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As the heat of Spring comes on, I’ve been getting our tenants’ evaporative coolers online. This year came with a few needing replacement, so I’m grateful for the moderate temperatures we’ve been experiencing.

So far, I’ve replaced five coolers this year, the last one being an unexpected job. Seems that a few vanes in the squirrel-cage blower decided to rust away, and the resulting unbalanced condition wasn’t very quiet at all. This happened the day before I wanted to run down to Mexico and sail for a couple days, so, no Mexico for me. Gawd I miss my boat!

Add those to the two or three I had laying around in my scrap metal heap, and you have about 580 pounds of sheet steel needing recycling.


It took about three hours with a sawzall to break down all the old coolers so they would fit into/on my POS little trailer, and this afternoon I hauled the stuff to our local metal recycler, netting a cool $29.00. Cha-ching!

Lessee, $29.00 divided by four hours labor equals $7.25/hour (exactly the federal minimum wage at the moment), and that doesn’t include my labor to haul the scrap back to the Ranch to store until I have a load worth dragging to the yard. I suppose I could have just left the old coolers by the side of the road and let some other scrapper have them, if they’d have them. The price of scrap steel at the moment is five cents/pound, and copper, brass and aluminum are pretty low right now, too. Plus, there’s the labor of separating all that stuff into the mysterious categories demanded by the place you’d sell it to. As of now, my stocks of the more profitable metals are just laying around, waiting for some metal-market miracle to occur.

It’s getting more and more costly to “do the right thing”, huh?


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