Spring Clean Up And Scrap Metal Fund Raising
One of the several ways that Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs is financed is through the collection and selling of scrap metal. Items that range from broken appliances to ordinary tuna cans.
Usually over the winter months we are unable to take these items to the neighboring city to sell them to Triple M Metals for a few reasons:
- inclement weather, known as snow squalls and blizzards
- low scrap metal prices of $0.03-$0.04, yes, that is 3 to 4 cents a pound
- too cold (working with cold metal freezes the fingers really fast)
So, at the Buker home, you know spring is in the air when, as soon as piles of scrap metal start appearing under the disappearing snow banks, the truck gets loaded. Typically beginning in March the scrap metal prices start to rise too. In fact, they are known to be as much as or more than double what they were in the previous fall.
So instead of being only $90 a tonne, they suddenly become $180 a tonne (which is 9 cents a pound!). Huge difference. Now this is the prices for that ordinary, nothing special metals. The prices for things such as aluminum and copper metals is higher. So although we collect and sell those for scrap too, the bulk of the metals we deal with in a year are considered “shred”. Shred metals is the lowest grade and prices.
The Truck Loads Begin
This week as the snow has been melting, although still very cold and windy, Barry has begun finding the scrap metals. Normally over the winter as broken metal items have been donated to us, Barry will typically just go out into the back yard and just throw things in the snow bank. However, as the snow disappears, the metal reveals itself. So as soon as we are able, we start loading and delivering the scrap metal to Orillia.
The first load of 560 pounds has been taken down for 2017. This is a low weight load as we normally try to put about 800-900 pounds on the truck. This load was lighter because of the bulkiness of the items. Fridges. You can only put a couple of fridges on the back of a half ton truck at a time.
Barry typically removes the doors so we can lay the fridge on it’s back, and we just fill them up with the small metal items. Filling the refrigerator cavities up with the small items makes it easier to just pull the whole thing off the back of the truck. So much easier than picking up each little can or screw individually. The refrigerator becomes a giant tote bin.
Scrap Metal Collection Begins In The Kitchen
As we look to make money out of anything we can, I have even set up a scrap metal collection system in our own kitchen. Pictured here is one of the bins I use. This one holds the ordinary tin cans. A separate bin is labeled “Aluminum Cans”. This grade of aluminum is things like
- cat food cans,
- aluminum foil,
- aluminum pie plates and
- wrappers from butter.
It does not include the pop cans though. Pop cans have to be separated because they are considered a higher grade of aluminum, therefore, more money.
So between the 3 bin system I’ve set up, we are able to re-route all kitchen metals into these bins. When they are full, we take these along with us when we do a truckload of scrap metal.
How Much Scrap Metal Do We Send For Metal Recycling?
Other years we hadn’t really paid much attention to how many pounds of metals we moved. However, in 2016 I did do that calculation. It was surprising to realize just how much metal Barry and I had actually moved. Typically we move the metal once by picking up the donation, unloading at home, stripping it down, and finally reloading to take to Triple M Metals.
So the total weight of metals that we drove to Orillia in 2016 was 16,698 pounds. Like I mentioned previously, we moved that final weight at least 3 times before it reached its final destination at Triple M Metals. That is a lot of weight.
Time Cannot Be Factored In As Relative
Moving scrap metal, although an important money making endeavour for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs, is not a “get rich quick scheme”. Only an average of $1,200 a year is raised. So you can’t factor in the personal time needed to pick up, strip down the metals, reload, and deliver. Also you cannot factor in gas, or wear and tear on the truck. So, although a vital component of Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs is metal recycling it is far from being a living wage. However, every little bit helps and adds up on the overall financial picture over an entire year.
So The 2017 Scrap Metal Fund Raising Begins
With the first truckload of items being cleared out of our driveway, we can now let you know that we have made $50.40 to date. So let the scrap metal fundraising get into full swing. We currently have an estimated 3-4 truckloads of scrap still to be uncovered by the melting snow. So, within the next month we should have this all cleared up and ready for this year’s donations of metal.
Thank you for your support.