How’s the Economy? The Scrap Heap Indicator

scrap heap

I don’t need the media or the government to tell me that the economy is heading south. I have a foolproof barometer of economic health in my own town. It’s called the scrap heap, aka, the metal recycler.

For about ten years, I’ve been collecting my aluminum cans and taking them to the scrap heap for recycling once a month. It’s a win-win situation. I do something good for the environment, and the metal recycler pays me per pound of aluminum I bring in. It’s not a fortune by any means; it’s more like lunch money. However, if you have old appliances, air conditioners, cars or other large metal objects to get rid of, you can make a pretty penny. (So much so


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5 Responses to How’s the Economy? The Scrap Heap Indicator

  1. princessperky says:

    Maybe the economy down turn is good for the environment…

  2. I have a rental house that is getting renovated; I ordered PVC pipe for the downspouts because aluminum ones will walk away. All soffit is vinyl for the same reason. Copper pipe? Fuhgetaboutit. I have central a/c units to install but won’t do it until tenants are moved in and the security fence is in place; someone will cut out the copper coil.

    If the economy gets REALLY bad, we could write everyone bigger ‘stimulus checks’. Yeah, that’ll fix everything.

  3. disneysteve says:

    They must be paying awfully well for it to be worth standing in line for nearly 2 hours.

  4. fathersez says:

    This is a good indicator.

    Over here, we look at crowds at coffee shops. The more crowded they are, the better the economy is (or so more people think).

  5. Jamie says:


    Something tells me that David Bach will be writing a new book about this. Smart Couples Measure the Economy Using The Latte Factor Economic Index. It’ll be a hit!

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