Work with Scrappers to Keep Them Out of Your Dumpster

One of the frustrations in doing a large construction or demolition project is dealing with scrappers. Scrappers are often industrious and sometimes unscrupulous individuals  who seek to make a profit by selling items from your work space.


At their best, scrappers can take away your unwanted metal and free up space in your dumpster. This can save you time and energy and actually be a benefit to your process.


At their worst, scrappers are thieves who take away not just unwanted metal but also copper and valuable metals. They can destroy your work site, cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of lost labor.


The second kind of scrapper, the thieves, should be dealt with by law enforcement.  However, the first kind of scrapper can become a valuable partner in your project.


Here are some suggestions for making this partnership work.


Survey the neighbors


When you talk to the neighbors around a project you may find that some of them already know something about The Scrappers in your neighborhood. They might not know their names and addresses but they can tell you what night of the week they come around and what they drive.


With this information you can make plans to have an encounter, talk about your upcoming project, and strategize a plan that helps both of you out.



Implement a plan

Armed with this information, you can place your valuable scrap metal on the side of your Big Daddy Dumpster  instead of inside of it. This saves the energy of lifting it up and throwing it inside. It also saves space.


If you can save one or two pickups and dropoffs  over the course of a project, you’re talking about real savings.


Savings and safety

But perhaps just as important as saving money is protecting people. The most industrious scrappers can also put themselves and you at risk. When they enter your dumpster, they also enter your liability.


Most dumpster diving injuries are minor: cuts, scrapes, and bruises that will heal naturally and  not result in any issues moving forward. However, on occasion a scrapper can sustain a serious injury. If your dumpster was unsecured, this could result in a lawsuit for what in legal terms is called an attractive nuisance. An argument can be made that you could rightly anticipate the existence of scrappers, and by failing to take steps to make the space safe, you share blame in the accident.


So, rather than put up a fence, or pay a guard, just make an agreement and save everyone time, money, and trouble.