There is money to be made in scrap metals, and more money if the metal is stripped and sorted by type.  Iron, aluminum, bronze, copper or brass, each is priced differently and if care is not taken in the segregation process, the cheapest material in the lot determines the buying price.


Buying and selling scrap metal is very much like any other business. The chain starts with pickers who scour garbage dumps for any scrap of metal they can find, then the small consolidators who buy from the pickers.  These consolidators are the ones who strip and sort the collected junk and sell them to junkyards, which in turn ships them to larger consolidators who prepare the shipment to more consolidators before the scrap metal finally reaches a recycling facility, then to factories that convert the recycled metal to new products to be sold to consumers.  As new and better products become available, old, obsolete and usually non-working items are thrown into the garbage bins for the pickers to collect.


This is how metal is stripped – by hand.


This pile of scrap took more than 2 trips to the breakfast buffet table to finish.


Electrical wires, taken from just about anywhere and sold for less than the price of one Starbucks coffee.


This sale would buy just enough rice for lunch.


Part of the sorting process is cutting off the contact terminals still attached to the wires.


No more second chances for these bikes.  They will be cut up and hand stripped of every piece of metal for recycling.

It seems like I’ve already shot everything there is to see here in this city, until today.  We’ve had 2 festival parades last week (finally!).  I took photos during one of the parades but I’m drawing a blank, given the fact that I’ve grown less interested in anything artificial or staged.  I skipped the other parade.  The lack of connection to the subject is the very reason why I didn’t bother to write about it.  Hopefully next year will be different.


5 thoughts on “strippers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: