Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap Part 2: Winning the Contract

Gold from Electronic, Telecommunication & Computer Scrap Part 2: Winning the Contract

by Michael Meuser

This is the 2nd 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 my last post I began the story of how I got into the electronics, telecommunications and computer recycling / gold recovery business. I'll tell you a bit more about it here.

This seeming very small "tip" I got from the telecommunication workers turned out to be a virtual gold mine for me and my family.

Up until the time I met these guys, all of their scrap from upgrades and repairs to telecommunication microwave repeater stations in Nevada went into the local landfills. But, because of the upgrade across the state from tube type repeater radios to solid state, the amount of scrap was just too much to handle in this manner.

They told me that they thought the scrap was going up for bid and that I should contact the local office about it. I first, though, wanted to know what it was that I was bidding on. So, I went to the local office, told them of my intentions and they gave me a key to a repeater station and told me to take notes, samples, talk to workers - in short do whatever it took to make a reasonable bid that I could live with.

I headed to Nevada with my very used dodge van. I brought back samples of microwave tubing (beautiful pure copper rectangular tubing with brass flanges), large batteries for their backup power, gold plated attentuators, connectors and the like and many many photos of gigantic steel racks, radios racks of extruded aluminum, etc. etc.

Turns out that the company just wanted a flat per pound bid for everything but the batteries and then a separate bid for the batteries. Batteries at the time were very low in value and, in fact, becoming hard to find anyone who would take them for scrap at all. I asked if I could just bid on everything else and leave the batteries behind and was told no - it was all or nothing.

I was also told that I would probably be the only contractor to bid - they clearly were not interested in the revenue, they just wanted the stuff out of there.

I bid only 1 cent per pound on the batteries and just a few cents on the rest. I was awarded the contract. I still remember the local office guy saying, "are you sure you can handle this?" and me saying, "sure, no problem at all."

When I got into my van and drove back --- 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.


Chris in NJ said...

I just discovered this site. I'm at the end of my rope financially. Nowhere to go but up. I'm hoping it's here where I'll find my 'secret to success'.

Mike Meuser said...

Hi - I know - things are awfully hard for many right now. Similar, in fact, to when I began in the business. I'll try to post useful information often. Best of luck.

Unknown said...

Hey Mike,

Great info Im in VA now but grew up in the Bay Area and recall going to some old salvage/scrap yards in Sacramento with my father to extract old Vaccum Tubes and Radio equipment from old military communication trailers. If I knew then what I know now. Keep it coming working on my e-waste biz plan now!

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