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August 8, 2008

Metal Recycling on Long Island

Filed under: Sustainable Long Island by Bill @ 6:54 am

Ever see someone in an old pickup truck filled with junk picking through your trash? A few days ago that was me…

I’ve heard from more than one person about how they make money by cashing in scrap metal, especially aluminum, that they found in the trash. So, when I came upon what looked like a ton of the stuff, I couldn’t resist.

The metal was actually a swim deck from an old swimming pool. The pool had reached the end of it’s life and was discarded. The aluminum decking was in the trash waiting for the garbage men. luckily, I got there first. The 6′ x 8′ pieces were too heavy and too big for me to handle alone, so I had my son help me lift and tie them to the top of the truck.

At the recycling center there’s a giant scale that weighs your truck as you drive in and then again after you unload your scrap. The difference is the weight of your scrap. We had 180lbs of aluminum. The price that day was $0.64/lb, so we earned $115. Not bad for doing virtually nothing. Smaller amounts of metal can be carried in by hand and get weighed on a smaller scale.

Mountains of metal
Mountians of metal at Crestwood Metals will be melted down and turned into new products

So, if you have some old copper pipes, aluminum patio furniture, bike frames, whatever… why not haul it down to the nearest metal recycler and see what you get for it? You’ll put some change in your pocket and help keep stuff out of the landfills too.

Need help finding a place to bring your scrap? Try these for starters:

Gershow Recycling – Multiple Locations

Crestwood Metals – 1100 Lincoln Ave. Holbrook, NY / 631-567-2727


  1. oooooh! i love places like that! great find 🙂

    Comment by Bettye — August 8, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  2. That place was really cool. I didn’t want to leave.

    Comment by Bill — August 9, 2008 @ 5:58 am

  3. Doesn’t it make you feel good to do right by the environment and get more than a pat on the back? I’m new to the blogging community, and I have a Long Island culture/lifestyles blog. Any feedback you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

    Comment by Steph — August 11, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  4. It sure does, Steph. One of the problems associated with recycling (at least in my town) is how difficult it can be.

    For example, I had to dispose of a large TV that was struck by lightning. Town of Islip said I could bring it to their recycling center and pay $0.02/lb, or I could just leave it by the curb. Neither the woman on the phone or anyone else in her office could tell me if curbside pickup meant it was going in the landfill (definitely not the place for electronic equipment). They just didn’t know.

    Getting rid of old household chemicals is another problem. TOI takes very limited quantities and everything has to be in it’s original container. I bought an old house a few years ago and the basement is still full of stuff from the previous owner that I am having a hard time disposing of. It is so tempting to just wrap it up and put it in the trash. I won’t, but I bet a lot of people would. And I can’t blame them.

    If you really want to keep stuff out of the landfills and out of the water supply, then make it easy for people to dump their junk/chemicals the right way instead of forcing them to throw things in the trash.

    Comment by Bill — August 12, 2008 @ 7:49 am

  5. Bill. In the township of Brookhaven where I live, you have to bring your electronics to the land fill. they do not pickup from the curb anymore, they send it off to a company for recycling and it free to you. Maybe Islip will follow oneday.

    Comment by maria — October 1, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  6. Thanks Maria, I’ll have to let someone at Islip Town Hall know about that…

    Comment by Bill — October 2, 2008 @ 5:50 am

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