Companies that take in metal for cash are hurting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Companies that take in metal for cash are hurting

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

November 13, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - All sorts of businesses are suffering because of the poor economy. You may not have thought recycling companies would be one of them. But surprisingly the ones that take in metal for cash are hurting.

Newspapers, glass bottles, aluminum cans. Some people throw them away. Other recycle.

"I've always tried to make it a point to minimize my impact on the landfills and recycle," says Jim MacKinney of Beachton.

Jim recycles at the City of Thomasville recycling center. Here recyclers don't get anything in return for their good deed. But there are companies that give out cash to people who recycle.

They take in scrap metals, including aluminum cans, and in return pay their customers.

I spoke with two separate companies like that on the phone Thursday. Neither one wanted to talk on camera. They said they're afraid their business will suffer even more than it already has. And here's why.

The going price of metal is down drastically. One local company said a couple months ago their customers were getting $1 per pound for brass...now they only get 30 cents.

Copper has taken a drastic plunge. It was going for $3 a pound. Now, only 20 cents a pound.

And soda cans? They've dropped 50% from 60 cents a pound to 30 cents a pound.

So instead of people bringing in their cans, they're saving them, and waiting for the economy to turn around.

Jim says he used to recycle for cash, but now makes one stop at the city's center.

"It just wasn't worth the effort. This way I can come to one place, get ride of it all, do it about once a month and not have to waste time and money traveling around looking for places that will take my stuff," says MacKinney.

So the next time you drink a soda and head for the trash can, just remember you could make a little change off that can, helping out some local businesses, the environment, and your wallet. Feedback