How to Keep Your Scrap Metal Program Safe From Rainwater Runoff?

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Our manufacturing and industrial customers are our partners in recycling responsibly and one of the questions we often get asked is “How do I keep my recycling materials dry when they need to be stored outside”?  Sahd Metal Recycling offers many options for customers in our Lancaster/York and surrounding service areas to help stay compliant on stormwater regulations and keep their scrap programs truly sustainable. 

First, it is understood that the best option is scrap metal storage inside or in a pole barn building that protects it from the elements.  These options also increase the security of your metals from theft.  Many customers will keep their copper, brass, stainless steel and aluminum inside in smaller containers that Sahd Metal Recycling will pick up with our stakebody truck, replacing the containers with empty ones.  However, space in a manufacturing facility or fabrication shop is very limited and must be allocated to production as much as possible and sometimes to work in progress or finished goods.  Therefore, outside storage is usually the only option for scrap metal programs. 

Our custom sized scrap metal roll off containers come in a variety of sizes to serve your outside storage needs.  Whether you need a low sided container for visibility during material dumping or a high one to maximize the weight per swap we have the dumpster to meet your needs.  Sahd Metal Recycling does not accept any materials with fluid, cylinders or attached hoses or pans that could attract fluid but even with these stringent requirements there is often residual material that could cause a problem should it come in contact with rainwater.   

The first consideration you need to make is ease of use.  If the solution requires too much work from the employee, the company will be no better off because the top will stay open to make dumping easier.  You need to ensure that you have buyin from the team to understand the importance of using the cover each time and not leaving it open.  Without this agreement from the team we have seen many facilities invest in covers that never get used. 

If your team is open to using a forklift to remove the cover each time dumping occurs Sahd Metal Recycling can work with you to fabricate steel covers.  These covers (often two per container) would run slightly over the width and length of the dumpster and have box tubing welded to the top to ensure ease of forklift operation.  Operators would bring out the self dumping container or skid of scrap to the box, put it down on the ground and then grab and remove the covers, dump the material and then put the covers back on the box.  This is often not ideal from an operator point of view but is a viable solution and one that our team would be happy to solve for you. 

Rolltop or slide covers are another option.  These mount to the container on the top or the side or have a separate stand next to the container.  A few of our customers have bought some from TBI Waste Products, https://www.tbiwasteproducts.com/storm-top-covers/ and they work well for them.   

The standard quick cover rolls up to the end of the container when material is being dumped in.  This can be removed by hand and rolls across the top rail to open and close.  It’s a simple and affordable solution, but you must ensure material is well below the top as it will pierce the cover. Other, more substantial hard plastic covers are called storm top covers.  They slide from the edge to open and close and are very easy to manuever.  What these types of covers have in common is the need to not have to put the material down and go get the cover, but the operator does have to leave the forklift to open the cover before dumping it. 

No matter which option you choose, there are many ways you can keep your scrap metal program in environmental compliance while on your property.  Covers of many kinds, whether fabricated steel from Sahd Metal Recycling or purchased from companies like TBI Waste Products will do the job to keep your metal dry.  All of these options require your staff to be fully bought in on the process.  Once this is done, having the team decide which cover works best will ensure that they will comply with the covering and uncovering each time. 

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Acceptable Materials

Appliances including:
  • Stoves
  • Microwaves
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • FOR A $10 FEE—Air Conditioners

End of Life Items Including:
  • Machinery (all fluids,pans and cylinders removed)
  • Farm Equipment
  • Farm Machinery
  • Lawnmowers
  • Cast Iron Patio Furniture
  • Cast Iron Outdoor Railing
  • Sheet Metal
  • Steel Wheels
  • Steel

Nonferrous Scrap:
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Aluminum Pots and Pans
  • Aluminum Siding/Gutters/Downspouts
  • Aluminum Patio Furniture
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Aluminum Wire
  • Auto Batteries
  • Brass Fixtures/Lamps Decorative items
  • Cable, Fence and Wire
  • Christmas Lights
  • Copper
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Pipes
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Valves and Connectors
  • Copper Tubing
  • Copper Wire
  • Electric Motors
  • Insulated Wire
  • Radiators
  • Screen Doors/Windows (glass removed)
  • Stainless Steel

Prohibited Materials

  • Acetylene Cylinders
  • Asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)- applies to both fibrous and solid materials
  • Any Scrap Containing Refrigerants (CFC or HCFC) (Freezers, Refrigerators)  Air Conditioners are accepted for a $10 fee
  • Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT/tube-style computer monitors or televisions)
  • Closed Compressed Gas Cylinders – high pressure cylinders with valve intact
  • Combustible or Flammable Materials – fuels, paints, degreasers, unpunctured aerosol cans
  • Corrosive Materials – highly acidic or caustic materials (battery acid, caustic soda, etc.)
  • Explosive Materials, Munitions, Shell Casings – includes suspect military scrap
  • Free Flowing Liquids (including water)
  • Hazardous Waste – toxic or poisonous materials or wastes
  • Infectious Materials – blood-soaked or biohazard items
  • Liquids or Scrap Containing Free Flowing Liquids – fuels, antifreeze, oils, hydraulic fluid, paints
  • Mercury Containing Materials – mercury-containing thermostats, switches or fluorescent light bulbs
  • Non-Metallic Items – concrete, wood, asphalt, dirt, debris, tires (more than 5 per auto)
  • PCB-Containing Materials
  • Whole tanks uncut
  • Radioactive Scrap – anything exhibiting radiation levels above background
  • Scrap with Small Capacitors that contain 50 ppm of PCBs