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 Post subject: Becoming an escrap buyer
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:03 pm
Posts: 137
My local scrap yard currently doesn't take a-waste because they don't have a buyer for it (they have a bin of boards I inquired about as it's been sitting there for years). They have expressed preliminary interest in setting something up to sell to me bc they get asked about e-waste but have to turn ppl away. Anybody here have experience buying from a yard? I'm not sure if there are laws, regulations, licenses...anything like that I'd have to worry about before I could be a buyer? Would be an easy flip to boardsort if they do all the collecting for me.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:41 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:03 pm
Posts: 137
@Lost?


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 4196
Location: Low DOS
This is game more involved than simply a few statements here can cover.
For starters if you (eventually) want something in depth shoot me an email and I’ll pass it, or some information from it, on to contacts who may be able to help. I’d need your state and district/county/parish for starters.

There’s two different levels in what your looking at. The first is scrapper. Which is small amounts of small amounts. Which is where I am.

The second is commercial. That’s a much more involved level. Love to be there some day but probably can’t manage it myself.

So I’ll cover the scrappers level here briefly since there’s little to it. Beyond some basic things to look out for and so head smart sense.
If you’re looking at a hundred pounds, a thousand... a gayloard or two; no there’s not much to that at all.
My first suggestion is to read the what is it threads completely here. KNOW each and every variety of board and a few dozen borderline pieces in each class: know before you go.
When I buy bulk, which is rare, I take a few from the top, have them flip the bin into another (pre weighed) one, snag a few samples from the middle and then verify what was on the bottom. Based on the samples I pull I make a guess (a gamble) on the odds of the range.
And I make the offer, not them, on the rate for it.

If I see lots of low and mid grade boards I’m offering you 25c per lb because I’ll stash it and someday, eventually, strip them bare and double my investment (hopefully) in component salvage and cbm rates.
I also use low and mid grade boards to reinforce the shipments of my higher class boards to Boardsort. Large, semi striped low grade boards make great side and box reinforcements.
If I see lots of peripheral and motherboards I’m offering around a dollar per pound. Again the gamble is for some telco and boards with CPUs in them. More common than it should be.
The more of the higher the classes, the more my offer is.
Initially I bartered with my local yards but we’ve built a good relationship and at this point I trust them not to toss low grad in the middle of a gayloard and they trust me to offer a reasonable rate the FIRST time.

So what are the issues?
First is trust. Trusting that there’s not 50 lbs of power supply boards in the middle of a box of 100 lbs of “peripheral” scrap.
I have I sample multiple points in buys from anyone I’m not a regular with.

Second; radiation.
The chances you’re going to buy a batch of boards that makes you glow in the dark or grow into a 50 foot green ape are infinitesimal.
But things like smoke detectors, fire alarm boxes, bank/cash clip security boards, etc do have tiny traces of radioactive materials in them. Are illegal to transport in quantity without federal licenses, and Boardsort doesn’t buy them.
Once you have them you have a hell of a conundrum. Because you can’t easily, legally, get rid of them.

Third, and finally. Batteries. The fear of any large scale recycler anywhere.
Nicad burns. Lead acid leaks, or bursts into flame. Lithium creates multi thousand degree fire when you’re lucky and goes boom when your not.
Boardsort buys non damaged, non bulging, gold contact lithium based CARTRIDGE batteries only. Eg cell phone, industrial radio, laptop, and UPS batteries.
Nothing else.
If you have a buyer (there are many online) and have a license (few dozen dollars per year) you can PROPERLY pack and ship button and canister lithium batteries to buyers and make good money if your safe about it. Button cell lithium runs in the penny each range but silver batteries can be 50c-$1 each and canister batteries from OLD motherboards can be a few dollars each.
On the other hand damaged lithium batteries usually create massive fire when they fail in any quantity. Boardsort (or another Ohio buyer, I’m not sure which at this point) suffered a lithium runaway fire a few years back. Many of us in the industry remember the ACME fire in Indiana that burned for days and levelled the entire ACME shipping yards and storage.
The flip side is the rare but far more dangerous instant failure. Or as I state often, boom. That silver dollar sized hole in my bench in many of my photos is there to remind everyone what happens when a battery goes boom. Again that was smaller than a hearing aid battery by orders of magnitude.
So all the scare mongering and FUD aside; do use your brain and educate yourself on handling batteries before you start to buy in any quantity. It’s the issue where most scrap startups fail. In a literal blaze.

On the commercial side; that’s a much longer series. A book. (Many actually). Nobody is really going to give you an issue if you back a trailer of gayloards into your own garage and don’t call attention to it by covering your front yard or walkway with piles of board classes. But when you’re obviously doing something on the commercial scale at home you’ll get into trouble with multiple agencies.
To be legal
You’ll need a waste management licence/recycling licence in most states. Many also want a salvage licence too as you’re actually manipulating the materials.
You’ll need an epa licence for hazardous materials.
If you intend to transport it yourself you’ll need a hazmat transit licence from the DHS. If you want to ship it both Fedex and UPS can do so via a paid business account.
And your location or facility will probably be privy to inspection by various 3 and 4 letter organisations. Mostly random. And from what I’ve been told if it’s a residence, at the most inopportune times, ie 7 am or the middle of dinner.
:(
Not to mention record keeping! An absolute must. Etc etc etc.

_________________
-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:03 pm
Posts: 137
Scrapper level is all i meant. Thanks for the thorough response (I didn't realize my question was going to require such a lengthy answer but it was quite helpful!) I just wanted to make sure it was actually feasible before I pursue further conversations with them.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 10:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 4196
Location: Low DOS
Almost all smoke, radon etc detectors look nearly the same in board design so pop the plastic cover off one of yours and look.
Once you know what the radiation shield unit looks like you can always keep an eye out for them.

Aside from that it’s nothing beyond being careful and using your head...and your eyes.

_________________
-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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