The Real Costs of Scrap Metal Theft

Scrap Metal TheftEarlier this year, Atlanta Public Works and Department of Watershed Management employees were arrested within a week of each other in conjunction with metal theft. These public employees were arrested for stealing city-owned metal, including copper, and selling it to recycling centers.  This is a high-profile example of scrap metal theft but definitely not the most common.

The Department of Energy estimates that scrap metal theft costs businesses, consumers and taxpayers over a billion dollars a year. The problem is prevalent in our local area. Georgia has the unfortunate distinction of being number 5 on this list of the Top 5 States for Metal Theft. The concentration seems to be in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area where about 1,200 of Georgia’s 2,067 metal thefts were reported to insurance companies in 2013, according to this article.

Scrap metal theft is a major issue in the business and impacts the way scrap metal transactions are conducted. Because of laws in place to curb theft, there are certain practices we need to adhere to at Acworth Recycling.

  • We need to keep a database of scrap metal dealers with each name connected to a license number.
  • We need to take a photograph of every piece of scrap metal that comes to our location for redemption.
  • There are certain items we are only able to accept from specific people due to the high number of these items that have been stolen in the past:

Air conditioning unit copper coils

Burned copper wires

Sewer caps

Shopping carts

Burial objects

Vehicles and trailers without a title or title cancellation certificate

In 49 states there are laws to combat metal theft and yet there is little proof that these laws are putting an end to the crime. The crime may, in fact, be on the rise.

According to this 2014 article on metal theft:

A 2013 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau reveals the rapid pace at which metal theft is growing. From 2010 through the end of 2012, nearly 34,000 insurance claims had been submitted for stolen copper. That was up 36 percent from the three-year period that ended in 2011.

Scrap metal theft is a challenge for many businesses and communities.  We understand the challenge and have sophisticated, automated software and digital photo capabilities in place that make it easy for us to follow the laws and still rapidly move our customers and employees through the purchasing process.

Broadstone Sandy Springs on Roswell Road

Broadstone Sandy Springs on Roswell Road

This is our third project with Alliance Residential and we couldn’t be happier they decided to purchase the property and redevelop it.

We tracked Broadstone Sandy Springs, Alliance’s name for the future apartments, starting in October of 2013 when it was owned by Cortland Partners to July 2015 when we signed the contract to perform the abatement and demolition for Alliance.

Ironically, last July we were contracted by Cortland Partners to demolish half of fire damaged Building # 7. The structures were set to be completely demolished last fall, but Cortland received offers on the property, and ultimately Alliance bought it. Fortunately, Alliance has been a great customer of ours so we were able to roll right into their budget from our proposal to Cortland (who is also a regular customer). We recently completed Broadstone Terraces for Alliance which is at the corner of Juniper St and 6th in Atlanta.

Broadstone Sandy Springs will eventually be a 230 unit apartment complex and will feature a direct pedestrian connection to the Abernathy Greenway and 40 “tuck under” parking spaces.


Here are some other articles about this project:

How Salvaged Doors Could Save Lives

Alpharetta GA Fire Station. Captain Mark Allen (far right) and Mitchell Poole

Station 3, Alpharetta Fire Dept.

Atlas Demolition is happy to recycle salvaged materials from demolitions whenever possible. We were pleased to have the opportunity to do a good deed recently.

We were able to donate salvaged doors from a recent demolition for Metro Site Solutions, D&G Development, and Benning Construction.

In preparation for construction of The Atwater, a 26,000 sq ft retail development across the street from Avalon, we are demolishing a 1,500 sq ft single family home and a 12,000 sq ft commercial building and all the asphalt, curb and gutter.

We were approached by Station 3 of the Alpharetta Fire Dept, Captain Mark Allen and Mitchell Poole, on site. They were interested in the steel doors on the commercial building.

They will use the doors at the firehouse to practice breaking through them or “breaching” as they call it. This will allow firefighters to practice breaking into different structures so they can remove people from burning structures.

We had our Atlas Demolition laborers detach the doors, load them into my truck and I hand delivered them to the fire department Monday afternoon.

I am happy the salvaged doors will go to a good cause.

Making way for the new Kia Roswell for Buck Woodruff

Video of our steel dinosaur separating out the metal from the construction debris at what is to become the Kia Roswell, right next to Goodwill Roswell on Alpharetta Highway in Roswell.

A view from the inside of the structure being demolished. This is the former Sharons Lighting and Jackson Furniture. This structure and the former Computer Cafe to the north will be demolished for the new Kia Roswell.


New Komatsu to serve you even better

Growth and cost benefit analysis drove us to purchase another new Komatsu this week, a PC360.  Last year we bought a Komatsu PC290.  We are demolishing larger, taller and more complex structures and the PC360 is an 80,000 lb machine with a greater reach.  It came with a 2+ yard bucket and a 4 over 3 grapple.  The grapple acts like a huge hand that allows the operator to grip steel beams for instance and pull a building apart rather than generically smashing it. Owning versus renting is a clear benefit given that the difference in monthly payment is around $4,000.  And we own it.

This machine is state of the art.  It comes standard with a rear view camera for safety, remote monitoring of the machine’s vital statistics and will transmit error codes, cautions, maintenance needs and fuel levels.  As with many “old school” items these days, computing has elevated blue collar trades to a science.

Customers benefit because the machine ensures there won’t be any break downs on the job site which means the job will start and finish on time.   The larger machine ensures a safer job for demolishing larger structures which decreases the chance of an accident.  The larger machine also means greater capacity for demolition work and improved efficiency to ensure your build back begins on time.

New Komatsu PC360 from Tractor & Equipment Company

New Komatsu PC360 from Tractor & Equipment Company

Morrow, GA new Chipotle coming soon!

Nothing can happen until the demolition commences.  We are like the ground trips hitting the dirt first during battle.  We just started a job this morning in Morrow, GA.  This was originally a Caribou Cafe then a Burger Shack.  We will gut the interior, entirely demolish the southeast exterior wall and the drive thru lane so Rand Construction can add onto the building for the new Chipotle.

First job with Rand Construction and we are glad they selected us.

Front view of former Burger Shack

Front view of former Burger Shack

Interior demolition at the former Burger Shack in Morrow

Interior demolition at the former Burger Shack in Morrow

New Komatsu put to work

At the end of 2013 we purchased a brand new Komatsu PC290.  We put it to work on Thursday in Ellenwood to demolish a house and shed for Cyclone Land Development.  They are performing the grading for the new, massive, HH Gregg distribution facility off I-675.  We finished in one day due to great hauling from Atlas Disposal.

New excavator demolishing a house in Ellenwood

Our new excavator demolishing a house in Ellenwood.

Closed today

Two primary employees cannot make it into the metal recycling facility today because they live in north Bartow County where road conditions are icy and snow covered.  In deference to them and the possibility of worsening conditions later in the day we have decided not to open today.  We anticipate Wednesday will be more treacherous but we will evaluate conditions in the morning.

New toy!

About six weeks ago we purchased a new Takeuchi TS60V from Cobb County Tractor.  This machine helps our customers get in and out quickly by allowing them to offload their heavier scrap metal into the self tipping hopper.  Then the TS60V whisks it away to the scale for weighing.   The faster Acworth Recycling completes the transaction the faster our customers get their scrap money.

New toy!

New toy!

Snowmageddon 2K14 is over!

Wow, what a week.  Glad it is over.  The last “big” snow we had was three years ago.  I remember that one was a lot more fun than 2014’s version.  We closed early on Tuesday, but like everyone else, got stuck in the traffic.  We are open and operating under normal hours, Monday through Friday 8 am – 5 pm and Saturday 8 am – 1 pm.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  It isn’t like anybody could have stopped in anyway given the traffic jam!