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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:00 pm
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This is my first post. I've posted this same question on a few other boards and have been banned for it. I think maybe the question was taken out of context. I am asking this with regards to research. I am just a hobbyist when it comes to gold scrap. If this question is against the forum's rules, I apologize.

Where can I source large quantities of material?

I have previous experience with freight brokering. I was trying to apply my experience and knowledge with freight and shipping to the scrap metal industry. I'm not interested in becoming a broker, but rather interested in locating brokers that deal with scrap or a B2B platform or marketplace for sourcing large quantities of e-scrap material. I found a website called Tradefox, which was previously Scrap Connection, but it seems to be a fairly new company. The website was shoddy at best with no Demo of their software, and that was a turn off for me.

With freight brokering it's always networking that is the issue, from carriers to shippers. I figured it was probably the same with this industry: hours and hours of emails and phone calls and dead ends. On DAT's load boards it's fairly rare to find loads of scrap metal when scouring through the tens of thousands of loads posted every day. Being a hobbyist, I started to wonder why. I have tried looking around websites like Alibaba for leads as many companies listed on the site deal in tonnage, but it is a clustered mess. There are some other scrap trading websites that I located, but I think most of the businesses on those sites offering materials are scammers. At least that was the conclusion that I came to after digging around.

I had originally assumed that there was probably a huge global trade for e-scrap, but finding any legitimate reading material seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack. I know scrap yards like Boardsort have the ability to source large quantities of material, or at least the classic scrap yards usually have contracts and their own clients they buy large quantities of material from rather than just buying from the average Joe bringing in a few pounds. The three local scrap yards in my area do not deal with e-scrap of any kind and had no advice for me about this part of the industry. That peaked my interest.

No one in their right mind is going to give away their leads and individual sources within the industry, but am I supposed to believe there is no open market whatsoever for e-scrap as there is other metals and recyclables? Auction sites like Ebay are great for the hobbyist, but do nothing for someone like me interested in scrap processing and resell.


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 Post subject: Re: Sourcing Material
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Being honest:
As a hobbyist, what you’re asking about is probably out of your league. And that may be what caused issues elsewhere. Joe on the street doesn’t open up a scrap business and start.
That’s the reality. Ignoring that: here’s my thoughts; take them quite literally. I know someone who has done just this!

Best shot is put aside a few million dollars. Yes mil. You’ll need to start by buying a truck. A commercial truck, like a Class 3 or Class A. Big enough to haul dozens of thousands of lbs. realistically you’re starting around $80k here for a junker and are probably in the 125-250k range for a realistic and reliable one.

now go to school and learn how to drive the truck. And get a licence. That’s another $5000-$15000. You don’t want to start this by hiring a driver for you because one mistake and your contracts are gone.

Get a business plan together (Microsoft has a free template) and print it out. Take it to the agency in your state to get a business license. Usually $20-$50 but as much as $500.

Buy a portable doc scale ($1500+) and get it certified by the USDA DWM ($500+)

Now with your drivers license, business license, and beautiful new truck you can start looking for scrap. To get started call every scrap yard in your area. And offer to buy every whole electrical item that they bring in. Something like 50% over rate is commonly offered early on. So they pay 10č so you pay them 15č.
They spend $1 you spend $1.50.
Let’s assume they say ok.
How often they’d sell to you depends on their volume. If they get 5 washing machines and 2 toasters and 20 computers in a week they may want you to come monthly. But if they get 50 washing machines and 200 toasters and 5000 computers you’ll probably need to go weekly, or more often.

Now start calling electronics shops. No chains, not yet. Tell them you’ll pay them, say $50 a week, or maybe $200 per month, to put a bin (yep need to make or buy deposit bins) in their lobby and you’ll buy all their scrap on top of it. Whole items, raw boards, etc. Everything. So you pay them weekly or monthly then come with your scale and pay them, say, 10č per lb.

Kool. So now you have your first 50,000 lbs of scrap. Oops doesn’t fit in your garage. Oh boy. Gotta get a large storage unit or lease a warehouse dock. (500-$1500 per month).
Get it all unloaded and sorted by class. Computers are good stuff. And cell phones.

Things like TVs and telephones and lamps are medium value. They go over there on that side. Oh, and the junk. Those washing machines. Take a lot of work with little pay. Now you can get to work. You should probably hire some contractors to help (not employees, so you don’t need to worry about employment taxes and the like).
You take everything apart. Make a bunch of piles. You’ll probably decide to buy a few dozen dumpsters ($500 each) and a fork lift (25k-100k) while your moving along. So you got it all sorted and use your new fork lift to load up gayloards ($50 each) by type and class. 1 copper, 2 copper. It leave all that junk steel waste in the dumpsters and just load them back into your trailer. Now you can take all the scrap metal back to the yards you bought the whole unites from and get better rates. Call up Fedex or an LTL company to ship your gayloards of midgrade, peripheral, high telco etc to boardsort.
At the end of the first 6 months you can start looking at the records to see how much of your investment is back. And modify your practice to maximise profits. If you’re getting 50k lbs of washing machines from one yard and 50k lbs of microwaves and dryers from another. You may want to drop the washing machine yard. (You built an escape clause into your purchase contract right?) and then you can focus on the 10 times more value from the same weight in microwaves and dryers. Or maybe that computer shop is sending you 500 lbs worth of high telco each week. You can drop all the whole units buys from the yards and focus on the electronics supply.

Don’t drop contracts too fast though. And never miss a pickup. The scrap industry is, point 2, cutthroat; but point 1, it’s self protecting. Buyers and dealers talk to each other. And your bad reputation will get out quickly even between the most heated of enemies.
Don’t think for a second that when the guy goes to burn down his competitors’ yards he won’t stop to pin your bad person info on that bulletin board in the office. “Just incase you survive the inferno, here’s a bad buyer to dodge”!
Missing a 50,000 lb pickup could cost a Yard thousands in labour and time. A quick way to get blacklisted. If that happens you can move to another state ($25,000+) and try again or eat the losses and try something else like knitting or telemarketing.

Ohkay. Some of that is snide and tongue in cheek.

But the overall message is serious.
There’s no yellow brick road to the gold. It takes hard work, effort, dedication, and sacrifice. And literally some good luck!

Hopefully it works out. According to SBD 3 out of 4 recycling startups fail. That’s worse than the 3:5 ratio of boutique computer builders reported by the CRA. 75% vs 60%!

Sure it can be done. Look at Cozzy and Boardsort: Recyclers. Dell makes as almost much revenue in recycling (scrap via its free acceptance program) as it does in consumer (non-business) sales. Helps they serve some of the largest retailers such as Lowes (bulbs and batteries), Best Buy (sams plus electronics), and good will (almost anything that turns on and doesn’t work or doesn’t sell).

Maybe you can get big enough to challenge them some day. The dell program caused a massive disruption in the scrap and waste industry a few years after they started it. Causing a major restructuring of the major waste companies who lost recycling revenue.

Many smaller companies became insolvent or never made it to black in the first place and were bought up or bought out by big guys like Waste Management and Republic. Green Disk started with a wooden box and a pickup and grew to be one of the largest tech and security recyclers out there (they don’t buy, you pay to recycle stuff)! Now their eco-friendly plastic replacement cases are sold in the same electronics store you bought the DVD player from. Maybe your replacement case came from your Player!?!

Oh look: I wrote a book again. Oops.

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 Post subject: Re: Sourcing Material
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:00 pm
Posts: 21
lostinlodos wrote:
Being honest:
As a hobbyist, what you’re asking about is probably out of your league. And that may be what caused issues elsewhere. Joe on the street doesn’t open up a scrap business and start.
That’s the reality. Ignoring that: here’s my thoughts; take them quite literally. I know someone who has done just this!

Best shot is put aside a few million dollars. Yes mil. You’ll need to start by buying a truck. A commercial truck, like a Class 3 or Class A. Big enough to haul dozens of thousands of lbs. realistically you’re starting around $80k here for a junker and are probably in the 125-250k range for a realistic and reliable one.

now go to school and learn how to drive the truck. And get a licence. That’s another $5000-$15000. You don’t want to start this by hiring a driver for you because one mistake and your contracts are gone.

Get a business plan together (Microsoft has a free template) and print it out. Take it to the agency in your state to get a business license. Usually $20-$50 but as much as $500.

Buy a portable doc scale ($1500+) and get it certified by the USDA DWM ($500+)

Now with your drivers license, business license, and beautiful new truck you can start looking for scrap. To get started call every scrap yard in your area. And offer to buy every whole electrical item that they bring in. Something like 50% over rate is commonly offered early on. So they pay 10č so you pay them 15č.


Thank you very much for the response. I'm going to go through all of this when I get back home. I'd appreciate another response if you're willing to ramble. If you are, then I'm willing to read. Your suggestion about buying scrap from the other yards, all of which are within 25 miles, was exactly what I wanted to hear. We have no yards that recycle e-waste within 100 miles of us.

Quote:
Kool. So now you have your first 50,000 lbs of scrap. Oops doesn’t fit in your garage. Oh boy. Gotta get a large storage unit or lease a warehouse dock. (500-$1500 per month).


I don't think this is an issue.

150 acres of land. Check.
26' box truck. Check.
1 mile from one of the largest highways in the country. Check.
3 miles from a truck stop with certified scales. Check.
Portable doc scale? Easy enough, I think.
A couple of million dollars floating around. --- Yeah, definitely not. LOL!!!!!

I don't know if there's any profit to be made as a hobby, or even a side gig considering what assets I have to work with currently. I don't have a class A truck sitting around that can tug 38k, that's for sure. But with the land I do definitely have some buildings that could be used to warehouse and sort material for resell or refining. I'm sure you know good and well how shipping costs are usually what kills profits, and if I were to resell material to a yard like Boardsort after it had been sorted and processed for highest yield, would there even be any profit left after shipping? That's what I don't know. At that point I'd just be buying from one yard, putting in the manual labor to sort everything to the best of my ability, paying for shipping, and reselling material to another. That didn't seem like a logical idea. Much less for the profit margins that I'm assuming will be left after the labor. I read on your forums here about customers driving 10+ hours to drop off their scrap to the Boardsort yard. That made me wonder.

Cutting fingers and stripping boards and sorting material is easy enough with the shop equipment that I have, but still probably much more time consuming than a professional operation. There's nothing unattainable about any of that on a relatively large scale. But cost of materials, chemicals, and my time: would I wind up making less than if I worked at McDonald's if I tried to do this with 2 or 3 people after all of the labor, expenses, and shipping is factored in? That's what I honestly think, even if I did wind up sourcing the material. Just the time to process the material to take to a refinery would be so time consuming it may not be worth it.

I'm also not sure if using a professional refinery is even worth it, or how much material I would have to have to justify going to a refinery, which we have a few within 200 miles, that will process e-scrap for precious metals. I'm not located in an extremely rural area of my state, but I'm basically between Dallas & Austin, TX. I know higher population probably means more scrap to be had. I think most of it just winds up in our local dumps however, since the yards around here don't process the e-materials. Else people are driving to either Dallas or Austin to have it processed. The environmentalist in me cringes at that thought.

I'm just not sure how to get a proof of concept even if a business plan looked good on paper. And like you said, 3 out of 4 fail. How could I start "small" to see if it's even worth it to begin with? Maybe make an attempt at a deal with the local yards, if only temporary, and buy as much of their scrap as possible, store it, process it, and make a test run at a refinery? Estimating content value of things like CPUs and Ram is easy, but board content? You guys are the professionals, not me. That's as far as my hobbyist knowledge takes me.

I try to be as optimistic as possible, but before I even considered this I had just been buying scrap on Ebay and doing some amateur refining for a hobby. And I'm definitely not going to live under the delusion that messing with the refining process on level for large amounts of material is worth the time, effort, and expenses. The idea of scrap was only feasible to begin with because of the amount of property I have.

Buying 6 or 8 tons of e-scrap on the open market, attempting to process it with the tools at my disposal, documenting the labor hours and costs as I went along, and then taking that scrap to a refinery was my ultimate goal. Even if it failed and I was at a loss on ten or fifteen thousand, that didn't seem like a major loss to me if it at least provided me with valid data, it would be well worth the experiment. I guess finding scrap is much harder than I thought it would be though. Definitely harder than buying some tiny lots on Ebay and doing some amateur refining.

I guess if buying tons of scrap on the open market was feasible, everyone would be doing it? That also goes back to me not being a professional and knowing a good idea of how much metal content is actually in some of the products I would be buying if it even was possible, outside of the basic things like CPUs and Ram.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:53 pm 
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Well then, I will certainly follow up on this. Normally such inquiries fall into two categories: the pipe dream and the spammer .
I initially included you in the second class since you linked off site in your post. (I did remove the link).
Actually based on the reply you appear to have done some homework ahead of time and a knocked of the list’s worst of the expenses: Truck and land.
Knowing that I promise I’ll follow up later with a more realistic reply, based on the story I’ve briefly covered before and mentioned above. How they did it and made it work.
I’ll be back soon. Sorry for digging so much as well. I figured if you were actually looking you’d reply with more than a usual byte me anyway.
;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:00 pm
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lostinlodos wrote:
Well then, I will certainly follow up on this. Normally such inquiries fall into two categories: the pipe dream and the spammer .
I initially included you in the second class since you linked off site in your post. (I did remove the link).
Actually based on the reply you appear to have done some homework ahead of time and a knocked of the list’s worst of the expenses: Truck and land.
Knowing that I promise I’ll follow up later with a more realistic reply, based on the story I’ve briefly covered before and mentioned above. How they did it and made it work.
I’ll be back soon. Sorry for digging so much as well. I figured if you were actually looking you’d reply with more than a usual byte me anyway.
;)


This is an online forum, so I can understand the skepticism.

If something isn't feasible I want someone to explain to me why and then move on back to brainstorming. I'm sitting on a lot of property that was originally my grandparents and used for cattle and a few small hay crops. We keep just enough cattle for tax exemptions, the fences are falling apart, and at this point, I think any business idea that I can fathom is cheaper than spending almost $100k on barbed wire fencing by itself, then reconditioning the land for better forage, investing in a new herd, etc. Livestock isn't worth me or my family's time with such a small plot of land and the profit margins are so laughable these days with the high risk involved, I don't even want to think about it anymore. Farming is probably more of a pipe dream than scrap metal, so I don't mind someone being blunt with me when I ask questions they might be skeptical about. I stay far, far away from the AG loan office. And leasing doesn't even pay the taxes.

My partner has a degree in (mechanical) engineering. He's great with CAD designs and other things. We're both in our 30's. Between us we have a pretty good knowledge of computers and consumer electronics. He does server networking among other things, I build my own machines ; we're both pretty tech savvy and have worked for cable companies in dispatch and tech support. If this was something he could apply his skills to somehow help streamline the process around scrap processing, I wanted to let him dive right in. I'm just a blue collar guy with a community college education that has dabbled with gold scrap processing as a hobby. I'm familiar with the trucking industry so, at the least, I figured I could sort out the problems revolving around shipping in a business like this. We just wanted to put our brains together to find something to invest our time into that could be built into a functioning business using what I had to bring to table, which is basically just land and the farm and shop equipment I have at my disposal. I have family that is more than happy to help me invest into a project, but I'm not going to do something half-cocked and ask anyone to help fund something that I know will fail.

I don't have "gold fever" or delusions of getting rich, much less getting rich quick. I'm just looking for actual resources to do some research on this side of the scrap industry before I chunk the idea out the window and go to something else. I saw possible potential, but I just don't know where to start to make a mock business plan. I have land that isn't currently making me any money. I'm just trying to find a solution to that problem.

I read one of your previous posts and found the state government websites. Texas seems to be very vague when it comes to electronics and the required permits involved. Although since it is mandated that manufacturers have to accept scrap if it was made by the company, that might explain why a lot of the local yards don't bother with it. Dell is located in Austin. Acer is located in Temple. HP has offices in Austin as well. Not sure about Dallas, but maybe that has something to do with it since the companies are mandated to accept and recycle their own components.

https://www.tceq.texas.gov/permitting/w ... cling.html

https://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/recycle/electronics

The closest yard to me that deals with electronics is in Waco, TX, which is a good 40 miles away, but they don't have comprehensive prices like Boardsort does. They just buy whole computers and laptops, boards, or hard drives. And they basically give the same spot market prices per pound for something like stainless ; maybe ¢15 or ¢20 per pound. It's a total rip-off.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:11 pm 
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I’m not ignoring you. I’m waiting till I have a chance to do a full post at once

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:05 am 

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lostinlodos wrote:
I’m not ignoring you. I’m waiting till I have a chance to do a full post at once


No worries. I appreciate you replying at all.
I'm trying to come up with some relevant questions.

Incinerators & Permits: Do I need an EPA permit, license, or both to incinerate e-waste? I've rummaged through a lot of the relevant websites online, but most of it just sends me to another website without any clear cut answers. I know in some industries there are emissions requirement, especially in California, and scrubbers have to be used, which I know nothing about. Some of it related to the Clean Air Act. I did not know if Boardsort incinerated any of their own material.

Special Licensing:
I know any junk yard that recycles cars and car parts has to have a special license in my state. I wasn't sure if there were any set list of government standards that existed for e-waste. (Once again, the EPA's various websites are a convoluted mess.)

Things like ball mills and incinerators are pretty easy engineering when there's a surplus of large chemical and propane tanks floating around. I didn't know if the EPA had something against the small guy designing their own units, or if there were strict regulations, which obviously meant spending tens of thousands of dollars on industrial equipment that I could have otherwise just designed myself and made with a CNC machine and a few thousand dollars in parts.

Depopulating Boards: What is the proper industrial method for depopulating boards? Do large operations like Boardsort even bother processing boards by removing chips and other components with a chemical process and then separating the board from the rest of the material, either by hand or machine ; or, does everything get incinerated, and the ash then processed and shipped for refining? Are there different processes for different types of boards, or are they all pretty much treated the same? I know when it comes to fuel costs vs. chemical costs, usually fuel is much cheaper than chemicals.

How are ABS plastics processed, and what do you do with them?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Wow! You just jumped from recycling to source.
Recycling, as an industry, is a lot like a pyramid. Bare with this: you’ll understand my point later.

The bottom level is the lowly co Sumer who puts their soda can in the bin at an eat-n-go marked cans and glass.

Level 2 is everybody who puts a bunch of stuff in a bin at the curb.

Level 3 are the commercial recyclers. This includes companies like waste management and dell. They take everyone’s mixed recycling. Do some basic break down. Sort it by types to some degree. But it’s still too mixed for the top level. Copper and brass. Steel, iron, ferromagnetic metals. Mixed glass. Etc. Stuff is still mixed up.

Level 4 are commercial scrap yards. That’s what most people here would be familiar with. Commercial scrap companies buy large amounts of the partially sorted scrap and sort it further. The mixed copper and brass gets sorted out. 400 series stainless and nickels are removed from the scrap steel. Clean is sorted from dirty.

Level 5 is the industrial scrap suppliers. These yards buy scrap from the 4th level as a business model and may or may not buy from 1-3. These are the companies who sort 302 stainless from 308. They use precision equipment to sort not just steel from irons but each class of them. Based on alloys and impurities.

Level 6 is the big dogs with tiny yards up top. They specialise in specific materials. Always and only sorted. They’ll buy 6 100,000lb rail cars of copper from Level 5 company A, another set from B. They further sort by even tighter requirements and then sell the sort to the fabrication stream: The companies that melt and create new stuff.
Level 6.5 (generally a hidden level) let’s say that if 6 is the top level: 6.5 is a crawl space and 7-9 are shelves in the attic.
Here’s where escrap kicks in to the chart. Up to level 5/6 escrap is generally escrap. With some exceptions, circuit boards are boards. Motors are motors. Switches and plugs are electrical breakage. They sometimes have classes. Low and high. #2 vs #3. But very little in the way of sorting till it gets here.
Between 6 and 7 is a supply buyer chain that takes electronics scrap and sorts it into grades the equivalent of metals, glass, or paper sorting. Classes #1 (clean and pure) to #5 (literally mixed junk).

Level 7. This layer makes up very specialised buyers. Boardsort (to my knowledge) falls here. Most will buy soup (mixed load) to some degree but always at at very low prices. These companies exist nearly solely to buy from 6.5 and sell to 8.
Level 6.5 can’t on its own create the volume needed for level 8 to function. So they are a global consolidation network. These companies take hundred of tons of escrap, verify sorts. Consolidate...Verify...tag... and ship.

Level 8 is a super specialised group of artists. Chemical artists. Here is where the glory happens.
I’m going to use asinine numbers here that are way too small but will make this easy.
Level 8 will buy a box of small socket coloured motherboards from boardsort. Say it’s 100 boards. They will sort out the eVGA and Gigabyte boards from the Asus and Dell boards and HP boards. The former being more valuable than the latter. Then further sort the es-Nettle boards from the commercial HP boards. So they get 10 #1 boards of eVGA. 40#2 from acre and the like. And 50 #3 junk EN boards. I’ll get back to that

Still sorted by class: They use various processes that remove all components from the boards. Starting with vibration and ending with reflow methods. The components are sorted out. Things like ICs and CMCs, and resistors are kept. Things like aluminium capacitors, transformers etc, are generally packaged by type and sold back down pyramid.
Here is where the art comes in.

Individual components like ICs, processors, CMCs etc.
Each component is sorted out. A 486 is separated from a 386. A 1990s 386 processor is separate from a 2015 386 used as a memory controller.
Components are then shredded. Shredded again. And ultimately ball milled. Turned into powder and dust. PM (Precious metals) and RE (rare earths) materials are sold to refineries.
Now back to the board separation at this level. Bare boards are shredded and milled too. But for a different destination. Things like those cell phone boards and hard drive boards have a bit of gold in and on them. So they get killed into feed (source/stock) for the refineries. Boards like the eVGA and Gigabyte brands have a large amount of copper in them. They get sold as feed for copper companies. Stuff like the junk EN boards get sold as carbon additive stock for steel and iron production etc.

Here we leave the pyramid. And visit the building next door. A level 1 refinery. In this building and alchemist (chemist) melts the powdered PM and RE stock. Using chemicals and electricity he can sort individual materials from the others and make rather pure materials. Reaching up to 80-90% purity. He sends the carbon, iron, etc blocks back next door for a small fee, they add it to their downward stuff, and moves on to making money. He sells his products to a specialised service to be made into jewellery or electronics parts, to governments to make gold bars for reserves, and occasional makes a nice ring or necklace from a mould for his significant other. Or the present girl in Cairo (pyramid motif)

My best advice would be to look at entering at level 5 or 6 to begin. Anything lower and there’s too much competition from joe six-pack who’s selling his cans to a small yard. Sourcing is difficult without massive collection volume. Anything higher is expensive to start with. We’re literally talking multi-million dollar fees and fines for mistakes can be just as many 0s. It’s dangerous up there too without proper education and training. Then again the EPA can’t fine you if you melted into sticky carbon goo. ;)

Despite the length this is really a check box cliff notes version. I’ve skipped a LOT of material. Obviously.

I’ll be back again to talk about pre opening setup. Licensing, restrictions, etc.
I’ll talk about sourcing separately as well.
Ultimately what to do with intended results and leftovers.

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-- 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: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:16 pm 

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Really enjoying this narrative. Can't wait until the Ring is forged under the mountain. Go, Gandolf.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:53 am 

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Quote:
My best advice would be to look at entering at level 5 or 6 to begin. Anything lower and there’s too much competition from joe six-pack who’s selling his cans to a small yard.


Thank you for the advice. I think Level 6 was more or less what I had in mind.

Quote:
Quote:
They specialise in specific materials. Always and only sorted. They’ll buy 6 100,000lb rail cars of copper from Level 5 company A, another set from B. They further sort by even tighter requirements and then sell the sort to the fabrication stream: The companies that melt and create new stuff.


Specialization was what I had in mind, and my original plan was to source and buy large quantities of specific material ; boards, CPUs, Ram, HDs, etc. ; from what you're describing as a Level 4 or 5.

I wasn't aware that there was a market for recycled parts ; transistors, chips, etc. Level 8 is something that really irks me as to why a business would even bother messing with what seems like a weird niche in the market. I know there are plenty of repair technicians and IT guys floating around that probably wouldn't mind getting replacements parts in mass, but Level 8 seems like it would be a nightmare as far as a business model --- if I'm even picturing it right.

My basic plan was to source specific materials from the Level 4 & 5's (the boards, chips, cpus etc.) that had the best yeild, process them down, and ship the processed material to be refined. The precious metals (I guess would better be defined as 'source material') would then be sold back on the open market for profit. Things like ABS plastics and PCB would be sold to I guess other Level 5's and 6's that dealt with those materials.

I asked about depopulating boards because I have seen other processing plants use cardoys and acid vatting, electrolysis in some cases, to remove all of the components from the boards for precious metal processing, and they did just that: resold the boards and plastics. The rest of the depopulated material was incinerated and milled.

I guess I have a bit of thinking to do here... Neither me or my partner have the knowledge to refine our own materials on an industrial level. Separating metals at that level is just too complex. I know several refineries here in my state do process some of their own materials. Which I think is definitely something that we could work towards in the future. Processing material down to milled dust makes for easy storage in drums, easy shipment to a professional refinery, and eliminates two steps that a professional refinery would do anyway. Which is, in some cases, from my research, cheaper, if the refiner is asking for a static number rather than a % of the total cut and my expenses and labor cost is justified.

This whole idea revolved around finding that Level 4 or Level 5 to have as a long term supplier for the material that I would want to consistently buy and process before passing it on down the chain and making my buck, from the precious metals to the ABS and plastics.


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