Bottom Falls Out Of The Stolen-Copper-Wire Market

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Hey, here's a positive effect of the recession - the market for copper wire is way down, which means there's now less of an incentive to steal it.

Mark Edelheit, president of Greater Texas Metal Recycling Co., Inc., tells Hair Balls he used to pay $2 to $3 per pound for No. 1 copper, but now he's paying around 90 cents to a dollar. (And would-be sellers better be willing to show their IDs, because GTMRC keeps a record of who sold them the goods.)

As a matter of fact, prices have fallen across the board. A couple of months ago the company was paying 60 to 65 cents per pound for aluminum cans, but prices have fallen to just 25 cents a pound. Times are hard. "The prices have just fallen like a balloon," says Edelheit. "I mean it's really tough right now. This is the worst my business has been, and I've been doing this for 25 years."

(It's not just in Houston, either.)

The tanking economy means GTMRC is both buying and selling less metal. But Edelheit is hoping for the best. "It just depends how long this lasts," he says. "It can't go on forever...We're cutting back on costs and expenses and trying to hold on for a while."

- Cathy Matusow    

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