Scrap - Where have you gone?

November 11, 2015
Will Ribadeneira
Will Ribadeneira

Random thoughts on this Veterans Day- Thank you to all service men and women for all you have sacrificed.

Having been in this business for several years I always find it strange when the scrap materials seems to dry up. I know more people do it for the money than for the goodwill of a cleaner planet but just because pricing is down shouldn't mean that the material stops flowing. Unless you are a large company with deep pockets or a large empty warehouse, you need to remove the waste materials from your location. I guess I am just wondering if people are simply throwing it away or attempting to hoard for a better payday?

In good times and bad, I still maintain the basic premise of my business model. Buy, sell, repeat. I am not a commodities broker, I am a scrap dealer. Do I hold on to some things hoping for a better number? Occasionally, but it usually bites me in the ass. I have learned to sell what I have, buy more and sell again, locking in whatever profit I can and move forward. I wish the general public did the same. But the last few months have seen a drastic reduction in the amount of scrap coming through the doors. Steel I get, it's bulky and hard to load. The current market makes it unattractive to deal with. But throwing it away costs money as well so I guess I don't get the thinking process. Copper still pays, even if it is less than a year ago, or even a few months ago.

At the end of the day I am fortunate enough to have a steady commercial clientele that keeps me afloat as we wait out these current conditions. At some point the markets will improve and I will be ready for the onslaught of scrap metals coming in. I just wish that day was today, as do we all I am sure. Until then, we fight to get every piece of material we can and maximize the return as best we can. I'll be here tomorrow, and every day until I decide I don't want to do it anymore. Low markets aren't going to make me quit, that's for damn sure!

On a completely unrelated note, it was a beautiful day in Phoenix today and at least I wasn't sitting in a cubicle somewhere being miserable. I was able to be outside and enjoy paradise, so I have that going for me. Which is nice.


"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."

~Elbert Hubbard

More Recent Stories