CANTON — It’s hardly worth its weight in gold, but the giant heap of junk growing behind the city’s service center does have some real value.
“We’ll find out how much,” said Canton Service Director John Highman, as he surveyed the pile of scrap metal that’s become an eyesore of sorts.
City officials will sell the mountain of metal to the highest bidder after bidding closes Thursday. The buyer will then be responsible for hauling it away.
Highman doesn’t expect to make a fortune; he’s more interested in tidying up the city-owned property on 30th Street NE, home to a variety of municipal services, such as the street, parks and engineering departments.
“It’s just become too large,” he said.
Portions of the pile are at least 15 feet high and twice as wide and long.
Typically, some of the accumulated items would have already been sold in regular city auctions, but COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the last three.
The overflowing pile includes: vehicle mufflers, exhaust system pipes, trash bins, steel drums, motors, file cabinet drawers, tire rims, playground equipment, fences, guardrails, copper wire, a cooking pot, barbecue grill, aluminum siding, car bumpers and a tanning bed.
Some items — such as the city-owned guardrails and trash bins — were discarded because they were broken. Other pieces earned their place on the scrap metal heap after being recovered along city streets.
Bid details are available online at: www.cantonohio.gov/448/Purchasing-Procurement
The buyer will likely sell the haul to a recycler. Metal scrap recycling is a $30 billion a year business in the U.S., according to industry statistics.
Scrap metals can generally be divided into categories —ferrous and nonferrous. Ferrous scrap contains iron; nonferrous metals do not.
Quantity plus quality earns top dollar.
Currently, the average price being paid for scrap copper is $1.94 per pound; aluminum is at 17 cents per pound; and steel is $96 per ton, according to iScrap App, an online tool for scrap metal sellers.
The going rate for some whole metal pieces: aluminum cans are 24 cents per pound, computer hard drives are 30 cents per pound and a complete car is worth $93 per ton on the scrap market.