I collect a lot of junk from all over the place. Sometimes people leave their used appliances on the street when they don’t work anymore. I get to them before the garbage men have a chance to load the appliances in their truck. Sometimes I go to the thrift store and look for items that no one else wants anymore. I store all of these items in containers inside of my garage. Some of the items I can repair, but the rest I just strip for materials. The scrap copper price has been pretty good lately, which is why I’ve been taking any copper I can find in these items and selling it.
There are a lot of metals that you can find in any electronic device or appliance. Common metals like tin, steel, and copper are often used, but sometimes more rarer metals like silver and gold can be found. The average computer motherboard has some of these metals in smaller quantities. Stripping the metals from these boards requires a tool that can heat up to temperatures hot enough to melt the solder that holds components in place. Taking everything from one board can take an hour or two.
There’s always something to be found, and always something that someone else doesn’t want, so I’ll never be able to completely clear out my garage. On the bright side, that also means that there will always be a way to make money. As technology gets smaller and smaller, the process of removing the metals from items will get a little more difficult. I was taking the metal out of a phone that had been dropped in a lake, and I had to use a magnifying glass to see all of the small bits of metal that were on the circuit board.