Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap: Part 3 - Getting Equipment, Finding Markets

Mike Meuser

This is the 3rd in an ongoing series of articles about my experience in the electronic salvage, recycling and gold recovery business. New installments, resources, how-to articles and news can be found at

In the last post I talked about looking at the material and bringing back some samples so I could begin to develop a market for the salvage - note that selling for reuse almost always brings in more revenue than recycling for the metal value.

In this post I'll talk a bit about getting equipment and marketing.

Once I saw the material, I knew that I needed a real truck. I had brought back quite a few large batteries. Each 2 volt cell weighed approximately 500 pounds and was about a foot square and 2 feet tall. I lived in a rural area where a lot of folks ran alternative energy systems so I put an ad in the local free advertising paper looking to sell the batteries or trade for a large flatbed truck.

I got a response almost immediately. A fellow had a nice old GMC 5 ton flatbed. It didn't run well, but he was willing to trade it for a set of batteries. Recall that I bid so low on the batteries that I hoped that i wouldn't get them - well, I'm sure glad I did - they turned out to be a "goldmine." It took about $200 to get the truck running well and I thought, "now I'm in business."

I thought I could rent a forklift in Nevada and along with the truck, haul all the stuff back to California. NOT! Turned out the only forklift was a giant weighing 14,000 pounds and was 150 miles away. It took me 5 hours to haul it all the way to the station and 7 hours to get it back once I was loaded. Not good.

So... my next task was to get a forklift. That first load with the 5 ton truck was almost entirely batteries - 10 sets in all--- 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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