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5 Ways To Protect Your Recyclable Scrap Metal From Theft

by Vernon Silva

Does your small business produce a lot of scrap metal? If you're not already recycling that waste, you could be losing out on a good source of supplemental income as well as physical space that could be better used. But before you simply start piling up your scrap to recycle, consider carefully how to avoid loss of this valuable resource to thieves. Here are a few ways you can do that on any budget. 

1. Lock It Up. Many businesses leave their scrap metal outside where it won't take up valuable operational space. However, this makes it more tempting and easier for thieves. If possible, keep scrap recycling bins inside and away from windows or open bays. If you must keep it outdoors, use an opaque container —rather than wire, for example — and lock the lid when not in use. 

2. Strategize the Location. Where will your scrap bins be located? Avoid placing them on the edges of the property or near traffic paths and roads. These spots advertise that you have something worth stealing. However, don't place it in a faraway corner of the yard either. If you keep it in a location that's well-trafficked by employees, fewer trespassers will have a chance to get to it unnoticed. 

3. Don't Let It Sit. Every business has to let scrap accumulate for a period of time. However, don't let it sit longer than it has to. Schedule recurring, regular pickups or drop-offs rather than just rely on employees to make arrangements manually. And have it removed at the earliest feasible, cost-effective point instead of waiting until the bin is at capacity. Thieves can't steal what isn't there. 

4. Add a Camera. If you already have security cameras on your site, add one or two for the scrap bins. Put up signage making it clear that the area is monitored. This is an additional expense, of course, so it makes sense if the scrap metal is valuable enough to warrant the extra service. 

5. Consider Off-Site Storage. Do you have an ongoing problem with theft and can't afford to store valuable scrap indoors? Then consider moving it off-site to a simple storage unit or another controlled environment. This solves your space issues and allows you to store more metal for longer periods if you want to wait until a better metals market. 

Want more tips for protecting your scrap metal before it goes to the recycling service? Start by meeting with a scrap metal recycler in your area today. They'll lend their expertise to help you develop the right recycling plan to make your business even more successful. 

For more information on how to protect scrap metal recycling, contact a professional near you.