Americans today are recycling at unprecedented rates. While some cities and states have enacted laws and rules that mandate sorting your trash for recycling purposes, the fact is that we’ve become more conscious of how much waste we generate. We’ve also become more likely to recycle, returning commodities like paper and plastic to the supply stream.
Look at 2018, the most recent year that we were able to gather accurate data:
Americans generated over 292.4 million tons of waste. That’s enough for 4.9 pounds of garbage per person, per day.
Of that, over 94 million tons was recycled and/or composted.
One of the values that we add to the recycling process is the fact that we specialize in recycling metals. When recycling metal and returning it to the supply stream, you get more bang for your buck, from an environmental standpoint. When you recycle paper or plastic, it degrades each time that you use it. Paper, for example, begins with trees. That first conversion to paper yields nice, crisp sheets suitable for boxes or greeting cards. The first time that it’s recycled, it won’t be nice and crisp, and will be better suited for inexpensive copier paper or newsprint. Each time it’s reused, it loses some of that original wood pulp, until you eventually have to add in more new trees.
Metal, on the other hand, is almost 100% recyclable. A pound of aluminum cans can be recycled to create a pound of aluminum cans.
This is also why we’re able to pay more for metal scrap, as opposed to those who deal in paper or plastic – it has better value as a raw material.
Which brings up our most commonly asked question:
“How much will I get for my scrap metal?”
Scrap metal is a commodity, and there are numerous markets that use it, with thousands of brokers who buy and sell it. Much like the price of oil or gasoline fluctuates with the seasons and our travel (gas prices usually go up just in time for everyone’s summer vacations…), the price of scrap metal fluctuates daily. If there is a high demand for steel, the value of scrap steel will go up. If there’s a lot of copper floating around on the market, the price of copper will go down.
You can always call to get an estimate of TODAY’S prices, but we can’t really promise anything a week or a month from now.
Some general rules of thumb:
• The higher the grade of the metal, the better the price. Metals that have been mixed with other metals or materials lack the purity of something that is, say, solid copper. We’ll therefore pay less for that.
• The cleaner it is, the better the price. Certain materials we grade by how clean and how pure it is. If it’s something that’s been on your roof or in your basement for decades, the elements will degrade the material and lower the purity.
• It doesn’t have to be solid metal. We do a pretty good business in old computer towers. We don’t take the monitors, because they contain a great deal of glass, but we can strip down the towers to eliminate the plastics and other non-recyclable materials and extract the metal. We can do the same with most auto parts.
Remember, we make recycling your scrap metal easy. Pull in, we unload and weigh it, you get cash. In most cases, you can simply hit our cash machine on the way out, show your receipt, and it’ll spit out dollar bills. For larger loads, we may write a check for your scrap. But you’ll always get paid.