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Can this work? It depends on you.

| A Day in the Life of a Scrapper
  1. #1
    numbers started this thread.
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    Can this work? It depends on you.

    A brief history and overview of how we have done this. We started this venture in early 2011. It began as a way to help young son make a student loan payment.

    The first e-waste box we shipped out was in January of 2013, to a place in Ohio we thought we would take a chance on. When we received the payment of $335 for that box we knew this might work. That check also convinced the wife to tolerate the "pile of inventory" behind the barn.

    In the beginning we picked up everything we could. Luckily we have some room behind the barn where loads were dumped and sorted before going to the local scrap yard. The more loads that came to the house, the more investigation we did into what piles to sort things into. We knew that the computers we had set aside were worth more than $.05 per pound paid at the scrap yard. One thing led to another and we found this forum. How did we start to gather enough computers to make it worthwhile? That's easy. We just used the 6 foot rule. If you were within 6 feet we asked how you disposed of your old computer and other electronics. That is what we did. We talked to every convenience store clerk, business person, every banker, everyone that we got within 6 feet of. Our first pickup of strictly computers was for a few old 386 machines in a closet at a church. It went up from there - from a pickup load at a time, to a truck and trailer load to 2 trucks and trailers, until we were periodically renting 24ft trucks with lift gates. We continued to send Fed-X boxes, and more boxes, and then a pallet, and then two , three. And it worked. When we found items that might qualify as working (memory, chips, et), we found someone in the Colorado area that is honest and great to deal with.

    As we have talked to so many people, it was and is very common to receive text messages, emails and phone calls asking if we would take something off their hands. In fact, there have been multiple times when I have left work and found more in the bed of my truck then when I arrived. People in the area, that know us, will just put things in the back of our trucks when they see them. We consider that a compliment, not an irritant.

    There is no question that the bulk of the material does go to the local scrap yard. The shred, the odd radiator, small accumulations of brass and copper, all end up there. Early this year, the owner of the local yard, shook his head when I came in with another load and asked - "How do you keep coming in with so many computer cases? By the way, would you take a look at the college scoreboard we got in last week? I think there might be some boards like the ones you have talked about...." You never know how long it will take to make an impact on someone, or who it will be. We learned you just can't quit.

    Unfortunately, life can get in the way. We had to take a break. A move by young son to follow his dreams to New York, a job offer I couldn't pass up, all took place. That didn't mean we didn't continue to accumulate. It just meant we didn't have time to tear down, sort and ship. That break on sending things out ended last month. It was a three year break.

    Out of loyalty, and being with familiar with other members of this forum, I got in touch with Gorven (Terry Koontz) for help with shipping. Don't ask if I would recommend his service, just get in touch with him. Helpful, willing to answer questions, fantastic guy. Great experience. And the load ended up at that place in Ohio where we sent our first box in January of 2013. Only this time, it more than one box. It was actually 13 pallets, with an average weight of over 1000 pounds. And yes, Ewasted, on this forum, was again, as always, great to deal with. Let us just say that this load brought in more than I earned my first year out of college.

    If you wonder if you can make any money being a scrapper, you can. It will not be easy. You will get turned down. You will sell something along the way and not get paid for it. You will have relatives make fun of you. Just keep in mind they aren't paying your bills. There is one other item that is important. Read. Read this forum. Read every message on here to learn what others have learned so you can save yourself time. We have learned so much from all of the members that have posted here - some have only been on for a brief period, some have died, some have changed names along the way. All of them were important to helping us. The information and wisdom that they freely gave made the difference. We appreciate that. Thank you.


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  3. #2
    kss's Avatar
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    The story of your growth is super cool to hear. I don't think I'll be able to scale that large do to e-waste recycling needing special certifications and permits in my state technically.... That puts most large businesses in my state out of reach for me as they all want the person taking their stuff to have those certs (which require around $100k and a year+ of time to get/qualify for).... But I still am able to get a decent amount of stuff.... In about a year I went from using the trunk of my sedan, to buying an using a truck, to buying and using a truck and a trailer .... And it's already too small for some jobs. Anywho, good stuff man, thanks for sharing.

    I agree that this forum is a literally gold mine for anyone with the desire and drive to make some money and do some reading and research
    Last edited by kss; 11-15-2020 at 03:22 PM.

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