Recycling Tips For A Demolition And Excavation Site 


Demolition, Excavation and Construction sites have many waste and recycling considerations to consider when partnering with a local scrapyard.  Speed of service, communication, pricing advice, upfront formula pricing, environmental compliance and ticketing and prompt pay are some of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a metal recycler to work with. 


Sahd Metal Recycling offers all customers a 24 hour turnaround guarantee, and nowhere is this more important than among construction & demolition customers in the Lancaster, PA area.  Almost all projects have deadlines with penalties and payment incentives to get them completed early or on time at each stage.  Often time contractors may rent some equipment or employees that are charged by the day.  For these reasons and many more it is simply not acceptable to be waiting to get your container swapped.  If there is a delay in service material needs to be piled up, sometimes in areas that can ill afford the extra space needed.  This will force double handling of material and the inefficiency can increase labor and equipment costs.  A delay of more than one day can really hold up the entire process, and as every contractor knows the speed with which a recycling company offers service is usually the first differentiator between metal recyclers and haulers. 


This may not be as obvious a point, but often times your first impression of a company’s level of service that you get with an initial call back or email response will be telling and serve as a predictor of how quickly your metal recycler will prioritize your business.  Companies that operate with a sense of urgency and offer quick response will be more likely to give you quick service.  Often times this communication and planning of service can lead to scheduling 2-3 swaps a day as long as the communication is accurate and both sides are holding up their end of the bargain.  Recyclers need to provide service as promised and site workers need to make sure the containers are full but not overloaded, accessible and ready for the drivers when they show up.  A construction site that will allow scrap metal companies to drop the empty container beside the full will also get quicker better service.  Again, it’s so often underrated but the promptness and quality of communication will make or break many jobs. 


Scrap metal is often almost always the most valuable item in a demolition job, with most of the material being steel beams, roofing and other structural items.  Copper based items like copper pipe, insulated copper wire, electric motors and brass are also prominent in any demolition or excavating job.  Often the value of the metal will either offset the cost of disposal of other items or help a company get a job by being more competitive on price by factoring in the value of the scrap metal.  Again, working with a scrap dealer who operates in a collaborative manner can make the difference in how much money you get for the value of the scrap.  Is it better to leave a piece whole and haul it or to cut it down a bit?  How much work should I put in to prepare scrap and what length would make sense for the dollars?  Our team of experts can tell you how you can make the most for your money by metal type.  Often times steel beams cut down to 2 feet, 5 feet or left whole can have entirely different values, and it can be worth your money to take some time to prepare the metal.   

Another factor to consider is whether your metal is usable.  You can often get a premium for beams, angle and box tubing in long straight lengths that can be much more than scrap metal.  Sahd Metal Recycling sells metal to welders, fabricators and other construction companies so you will get a price quote on these items independent of scrap. 

The other factor to consider is often projects can span for multiple months or even years.  Establishing pricing formulas can protect you and the value of your job by giving you a predictable value for each item.  As pricing changes over time you will be protected with the same percentage for each alloy as the market moves up and down.  Sometimes with a small enough window you can have your price guaranteed throughout the time frame of the job. 

  1.  Environmental Compliance 

Demolition and excavating jobs can be stopped, delayed and cancelled due to any number of environmental issues inherent on the site or in the old building or structure.  The last thing a contractor needs is a scrap metal partner who does not handle things in a sustainable way.  A good start to checking up on a scrap metal recycler is to see if they are a member of ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recyclers Industry). Association membership usually implies that companies follow environmental regulations and are interested in building a sustainable recycling of your demolition or excavation scrap.  It is important to check in on the records of scrap recyclers to see if they do uphold these regulations and have a culture of sustainability.  If they follow these standards there is a good chance that they will be able to assist you in recycling your other waste streams like shingles, wood, stone, fill and countless other items they may have connections on. 


It’s number 5 on this list but it goes without saying that proper ticketing and prompt pay is crucial and a non-negotiable in working with any vendor let alone a scrap metal recycler.  Many jobs have waste disposal to pay for so contractors need to ensure that they are getting the proper value for their metal.  That means getting an upfront formula price for their material and checking that up against the invoice showing each material item on each pickup for each container swap.  That and getting the check quickly is what shows the relationship with a scrap metal dealer is a good one. 

While there are countless other factors that go into picking your scrap metal partner these are among the most important.  If there is any need in the Lancaster, PA area, Sahd Metal Recycling is here to help with a 24 hour turnaround container service guarantee and upfront formula pricing. 


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