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METAL RECYCLER, IN-DEPTH: It's A Constant Hussle

About this video 

Brian goes in-depth with his story about being a Metal Recycler, also known as a "scrapper." He talks about what he likes most about his job and the challenges he's now facing as more people get into this line of work, and as city governments begin to crack down on people who scavenge for metal. Brian also shares what his life-work balance is like.

Job Title: Metal Recycler

Job Summary: Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

Job Description

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather garbage and recyclables from homes and businesses to transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Many collectors lift garbage cans by hand and empty them into their truck. Some collectors drive the garbage or recycling truck along a scheduled route. When collecting materials from a dumpster, drivers use a hydraulic lift to empty contents of the dumpster into their truck.

On-the-Job Training

Initial on-the-job training can be expected.

Additional Info

Depending on the size of the truck, refuse and recyclable material collectors who drive the truck may have to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Getting a CDL requires passing written, skills, and vision tests.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $60,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 28 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Outdoor, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Strength/stamina, Likes working with hands

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>The</span> <span m='452'>hours,</span> <span m='904'>flexibility,</span> <span m='2260'>and</span> <span m='2420'>I</span> <span m='2480'>work</span> <span m='2690'>for</span> <span m='2780'>myself</span> <span m='3250'>in</span> <span m='3480'>that</span> <span m='5870'>nobody</span> <span m='6000'>can</span> <span m='6230'>tell</span> <span m='6340'>me</span> <span m='6430'>when</span> <span m='6810'>or</span> <span m='7000'>what</span> <span m='7190'>to</span> <span m='7630'>do.</span> <span m='8000'>Being</span> <span m='8250'>consistent,</span> <span m='8880'>as</span> <span m='9100'>far</span> <span m='9330'>as</span> <span m='9620'>you</span> <span m='9740'>have</span> <span m='9970'>to</span> <span m='11090'>find</span> <span m='11390'>stuff</span> <span m='11850'>every</span> <span m='12040'>day,</span> <span m='12220'>so</span> <span m='12360'>there's</span> <span m='12510'>really</span> <span m='12750'>no</span> <span m='13120'>days</span> <span m='13450'>off.</span> <span m='15620'>Even</span> <span m='15780'>though</span> <span m='16129'>after</span> <span m='16570'>I drop</span> <span m='16960'>this</span> <span m='17160'>load</span> <span m='17360'>off, I</span> <span m='17410'>know</span> <span m='17580'>I've</span> <span m='17740'>got</span> <span m='17900'>some</span> <span m='18020'>metal</span> <span m='18290'>waiting</span> <span m='18530'>for</span> <span m='18650'>me</span> <span m='18760'>in a couple</span> <span m='19050'>spots.</span> <span m='19350'>I</span> <span m='19420'>still</span> <span m='19650'>got</span> <span m='19740'>to</span> <span m='19810'>keep</span> <span m='20070'>going</span> <span m='20350'>after</span> <span m='20540'>that.</span> <span m='21120'>It's</span> <span m='21230'>a</span> <span m='21260'>constant</span> <span m='21790'>hustle.</span> </p><p><span m='22440'>I</span> <span m='22520'>just</span> <span m='22670'>kind</span> <span m='22800'>of</span> <span m='22910'>made an</span> <span m='23030'>agreement</span> <span m='23560'>with</span> <span m='23960'>the</span> <span m='24060'>powers</span> <span m='24400'>that</span> <span m='24560'>be.</span> <span m='24740'>I</span> <span m='24800'>said,</span> <span m='25070'>you</span> <span m='25430'>get</span> <span m='25710'>me</span> <span m='25830'>through,</span> <span m='26950'>you</span> <span m='27100'>supply</span> <span m='27490'>me with</span> <span m='27650'>enough</span> <span m='27830'>stuff,</span> <span m='28280'>I'll</span> <span m='28430'>spread it</span> <span m='28740'>around.</span> <span m='29040'>Because I</span> <span m='29450'>find</span> <span m='29700'>a</span> <span m='29750'>lot</span> <span m='29890'>of good</span> <span m='30080'>stuff,</span> <span m='30350'>too,</span> <span m='30730'>that people</span> <span m='30870'>throw out</span> <span m='31361'>all the time--</span> <span m='31852'>electronics,</span> <span m='33820'>video</span> <span m='34060'>cameras,</span> <span m='35010'>things</span> <span m='35200'>that</span> <span m='35340'>work,</span> <span m='35610'>and</span> <span m='36010'>it's</span> <span m='36170'>amazing.</span> <span m='36580'>So</span> <span m='36900'>I</span> <span m='37220'>pass</span> <span m='37450'>them</span> <span m='37660'>on to</span> <span m='37730'>friends.</span> <span m='38010'>The</span> <span m='38080'>people</span> <span m='38340'>who</span> <span m='38410'>need</span> <span m='38570'>stuff,</span> <span m='38810'>they</span> <span m='39700'>come</span> <span m='39860'>to</span> <span m='39930'>my</span> <span m='40070'>house</span> <span m='40350'>for</span> <span m='40800'>that,</span> <span m='40840'>too.</span> <span m='41095'>Like</span> <span m='41350'>maybe a</span> <span m='41560'>cell</span> <span m='41810'>phone</span> <span m='42130'>charger,</span> <span m='42420'>or</span> <span m='42710'>a</span> <span m='42760'>battery</span> <span m='43250'>or</span> <span m='43310'>something--</span> <span m='43630'>five</span> <span m='43950'>bucks</span> <span m='44433'>for</span> <span m='45399'>just about</span> <span m='45882'>anything.</span> </p><p><span m='46365'>Timing is</span> <span m='46848'>everything.</span> <span m='48580'>You've got</span> <span m='48860'>to just be</span> <span m='49120'>in the right</span> <span m='49370'>spot</span> <span m='49630'>at the</span> <span m='49710'>right</span> <span m='49940'>time</span> <span m='50300'>when</span> <span m='51160'>they're</span> <span m='52340'>hauling</span> <span m='52600'>the</span> <span m='52680'>stuff</span> <span m='52960'>out.</span> <span m='53820'>Big</span> <span m='54050'>buildings</span> <span m='54400'>like</span> <span m='54550'>right</span> <span m='54730'>now</span> <span m='55000'>over at</span> <span m='55260'>Stonestown</span> <span m='55730'>Galleria</span> <span m='56210'>in</span> <span m='56475'>San Francisco,</span> <span m='57480'>they're</span> <span m='57650'>rebuilding</span> <span m='58170'>a</span> <span m='58250'>couple</span> <span m='58510'>places</span> <span m='59240'>where</span> <span m='59500'>Good</span> <span m='59600'>Guys</span> <span m='59930'>used</span> <span m='60110'>to</span> <span m='60160'>be</span> <span m='60280'>in</span> <span m='60380'>the</span> <span m='60420'>record</span> <span m='61610'>store</span> <span m='61840'>tower.</span> <span m='62810'>And</span> <span m='63030'>there</span> <span m='63150'>was</span> <span m='63270'>so</span> <span m='63390'>much</span> <span m='63560'>metal there,</span> <span m='64010'>it's ridiculous.</span> <span m='64310'>They</span> <span m='64610'>got</span> <span m='65080'>dumpsters</span> <span m='65440'>in the back,</span> <span m='65800'>in the front,</span> <span m='66180'>everywhere,</span> <span m='67050'>and</span> <span m='67700'>they're</span> <span m='67810'>pretty</span> <span m='67980'>much</span> <span m='68180'>OK</span> <span m='68450'>with it.</span> </p><p><span m='68740'>You</span> <span m='69240'>kind</span> <span m='69410'>of</span> <span m='69460'>got</span> <span m='69570'>to</span> <span m='69610'>get</span> <span m='69770'>permission,</span> <span m='70340'>because</span> <span m='70750'>it</span> <span m='70880'>is</span> <span m='71030'>their</span> <span m='71170'>property</span> <span m='71580'>until</span> <span m='72376'>they</span> <span m='72712'>get</span> <span m='73050'>rid</span> <span m='73410'>of it.</span> <span m='73680'>And</span> <span m='73750'>then</span> <span m='73960'>the</span> <span m='74710'>argument</span> <span m='75110'>is</span> <span m='75220'>that</span> <span m='76770'>Sunset</span> <span m='77120'>Scavengers,</span> <span m='77630'>or</span> <span m='77710'>whoever</span> <span m='78030'>owns</span> <span m='78270'>the</span> <span m='78340'>box,</span> <span m='78700'>that</span> <span m='79065'>that's</span> <span m='79430'>their</span> <span m='79870'>property,</span> <span m='80500'>too.</span> <span m='80880'>That's the</span> <span m='81180'>argument</span> <span m='81480'>that the</span> <span m='81870'>police have.</span> </p><p><span m='82950'>They</span> <span m='83050'>started</span> <span m='83410'>this new</span> <span m='83600'>scrapper</span> <span m='84030'>permit</span> <span m='84480'>thing</span> <span m='84980'>in</span> <span m='85130'>San Francisco</span> <span m='85500'>where</span> <span m='85770'>you</span> <span m='85860'>have</span> <span m='85990'>to</span> <span m='86070'>have a</span> <span m='86260'>junk</span> <span m='86650'>dealer's</span> <span m='86850'>permit.</span> <span m='87180'>And</span> <span m='87495'>it</span> <span m='87810'>costs</span> <span m='88450'>$900</span> <span m='89490'>every</span> <span m='89690'>two</span> <span m='89860'>years,</span> <span m='90190'>which</span> <span m='90350'>is</span> <span m='91220'>scaring</span> <span m='91380'>a</span> <span m='91430'>lot</span> <span m='91560'>of</span> <span m='91610'>people</span> <span m='92010'>out of</span> <span m='92365'>the city</span> <span m='92720'>for now.</span> <span m='93110'>But I'm</span> <span m='93310'>sure</span> <span m='93570'>that these</span> <span m='93690'>guys</span> <span m='93870'>will pick</span> <span m='94160'>up suit,</span> <span m='94450'>too,</span> <span m='94735'>the other</span> <span m='95020'>cities</span> <span m='95493'>around,</span> <span m='96912'>but</span> <span m='97385'>for</span> <span m='97860'>now</span> <span m='98000'>they don't</span> <span m='98260'>have that.</span> </p><p><span m='98520'>Well,</span> <span m='99050'>it's</span> <span m='99240'>funny,</span> <span m='99430'>because</span> <span m='99480'>my</span> <span m='99600'>girlfriend,</span> <span m='100030'>she's</span> <span m='100310'>a scrapper,</span> <span m='100630'>too.</span> <span m='101230'>And</span> <span m='101950'>so</span> <span m='103290'>it's</span> <span m='103520'>our</span> <span m='103640'>life,</span> <span m='103890'>pretty</span> <span m='104060'>much.</span> <span m='104330'>We</span> <span m='104640'>work</span> <span m='106000'>and</span> <span m='106130'>live</span> <span m='106270'>together,</span> <span m='108500'>so</span> <span m='108610'>there's</span> <span m='108770'>no</span> <span m='108890'>separation</span> <span m='109275'>there</span> <span m='109660'>hardly.</span> <span m='110215'>It's</span> <span m='110500'>not</span> <span m='110660'>like</span> <span m='110800'>I have a</span> <span m='110960'>work</span> <span m='111230'>life/home</span> <span m='111730'>life.</span> <span m='112790'>Sometimes</span> <span m='113130'>our work</span> <span m='113330'>comes</span> <span m='113630'>home</span> <span m='113930'>with us--</span> <span m='114230'>it</span> <span m='114530'>does come</span> <span m='114830'>home with</span> <span m='115130'>us.</span> </p>","file":{"id":303073,"video_id":"2778585068001","name":"1348-Brian-p-MetalRecycler2-In-Depth","duration":115822,"thumbnail_url":null}});

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