talking about.
              if your talking about scrap junk like fridges, vacuum cleaners and general hard rubbish then the question is who will ship you pallet loads of it when the cost of shipping out weighs the value of the scrap.

              It's hard to give advice when we have little to go by, maybe give us a clearer picture on your idea so we can help you as what you might think will be totally different to reality.

          • #10
            I'm looking to purchase scrap fridge compressors, cut them open for the copper etc.

            Comment


            • WEEE Ben
              WEEE Ben commented
              Editing a comment
              oh, well then one avenue is to look up all the recycling transfer stations that are run by councils.
              And another is air conditioning service companies, the ones that service large buildings etc.
              I pick up from one in Melbourne and get 30 or so every few months but there'd be a lot of them companies around.
              Yeah you would have to buy them to get them delivered but picking them up on a regular run would get you them for free.
              The one I service is just happy to not have to toss them in the dump master, they wouldn't send them to me though, their staff are too highly paid to bother with that
              no matter how much you offered.

              It wouldn't be a big deal for you to drop into a bunch of pick-ups over a couple days a month, rest of the time you can scrap, and when it's free it's going to be some kind of business, paying for it will just cut into profit.
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