Failed Side Hustle: Scrapping

Last week, the washing machine in our rental house died.  It was older than I am, so this wasn’t really a surprise.  It was one of just two appliances we didn’t replace before we moved the renters in.

English: Melting metal in a ladle for casting ...

English: Melting metal in a ladle for casting Deutsch: Metall wird in einer Gießpfanne zum Schmelzen gebracht. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My wife–bargain shopper that she is–found a replacement on Craigslist.  We got it in, then left the dead washing machine next to the replacement, as a warning to any other appliance that thinks it can shirk its assigned work.

This morning, we went over to pull the corpse of our washing machine out of the basement.

Now, I am an out-of-shape desk jockey, my wife is considerably weaker than I am, and a 40 year old washing machine weighs more than 200 pounds.

In the basement.

I’m Superman.  Although at one point, I did trade 10 years of the useful life of my right knee in exchange for not letting that thing tumble down the stairs on top of me.

What do you do with a dead washing machine?We could have the garbage company pick it up for $25.  Or we could leave it on the curb and wait for some stinking scrapper to take it.

Or…we could join the dark side and scrap it ourselves.

For the uninitiated, scrappers are the people who drive around looking for fence-posts to steal out of other people’s yards, or cut the catalytic converters out of  cars parked at park-and-ride bus stops, or steal all of the copper pipes out of your house while your on vacation.  Sometimes, they get scrap metal from legitimate sources, I’ve heard.

We decided to go the legitimate route and take the washing machine to the scrap metal dealer in the next town over.

It was pretty easy.  We pulled in with the washer in the trailer.  A guy on a forklift pulled up and took it, then handed us a receipt to bring to the cashier.  She paid us in cash, and we were on  our way.

$7.50 richer.

200 pounds of steel, and we made less than $10.

There are people who pay their bills by recycling scrap metal, but I have no idea how.   Driving around looking for things to scrap would seem to burn more gas than you’d make turning it in.

Some people scour Craigslist looking for metal things in the free section.

Some people have an arrangement with mechanics to remove their garbage car parts.

Some people are only looking to supplement their government handout checks enough to pay for cigarettes.

Us?  We’re going to leave scrapping to the scavengers.

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  • 3 comments

    Comments

    1. 7 bucks is a great deal, but looking for a junk shop and using your own car and will pay you for $7 are not enough for the gasoline. That is not just practical.

    2. Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to do this all of the time. I have no patience and this would take forever for me to make enough money for even food…

    3. Round here,I could perhaps get double what you got,if I sold it as scrap iron/steel,
      The scrap business is pretty low margin and you need to be in it in a big way to make any decent money.
      A scrap iron/steel dealer who gets into re-rolling can start to do better but even this is a very cyclical business.

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