This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Recycling for fun and profit

Recently my collection of aluminum cans got too big, so I took a trip to Rensselaer Iron and Metal, located north of the CSX railroad crossing on McKinley. (The picture below was taken early in 2009--notice that the work on the grain elevator had not yet started.)
The first stop is along the north side of the building, where there is an opening for aluminum can delivery. I bring cans once or twice a year and pass by occasionally, and there is almost always someone bringing in cans or other scrap. I had to wait a couple of minutes before it was my turn, and after me, there were others with their cans. Once an employee weighs the cans, he gives you a ticket with the weight on it.I also had some bits and pieces of iron scrap, and for that I got to drive onto the scale south of the building and have my car weighed.
Then it was a drive to the back of the yard, past this intimidating machine.
There were workers there, either unloading or loading, I did not pay enough attention to figure that out.

Finally I parked and unloaded my tiny bit of material. Then I drove around and had my car weighed again. The difference between the two weights was the amount of iron I delivered.

Then it was into the office. A year or two or three ago, they remodeled their office, making the space in which customers stand quite small. I gave the lady there my ticket from the aluminum door, and she had the weight from the scales. She went to the back and calculated my total.
I had been saving cans, thinking I should just keep accumulating and wait until scrap prices increase, but my desire to get rid of them and have a bit more storage space was stronger than my ability to wait. The price of cans is down to 30 cents a pound. It was over 40 cents a year or two ago. So my 73 pounds of cans earned $21.90, and my 60 pounds of iron scrap earned $2.55. I had a few other kinds of scrap (aluminum and tire weights), and my total came to $25.35. That afternoon I spent it all partially filling my car's gas tank.

(On a past trip, I had to wait for two guys who were checking all the scales to make sure they were accurate. I think they were from some State of Indiana agency. I thought it interesting that that people with scales who are dealing with the public have scale inspection. I suspect that the gas stations also occasionally have their pumps checked to make sure they are accurate, but have never seen that process.)

1 comment:

Desert Survivor said...

Yep, we deal with the state weights and measures for the cattle/truck scale and gas station every year. I will try to take photos for you some time. And then there's the yearly dam inspection.