In the Metal Recycling Business, It’s Loud, Dirty and Suddenly Lucrative

The company also attracts smaller-scale customers, like Johnny Slavos, 23, whose ponytail dripped with sweat the other day as he unloaded a 100-pound Cadillac engine that he said he had picked up at a junkyard. He would not say anything more about where he collects scrap metal. “I can’t tell you my secrets,” he said, explaining that he worried that others might elbow in on his turf. “It’s like the old gold rush.”

Nobody at the yard knows what happens to any of the scrap metal after it leaves the site. “Metal has no memory,” Mr. Monteleone said, looking down at the pen in his hand. “It could be made into this pen tip.”

The New York Times – June 27, 2008

The company also attracts smaller-scale customers, like Johnny Slavos, 23, whose ponytail dripped with sweat the other day as he unloaded a 100-pound Cadillac engine that he said he had picked up at a junkyard. He would not say anything more about where he collects scrap metal. “I can’t tell you my secrets,” he said, explaining that he worried that others might elbow in on his turf. “It’s like the old gold rush.”

Nobody at the yard knows what happens to any of the scrap metal after it leaves the site. “Metal has no memory,” Mr. Monteleone said, looking down at the pen in his hand. “It could be made into this pen tip.”

The New York Times – June 27, 2008