Saturday, July 23, 2011

My first "do you take" from previous blogs

I am excited!  Tomorrow I am going to look at some scrap metal that a blogger from White Pigeon is willing to donate.  I need to look at the size of the job to assess how long it will take and what equipment is needed so that I can schedule the time to do the job efficiently and safe.

The supermarket customer that has been donating to me going on 4 years now has 21 stores and this week 3 of them called to request pick up of various metal items.   I am thankful that the store managers are thinking of me when they have scrap metal.  In the fall when it is time to buy Thanksgiving turkey certificates, I buy them from the same supermarket.  It seems to be working real well for everybody.

My wife and I went to grab a bite to eat and I ran into the person that gave me my first opportunity to serve.  About 6 years ago, I offered to organize and produce a bike rodeo for the children's ministry at our church.  Helmet fitting, rules of the road, bike inspection kind of stuff.  I felt right at home getting volunteers, asking businesses to donate door prizes and seeing all of the kids learn safe biking tips.

This week, I offered to set up another bike rodeo for the school corporation that my three children attend (ed) for next spring as part of a three program package.  The other two parts are a presentation to parents of newly licensed (teenage) drivers.  Eight teenagers die a day, over 3,000 a year from automobile accidents.  I taught drivers education for 10 years and have now helped my children through "the rite of passage", so it is time to share what I have learned and try to help other parents become more involved in keeping their teen drivers safe.

I am looking for blogger number 2 who has scrap metal that they want to donate, so that I can continue to feed, clothe and educate children in the Michiana area.

Please become a follower and tell others about what Donation Station is doing to assist people that are in need of assistance.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two More Tons!

I had a busy week of "scrapping". This morning my Dad and I loaded 3,000 lbs of tin from a customer in Bristol. It took us 2 hours to load and the crane at the scrap yard 10 minutes to unload. The crane operator asked if we loaded it by hand, and made us feel good by saying that is a lot of work. We are pretty used to it by now, but we still get sore in our legs and arms that lasts for a few days. There was more to pick up than I thought, so I will have to go back on Tuesday with a smaller trailer to clean out the rest. Thanks to the experience I got loading and unloading semi loads full of tires and wheels, I can pack the metal on the trailer pretty tight and with little empty space. That is important with the price of gas these days and the price for repairs when one of my trucks or trailers goes down.

On the way home, we stopped at a friend's farm to pick up some fencing and a couple of odds and ends that he had told me about after church a few Sunday's ago. Between church friends, coworkers and a few businesses that generate scrap, it is not hard to get to 40 ton in a year's time.

I am waiting an another friend from church who is stopping by to look at an axle off a trailer that a local business gave me. We scrapped out the frame and kept the tandem axle. One axle was given to a friend from work who does welding for me and the other one just sold. I like to sell or donate items that can be reused, that way new products and virgin steel is not required to be made. That is whole other topic that can be explored, talking about limited resources and sustainable living.

A tractor that was given to me a couple of years ago is in need of repair, so I am going to sign off and get to loading up the tractor so that I can take it by a coworkers house to see if we can get it running.

Please do let me know if you live in the Michiana area and would like to donate scrap metal. Any size, shape or weight is accepted - and the pick up is free. You can then say you helped Donation Station feed, clothe and educate the youth of our community.

While I was outside selling the axle, the neighbor across the street came by to offer me a washer and television. The washer leaks and the TV does not work, so the washer becomes scrap metal and the TV will makes its way to Goodwill along with another TV that is sitting our garage. Goodwill is a great place to take electronics and they make good use the items to fund their employment training programs.

Finally, if you need a guest speaker for your next meeting; someone who can inspire and empower your group to live more sustainably - you have my "number".

If you like what you are reading please become a follower and let others know how you found me.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

turning metal into meals

Back in 2006 when I did my first recycling job (1200 lbs of lead) and donated the proceeds to a local youth group that was headed out on a musical mission tour, it was not clear to me where all of the metal was going to come from or just how much time, energy and equipment it would require to continue "scrapping". Five years later, most of the questions have been answered and the number of customers is growing (over 200 and counting). I have a core group of customers, some of them businesses and the rest individuals. Both groups are important to maintaining the 40 tons that I have been averaging over the past couple of years.

Recycling 40 tons of metal and 3,000 rolls of paper takes about 15 hours a week and allows me to help feed 40 families a warm Thanksgiving meal and clothe nearly 100 children, along with providing reduce, reuse and recycling field trips to another 100 students a year.

There is only one problem. I don't feel like I am making enough of a difference, considering how much time I spend working with the homeless population and the how much poverty the current economy is creating. I am checking out all of the modern networking opportunities to see if there are like minded individuals and businesses out there that I have not met in the first five years of scrapping that would like to donate anything metal.

I have the equipment to move any item regardless of the size or weight. Vehicles are by far the best revenue producing item, but aluminum cans pay exceptionally well also. Copper and brass are great revenue producers, but I have never turned down a coffee can full of nails either.

If you live in St. Joe, Elkhart or LaPorte County Indiana or Southwest Michigan and would like to add your name to the growing list of businesses and individuals who are helping me feed, clothe and educate children and families in Michiana - I am excited to hear from you.