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We installed solar street lighting in a neighborhood, a lot of them went into the original location of the power companies lights. All they did was snip the cables and crane the lights out. We must of pulled 750-1000lbs of aluminum wire. It was worth the $50 for a manual wire stripper.
Just stripped the wire slowly over a couple months in the evenings with the guys over a beer or two. Stored in some 55 gallon trash cans in the storage lock-up until we next go to the recycler.
 

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I'm also in the thought of saving it and every month or so get someone to haul it in on their time and split the take, currently aluminum here is about 50 cents/pound, and last take in took the guy 2.5 hours, we split the $300 and both had a few extra bucks...this obviously only works if you have space to stash a pile of aluminum...
 

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Its an old thread, but ill add two cents. Two ways scrap makes business sense. 1 is volume. You need big tonnage, big equipment, and you need to be constantly selling. 2 is storage to create volume and wait for pricing.

I have been involved in #1 as an operator wrecking major factories. The environment was fast paced, and cut throat. The deal usually falls along these lines, demo company pays factory owner x amount of dollars, plus a split of scrap profits. How the demo company gets paid is by the abatement, environmental, and scrap. Being able to get a jump on every thing is key. Having large amounts and being able to ship directly to mills/smelters is big. On an average day it was expected that an excavator and shear was to cut enough structural iron to fill at least one railcar, if not two. It was nothing to ship 10,000 tons of iron a month. I was prepping non ferrous metals with an excavator. It was nothing to break down bus bar and ship 100,000lbs of clean #1 copper a week. At the peak of the scrap market, that ment $400,000. That paid for the companies entire pay roll a week, and this company is consistently in the top 10 demo contractors on the ENR list.

Having moved from the demo business I participate in #2 I come across small quantities of metal doing the work I do now. Usually nothing that the rest of the guys want. I take it home and stock pile it. If it is structural iron, I cut it to 2ftx2ft pieces, and throw it in a pile. I shy away from sheet iron as it tends to be bulky and pays about half of what prepared iron pays. I have several bins to store non ferrous metals. Aluminum tends to be bulky, but at 40cents plus a pound, ill deal with that. Copper is still king. As I bring every thing to the shop ill prep it. Cut it short, strip any coatings, and sort it based on grade. When I get enough to be worth my time I hit the phone and call the local scrap yards. Who ever quotes the highest price gives me leverage to call the guy I deal with. He always matches that price. Dont knock him, its the nature of the business.

Sure its all a big pain in the ass. Sure a lot of people give me a hard time. But it works out to be a significant amount of mad money every year.
 

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depending on the job, we will scrap some it it is easily separable. we typically haul our own trash with our dump trucks or dump trailer. a couple of years ago we had a demo of a retail store with a lot of steel studs and hollow metal frames. We pitched the studs and frames in one truck and the drywall in the other. the scrap yard was closer than the dump so we saved time in dumping the load and the dump fees. Adding in the price we got for the scrap, we came out ahead as we die not have to waste a lot of time separating things or moving them twice. It was definitely not a get rich proposition, we probably came out a few hundred ahead. it really only pays to do this on larger jobs where you have a lot of scrap.

We typically save our metals and wire to scrap them in addition to cardboard. We don't get paid for the cardboard but it does save a lot of dumpster space. The metals we scrap from the smaller jobs we probably break even on at best but it is a feel good thing that you are keeping it out of a landfill and doing something good for the environment.
 
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