Whether you're the parent leader of a school booster group or an organizer of a local charity, you may find yourself running low on ideas for yet another year of fundraising efforts. Your group, charity or cause doesn't need a specific environmental theme to benefit from the green appeal of a recycling drive that also happens to raise money for your goal.
How can you clean up the neighborhood and raise money at the same time? By running a scrap metal donation drive. Try these five tips to maximize your returns and minimize hiccups.
1. Consider Storage Space
If you're used to holding fundraisers in public places like parking lots and flea markets, you may not have an office, storage unit or other area set aside for storing the donations you receive. Renting storage space is often worth the small monthly expense if you receive a lot of interest from the community and need a few weeks to let everyone bring in their metal goods.
2. Try a Direct Drop
However, many fundraisers likely benefit from a direct-drop arrangement where donations are delivered directly to the scrap metal recycling company. The recycling company receiving the incoming scrap may also set up numerous public drop points and retrieve the materials as they stack up in the bins or boxes.
Direct-drop arrangements take a lot of the extra work out of running a scrap metal recycling fundraiser, particularly if you and your fundraising team are brand-new to the challenges of raising money through metal collection.
3. Recruit a Sorting Crew
Putting more of the labor onto the scrap metal company limits how much you'll receive in exchange for the donations. To maximize every dollar coming from the scrap metal, you'll need a crew of volunteers to sort materials into piles of a single type of metal at a time.
Sorting copper wire out from copper pipe might seem excessive, but it allows you to get a fair price on every single item going to the recycling plant. Train your volunteers on how to compare the various grades and different metals and what to avoid, such as accidentally releasing Freon from air conditioners and other appliances. Volunteers can also be utilized to pick up large equipment in rented trucks or even haul unwanted vehicles to the scrap yard for the biggest donations.
4. Focus on High-Value Metals
Copper, aluminum and brass all top out the list of the most valuable scrap metals by pound. But bright and shiny copper wire (the thicker the better) is worth more than a piece of reclaimed sheeting or a length of used pipe. Ask your scrap metal partner which metals they're paying the most for and make sure your promotional materials mention the common sources specifically so the people donating are reminded of what to bring along.
5. Avoid Electronic Waste
Finally, redirect electronic waste like laptops, computers, old cellphones and other devices to recycling sources in the community prepared to handle those items. Scrap metal recyclers tend to avoid them because these devices contain plenty of potentially toxic or dangerous compounds.
Plenty of national programs are willing to provide shipping boxes for donations of free electronic waste in need of proper handling. Setting up a separate collection box for electronics can help keep them out of your scrap metal donation areas.
Looking for a partner who can give you great rates on all types of scrap metal so your next fundraiser is a rousing success? Call us at Tennessee Metals Company, LLC to discuss your plans and find out how we can help you raise money.