Monday, June 29, 2009

Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap Part 1: To find the "gold" keep your eyes and ears open

Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap Part 1: To find the "gold" keep your eyes and ears open

Right Place at the Right time:
To find the "gold" keep your eyes and ears open.
by Michael Meuser

This is the first in an ongoing series of articles about my experience in the electronic salvage, recycling and gold recovery business. This short first article is about the the importance of not only being in the right place at the right time, but also keeping your eyes and ears open. New installments, resources, how-to articles and news can be found at

In the early 1980s I happened upon a little booklet entitled, Surplus & Salvage - the 20 to 30 pages I read changed my life forever. I went to work right away doing building deconstruction, rural salvage of all sorts, metals recycling and the like. Soon I was presented with the opportunity to enter the electronic surplus recycling and gold recovery fields. This is how I entered into this business.

During my workdays I frequented a nearby rural coffee shop in California's Mother Lode region. A lot of the guys in there were getting coffee before they were going off to work for a major telecommunications company. This was the time of their breakup during the 1980s. I got to know these guys and one fellow, in particular, told me that they were converting all of the long distant microwave repeater stations radios from tube type to solid state.

He said that there were tons and tons of scrap aluminum, copper, gold plated items, batteries, racks ... on and on and on ... at each station and that there were 18 stations that needed this scrap hauled away.

Up to this point of this major changeover from tubes to solid state, the smaller amounts of scrap ended up in local landfills, but this was way too much to dispose of in this manner.

The short of it is that starting with a broken down dodge van, I was able to bootstrap myself into a position where I owned my own large flatbed truck and fork lift, was able to hire semi trucks to haul the scrap to a yard in --- continued at

More to come. New articles will be listed at (news, tools, and resources are also available here) and also at the Recycling Secrets Blog.
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