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  1. #1
    fiat128 started this thread.
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    Found a whole truckload of steel in the trash yesterday

    For the past 3-4 months I've been hitting the construction debris roll off boxes at a local shopping center where all the big box stores like "Linen & Things" and "Circuit City" that went bankrupt have been getting remodeled on my way home after work.

    This has been yeilding about a ton of steel a month plus lots of copper and aluminum and escrap.

    Yesterday, I drove up to one of the dumpsters and one entire end of the thing was filled with brand new unassembled display racks that for some unexplicable reason the people remodeling the store threw away, all made from 1/2" and 1/4" rod.

    It was a pretty good score and I filled my truck (so much so that I had to make some "sides" on the spot to hold it all).

    There were also about 6 nearly new all steel K-Mart shopping carts in there that these jerks threw out instead of taking them back up the street to K-Mart (I took them out and put them in the far end of the parking lot for the K-Mart guys to recover.)



  2. #2
    wayne1956's Avatar
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    Very nice score.

  3. #3
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    Very good scpre. Be careful I got pulled over after doing that and the cop said it was illegal in NJ. Did you get permission from the manager(s) of the store?

  4. #4
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    I've had cops give me a hard time. Usually after talking with them with a decent attitude they leave me be. \
    My typical response is it's as legal for me as it is for you searching through a dumpster without a warrant.

    Some communities do have specific ordinances about dumpster diving.

  5. #5
    fiat128 started this thread.
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    I usually ask everytime I see a different person working on the site, just so they all know me. After a week or so they start just giving me the scrap most of the time. El Paso is a different sort of place, there's a whole army of people who come over here in trucks from Mexico and take all of the cardboard, scrap and anything they can find. You have to be quick here (while I was loading up three other trucks drove up, first guy took all the cardboard and the other two got nothing).

    Cops drive right by me and don't say anything when they are patrolling. Also, if it isn't actually in the dumpster, I don't take it. Even if it's obvious it's going in the dumpster.

  6. #6
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    There's a building in front of where I work and some remodeling is taking place in one of the suites. A construction roll off box is in the parking lot and besides pieces of sheetrock there is a lot of scrap metal in there. My question is it illegal if I go in a grab the metal? This is in Texas.

  7. #7
    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    There's a building in front of where I work and some remodeling is taking place in one of the suites. A construction roll off box is in the parking lot and besides pieces of sheetrock there is a lot of scrap metal in there. My question is it illegal if I go in a grab the metal? This is in Texas.
    We don't know your city or state ordinances so go ask permission just in case. That way if an officer stops to question you, you have a name to throw at him.
    P & M Recycling - Specializing in E-Waste Recycling.
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  8. #8
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    Be careful... the owner of the company would not be pleased to find you taking his metal from the box.... A lot of times that stuff is baked into the price we give our clients. We know we are getting scrappable material from a job and lower the price accordingly. When it is stolen... we go stake out the box to see who is coming by... You can imagine what happens next..

    Just because it is in a box does not mean it is public property... We sign contracts and bid on jobs that are very competitive. When someone comes and empties the value out of a box.. that is stealing, plain and simple. I deal with it a lot in NYC with cardboard. It gets stolen every single night and I even have to pay some customers for their cardboard whether it gets stolen or not. The idea that if it is on the street it is public domain has long since passed.

    (Tried to post a link here but I don't have enough posts yet)


    I know all cities are different, but if you take say an A/C Unit that has been left out for the city.. they will arrest you and impound your truck and fine you $10,000.00. I know this because one day I sent one of my employees to pick up some parts and on the way he did so with my pick up truck and I had to wait almost a month to get it out of the lot while he put together the money to pay his fine. (Truck wasn't even worth 5k)

    Be careful..
    Last edited by technologyrecycling; 07-07-2012 at 07:07 AM.

  9. #9
    eesakiwi's Avatar
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    I made a screwup involving a dumpster once. There was a huge amunt of stationary & stuff in it & I couldn't believe they were throwing it away.

    Turns out they weren't, they were using it to shift stock to a new shop..... There was a note about it in the newspaper a couple of days later, they didn't know who did it, but they knew something was taken.

  10. #10
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    Permission sure -But any container with only metal I don't even bother to ask . It has to be a mix and when that type of construction goes down you have all types of stuff besides metal so it's very clear
    I had a great run on a container from a conversion from circuit city to a price right supermarket , I had permission copper wire SS AL Short Mix It was like a candy shop for me They were tossing out heavy steel doors also . I wish that lasted forever , sadly it one day is completed

  11. #11
    BRASSCATCHER's Avatar
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    " When it is stolen...we go stake out the box to see who is coming by....You can imagine what happens next" No I can't, what do you do break a leg or some fingers? For someone who has been preaching about permits and laws and the like since you came on I dont find that comment funny. You seem to be for alot more regulation by the cities and govt when it come to scrappers. Just remember without us, some of the yards that peolpe here sell to dont make there quotas to the larger yards. As far as someone getting arrested, fined and truck impounded I think that is the job of the nyc sanitaion police. The nypd is not going around looking for someone removing scrap from the sidewalk(trust me I come from a family of city cops) Most likely your guy was stopped because of the fact that it was a private carting truck that removed scrap from a public sidewalk and not from one of your dumpsters.
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  12. #12
    bluemeate's Avatar
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    im pretty sure hes complaining about people taking from his dumpster
    collecting san joses scrap

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemeate View Post
    im pretty sure hes complaining about people taking from his dumpster
    why is he complaining if its a roll off, they have to pay for those for each one that gets halued off/delivered, your probably saving him $300-$500 per roll off full

  14. #14
    bluemeate's Avatar
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    cuase he's probably giving discounts (in order to make sales) to those that fill the dumpster with recycleable material... if no recycle material arrives (cuase you pick it all out at 1am) then he is losing money

  15. #15
    fiat128 started this thread.
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    Wow, interesting response from the New York guy. Having lived all over the country, I'm pretty sure your comments apply mostly to the Northeast. That's just so typical of New York it's just hard to describe. People in that region will give you a hard time just because they can. In fact, they somehow feel obligated to.

    I won't even do buisness with anyone from that region anymore, it's just not worth the hassle of the "bust your chops" mentality people up there have. If you read what I wrote, you notice I said "there is an army of Mexicans that cross the border everyday to get scrap". Here in the southwest, dumpster diving is pretty much expected since there are so many people that are extremely poor. City cops (or any other cops) never mess with these people.

    Bottom line is ask before you take. If you live in an area where people are nasty a**holes to each other as a normal part of life, take that into account.
    Last edited by fiat128; 10-01-2012 at 09:35 AM.

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  17. #16
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    fiat why are you saying that the northeast is bad. It is not bad as a whole just individual spots. Not everybody "up here" is trying to steal stuff. Most people like me are trying to make a legitimate honest living by recycling. So grouping the whole northeast together is not fair and it is stereotyping at its worst. You sir need to think before you speak.

  18. #17
    TheRecycler's Avatar
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    I have always contended that us scrappers are providing one hell of a service that we are not being recognized for. Well done bro and cool find.
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