The Economics Of Shredding Cars

October 21, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Turns out that shredding cars can be fairly lucrative, at least according to Adam Minter:

  • In developed countries old cars are typically shredded via giant metal machines. Magnets then separate out the steel and the rest of the metal is sent to China.
  • In China workers hand sort through the metal to find valuables.
  • The average car has about $1.65 in loose change that was lodged in the seats.
  • Workers who get those coins are paid $400 a month – and since they go through millions of tons of scrap metal it’s a fairly profitable arrangement for the companies that hire them.
  • The coins are then sold to Chinese tourists at a discount. One couple had over €3,700 in change.

See pictures, find out what happens to coins that are unusable, and more over here.

Source: Shanghai Scrap

Via: Marginal Revolution