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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:10 am 

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


I'm a LOTR fan, and I giggled at this...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:36 am 

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I recently started lurking but I just had to create an account to praise this thread!

lostinlodos wrote:
I’ve skipped a LOT of material.


Post it up, full version, I'd love to read it!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:58 am 
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I’ll post some of it as I move along. Unfortunately if I posted every last detail this post will eventually dwarf the rest of the entire site. The op has done their own research so I’m doing my best to hit the important info as I go.

Unfortunately my wiring is missing a few useful connections in my mind to text translator so i type in my notepad big long reply’s for posts like this and edit and rewrite as I do so. Why it takes a bit when I do such soliloquies so they make sense.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:46 pm 

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Arturs wrote:
I recently started lurking but I just had to create an account to praise this thread!

lostinlodos wrote:
I’ve skipped a LOT of material.


Post it up, full version, I'd love to read it!


I'll be doing my research until I hit a dead end with this idea. I think Lostinlodos has basically outline how expensive it is to get started in this business.

I think the key points for me were the location of my property, the tools and equipment already at my disposal, the amount of land I have to use, and the fact that none of the other scrap yards in my area deal with e-scrap of any kind.

I'm currently researching OSHA safety regulations and laws regarding incineration of e-scrap, specifically emissions laws. We have a die casting plant here in town and I'm fortunate enough to know some people that work there. I've asked them to get me copies of their safety guidelines for the plant so I can get a better idea of what I can expect.

I've continued with my original idea of finding an e-scrap exporter in another country, and I send several emails every day when I run across a listing of a yard overseas that has a website that looks half-professional. (Just don't ask me to tell you where I'm finding these listings. It's a secret. And it's taking up a lot of my time. lol.)

The biggest thing that I am running into is the amount of scrap that is being sold in one lot. This industry is (apparently) huge, and most businesses that I've spoken with only do business by the full container load, some require more. A 40ft shipping container's legal shipping weight limit for cargo is just over 60,000 Lbs. Keep that in mind.

The saving grace with the exporters is that FOB (Free onboard shipping) seems to be a recurring theme. Shipping over land is much more expensive than by sea, and I live 2.5 hours from the nearest port and have my own truck. Unfortunately, that truck is only going to carry around 23,000 Lbs, and that's only if the load will fit. If you try shipping by rail or big truck, shipping costs will eat up just about any profits whatsoever. Those numbers are already very clear to me on paper. It is definitely a pipe dream in that respect if you think you're going to turn your back yard in a residential neighborhood into a storage lot for your scrap. I also have access to farm equipment like tractors, backhoes, etc., that can be repurposed and reused. So some of these things I'm not having to worry about.

Read the success stories of the small guys on some of the other boards and you'll find that they are cherry picking gold. While it can be done, the majority of them that I read about, time and time again, that have tried it as an experiment are saying that you'd be better off working a minimum wage job after the labor & expenses are included. Refining is brought up a lot, and simply put, to get all of the precious metals from things like board scrap requires a large industrial outfit and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, plus engineers and laborers (who are all going to want a big fat salary). That's waaaaaaay out of my league. I'm trying to find a niche.

Incineration and milling is a fairly cheap investment if you have an engineer floating around at your disposal with some metal fab skills and some CNC equipment. However I'm not sure if a DYI incinerator, on a larger scale, is legal, or if there's some law floating out there that requires me to purchase some "certified" unit in order to use it in a business model because of safety hazards and regulations. --- Large propane and natural gas tanks make for really nice incinerators, by the way. Blowers and fuel tanks to run them are relatively inexpensive comparatively.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:03 am 

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Actually when I first got in to this field, it was based on the premise that there is huge margin for profit in global trading/refining computer boards. I had gotten it in to my head that there is a lot more value in the metals to be recovered from material, like, say, small-socket motherboards, than the somewhat universal international bulk price of 3-3.5 eur/kg (I'm going to use metric :)), I mean I started because I saw local scrapyards buying up boards for 2.5-3 eur/kg and I thought that there is really value of 5-6 eur/kg in SS MB, and that either packagers down the line or refiners are hoarding all the profit...
I have to say that painfully but slowly I have said goodbye to that mindset - it's just not that much precious metals in there - at least not in the common contemporary boards, It is my view now that margins are razor thin in this industry, so thin in fact, that you HAVE to a)add value (shred/concentrate) or b)underpay&re-sort (buy all MBs for one price, sort out older/better ones) or have a huge turnover for "trading boards" to make any money.... even better if you have huge turnover + have mastered the sorting, I mean I have gotten quotes from refineries for the category "small socket motherboard" that estimates the Au content 70-140 ppm... of course your "buy" price is going to be based on the lowest estimate, you do not want to lose money, but once you have a couple of tons of mixed boards, you can sort out the ones with better yield and hopefully make some profit on it, it would work only on large volume, though....

Anyway, ZK77, right now I wouldn't advise for you to dive in the deep end of industrial recovery/refining, mainly because it is tied to the global copper recycling cycle, and in current economic climate, I wouldn't want to invest a few million in building a recycling plant that risks going out of work if economy's slowing down and the demand for copper drops (increase in PM value could even this out, but that is another discussion)... In my view easiest start is for business that offers free disposal/haul away of computer equipment, If you already have a truck, there is next to no investments needed (actually you might even think about smaller vehicle for local pick-ups), you do need some type of workshop where to dismantle all of it and to cover your material from rain and stuff (rent a warehouse or maybe there is some kind of shed on your land), that's a bit different type of business than I originally planned, but it's what I have gravitated towards, and I must say It's working for me :) You can make a lot of money on refurbishing and re-sale, also on scrap iron/aluminium etc. also the boards keep piling up, once you'll have a couple of tons, you can decide to pursue stockpiling->processing them or just liquidate them and get a nice pay-out... Most importantly, you will have gained needed experience and skills in the WEEE field...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:00 am
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In my vicinity of East Tennessee, I have not found anyone who will buy e-scrap as such, taking powersupplys, etc for basically shred steel prices. However, there are several companies whose model is "secure disposal". They haul off a companies computer scrap, charge their fee for wiping data and then selling/disposing of the remains. They will not buy any boards or scrap, and, in fact some have told me they would not accept free materials. Of course, if they can charge to haul it off, it would be foolish of them to let the word out that they take it for free. So while they are scrapping the e-scrap, their advertising is the secure disposal of data.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:55 pm 
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So now we know the levels and where to start.
What’s next?
At level 5/6 we won’t be worrying about incineration much. Nor ball milling.
And you (probably) shouldn’t be looking at exporting anything this early either.
I’m generally sticking with the escrap idea here.

Before we get into supply. Let’s cover supplies. I won’t go into the processing yet. But here’s a basic list

First we need shelter. Some metals are fine outside . Copper, aluminium. Brass. Others should be inside. Steel, iron, and carbons like ferrite and hematite.
Some thing must be kept far away from nature like magnesium and rhodium.
So one or more large storage areas are key.
Paved roading. Don’t try the through the grass idea. It’s a disaster. You need to have paving between storage areas to support your trailer and your:
Fork lift. You can use a standing lift if you want to start out with but you’ll find a legitimate lift truck is necessary very early. One with locking rotatable forks. You’ll be using this for moving around your :
Pallets, easy enough.
And
Dumpsters. All non-bulk size metals should be sorted into dumpsters. Ones with fork slots. You can use these for everything from storage to sales. You keep the dumpsters obviously but you’re going to be a joy for a large scrap buyer when you open up the gate and they find perfectly sorted materials in fork accessible dumpster, ready to flip and dump. You can get 2.5t 5t and 10t dumpsters even on amazon and ebay: often with free shipping. I’d look at 2.5 and 5 ton ones personally. Smaller, dumpsters are easier to handle and you can use lighter equipment for movement.

An industrial shredder.
Williams, SSI, Ameri.
SSI is more or less the leader.
I had one of their smallest ones that’s no longer offered for many many years. It was a dual axel unit about the size of a small car. But you’ll be needing something bigger.

A bailing compactor. You’re probably going to want two.
First cans and aluminium can be crushed and bailed alone for higher returns than loose. Second paper and plastics fall here for easily recycling.
Both sellable commodities in bails.
It’s also useful for making copper blocks.
Scales. These are important. You’ll want a small 1-tenth ounce step scale to weigh PM. These tend to go from .2 ounces up to 50 lbs; sometimes 70 or 75.
A series of dock scales. From 1foot 400 pounders for small items and barrels up to multiple 25,000 pound floor units. Whatever brand you get stay with it across the platform and make sure they have serial or USB. Wireless reduces wires but causes a fail point that could shut your yard down.

Finally you’ll need a quality XRF scanner. Not the $800 one from the science and education store. A full fledged system. These are usually a 3-5 piece setup. Including a ‘gun’ which is basically a giant sized barcode scanner. A large scanning machine the size of four or five filing cabinets. These allow many types of scanning beyond just a radio beam. And also allow for scanning multiple objects at once and compound items.
And a terminal for I/O.
It may include a commercial laser printer and a software system as well. If you opt for a public facing recycling system that software package is invaluable.

If you plan to deal with the general public I strongly consider looking at a kiosk system.
These include multiple input terminals, a spreadsheet based inventory, a full SQL database with front end, detailed barcoded receipts and an ATM to safely dispense cash to customers when they scan their receipt barcode. I’d suggest such a system even if you don’t open to the consumer public as the inventory system software and scale integration is amazing. You can pre weigh all your dumpsters, barrels, and containers and I’d them in hex from 00-FF and then with three letter names from AAA-ZZZ. Or spend more and get more options. Then you can tare the weights easily and never have to transfer materials a second time. The best systems will even sequentially tare so you don’t have to ever empty containers during storage.
Scrap Dragon is the leader here for the industry.
Did I miss some basic things? Yes. Hammer, saw. Wire snips. Etc. Thought I’d start at the top and work my way down.

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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: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:20 pm 
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Let me reiterate on what pleas said above, and what I’ve said so many time here and elsewhere I’m...
You will NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT make a fortune refining for gold.
First you can not do it alone. Period. End point. Full stop.
Don’t try. By the time you fully refine 100lbs of high grade cell phone scrap you’ll spend $500+ in costs and maybe get a Half a Troy ounce of gold. Much less in silver and much more of copper.
You can refine 100lbs of 4004 and 4040 cpus, spend $1000-$1500 in costs and get just under 3oz
But getting 100lbs of 4004s isn’t going to happen. I’d place bets on Chris not having 100lbs of them total since they opened.
YouTube is about hits, adverts, and monetisation not facts.
Those CPU lists that all put the Pentium Pro at the holy scrap grail are a joke! (It has a few grams, 40% of the weight is ceramic and another 20% is copper, almost no gold and 99% of that it the nano-layer of gold infused copper paint across the copper heat sink)
Don’t try for a level 1 (backwards her, 1 is the top) refinery contract with a 92% value return either. You are more likely to hit the power ball and mega millions after getting an invite to a White House ball. Nor level 2. Level 1 refineries, 92% return, buy only from level 2 refineries (80%-85% cash vale payout). Those L2 companies require minimum quantity that is in the realm of multi tonnage of source materials. High value source. That’s jewellery scrap, processors, and pre milled material.
You’re probably looking at a 70-75% return. Only if you pre mill and pre sort. It’s not a reason to get into escrap. That mindset is for the top of the top of the pyramid I posted about up front; and if you aim to start there you’ll fail to make money. Exclamation Point.

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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: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:00 pm
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Arturs wrote:
Anyway, ZK77, right now I wouldn't advise for you to dive in the deep end of industrial recovery/refining, mainly because it is tied to the global copper recycling cycle, and in current economic climate, I wouldn't want to invest a few million in building a recycling plant that risks going out of work if economy's slowing down and the demand for copper drops (increase in PM value could even this out, but that is another discussion)... In my view easiest start is for business that offers free disposal/haul away of computer equipment, If you already have a truck, there is next to no investments needed (actually you might even think about smaller vehicle for local pick-ups), you do need some type of workshop where to dismantle all of it and to cover your material from rain and stuff (rent a warehouse or maybe there is some kind of shed on your land), that's a bit different type of business than I originally planned, but it's what I have gravitated towards, and I must say It's working for me :) You can make a lot of money on refurbishing and re-sale, also on scrap iron/aluminium etc. also the boards keep piling up, once you'll have a couple of tons, you can decide to pursue stockpiling->processing them or just liquidate them and get a nice pay-out... Most importantly, you will have gained needed experience and skills in the WEEE field...


I have been speaking with my partner about building a website. He has his own servers already set up, so it's not much trouble for him. Lodos had already listed out novel ways to obtain scrap from the surrounding areas, and I had that in the back of my mind the very first day he made that post. That's easy enough to market with business cards and flyers, which most of the other scrap yards as well as computer repair shops have bulletin boards and allow advertisements in their offices. Just setting aside some funds to purchase scrap from the general public after we make an attempt to spread the word around seemed like a pretty small but worthwhile investment. If that worked out, I thought about some of the other ideas, like the recycle bins that Lodos had suggested. That's a model that, if it works, we can definitely work with without investing much further. At the least it can give us an idea about whether or not we'll actually be able to get scrap at all from the local population.

lostinlodos wrote:
Those L2 companies require minimum quantity that is in the realm of multi tonnage of source materials. High value source. That’s jewellery scrap, processors, and pre milled material. You’re probably looking at a 70-75% return. Only if you pre mill and pre sort. It’s not a reason to get into escrap. That mindset is for the top of the top of the pyramid I posted about up front; and if you aim to start there you’ll fail to make money.


You're right. Some of them that I have looked into have tonnage requirements, usually around 4 to 6 metric tons minimum. High value source at some here in my state offer an 82% to 87% return, but they test for quality, and if the milled material is graded on the same level as something like Bench Sweep, they give much, much less. That's getting down into your 70%'s.

Milling is still a very easy process on a small commercial level for someone like me. It's a cheap and cost effective way to save space and store material, and the mills themselves can be made for fairly cheap ; the cost of the motors to run them being the biggest expense. Storing milled material in drums is also a cheap investment, and drums, whether steel or blue barrel, are also a very cheap investment compared to other options that I might have. Sorting, Grading, and Milling scrap in batches seemed like it wasn't an extremely dumb idea. Polyethylene barrels have a wide variety of uses, they can store chemicals like acids, and I have seen some operations use them for chemically depopulating boards. So they wouldn't be bad to have sitting around in large numbers. I already have a supplier for those, and can get them second hand in batches of 50 for $5 a barrel. We use the steel barrels for a lot of stuff on the farm.

Things like dumpsters and other storage options like you mentioned are necessary, but can be limited, at least in my mind, if milling is utilized. Simple because of the reduction in volume. That probably makes long term storage easier. Milling is a problem of electricity use, which I have not calculated even roughly.

If boards and other material are all sorted and graded, and milled separately, then it just becomes an issue of keeping proper inventory. But correct me if I'm wrong.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:25 pm 
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I actually prefer shredding over milling myself. Principally because it makes the recycling process easier to still have some level of solids over powdered dust. Dust uses less space but you run into issues on selling up stream, say, aluminium or copper dust.

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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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