William Lensmyer, of Resource Recycling in Fla., hears the question: "how much can be recovered?"
-- and finds it nearly impossible to answer.Instead, he
answers with another question: "how much is out there?"Lensmyer
prefers to gauge his
results in terms of efficiency.
"The only way to properly evaluate a system is by its efficiency in recovering the metallic content of the waste stream.We market our systems by guaranteeing a minimum of 95 percent efficiency for ferrous recovery and the 92 to 95 percent efficiency for nonferrous recovery.We'll guarantee the efficiency of what we do, but not what's actually in the waste stream."Resource Recycling
prepares an evaluation for prospective customers by processing samples of municipal waste and quantifying the levels of metallic content.Their final numbers are remarkably close, ranging within plus or minus 5 percent.
"The potential for growth is there," acknowledges Lensmyer
, "but it's a very difficult business to design and successfully operate these systems."
Only a few companies, like Resource Recycling
, offer the high-end technology necessary to recover ferrous and nonferrous metal, as well as provide the full marketing services essential for placing scrap directly in the mills.A handful of additional companies offer high-level ferrous recovery, while several others reclaim nonferrous.The numbers swell slightly when companies operating simple magnetic recovery systems are included – but product contamination is an obvious concern when technology is minimized.