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104 Sterner Mill Road
Trevose, PA 19053

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Kurtz Metals Blog

Tough 1st Quarter to Hopefully Act as Catalyst

May 12th, 2014 by

As we all know, this past winter did not do much for the manufacturing industry. Particularly, in construction and material recycling. There has been struggle across most industries, however it looks like things have been beginning to come back around.

The winter months were particularly difficult for the metals recycling industry because there was not a lot of volume for us to work with. Since it was so cold, the amount of people outside working was zilch! Now that Mother Nature is fighting to give us a spring, we are hoping that this all turns around.

2014 is bringing Pennsylvania two new major products with the Comcast building and a new High Rise Luxury Condo.  Since these are the first major products that we have seen coming through, the thought is that we may see run off from these projects and that they may act as a catalyst for more projects to start popping up.

While it has been a tough first quarter, we are looking forward to seeing where the year takes us. Hopefully, the numbers will begin to come up and we can all start to strive again.

Dependence on Rare Earth Metals and Today’s Technical Device Recycling

March 27th, 2014 by

There has been a lot of discussion regarding China’s hold over the majority of the planet’s rare earth metals. Since China has the majority of these precious metals and they have become more and more unwilling to share them, the likelihood of a shortage for America is very real.

Beyond reminding manufacturers that this shortage may be coming, and asking that they don’t continue to overproduce their products, we need to find a way to hold on to the materials that we have.

Instead of consumers trashing their technical devices after a year or two when they begin to act up, it is important that everyone takes the time to recycle their devices.  The task of recycling rare earth metals can be difficult since they are so deeply embedded into your devices, however this can not be a deterrent to recycling.

Asking manufacturers to launch programs for these devices would be a good way to battle the possible shortage of rare earth metals. If consumers are unable to remove the materials themselves, being able to return them to the manufacturers for recycling or refurbishing is a giant step towards keeping the materials that we already have. A few manufacturers have programs such as this, however here at Kurtz, we think that if this was the norm and not the exception, our dependence on China for these precious metals would be released.

What do you think? Do you have any additional ideas about how we can save or recycle rare earth metals?

Commonly Asked Scrap Metal Recycling Questions

December 23rd, 2013 by

For over 30 years, we’ve been providing non-ferrous scrap metal recycling to countless customers. Over the years, we’ve gotten many questions about the process, what can and can’t be recycled, and other considerations. Of course we welcome any and all questions—but we’d like to answer some of the common ones here.

First of all, being a non-ferrous metal facility, we don’t handle steel scrap (i.e. auto scrap, steel appliances, structural scrap, etc.). So what are the non-ferrous metals? These are base metals, fundamental to many industries, and include aluminum, copper, nickel, lead, tin, and zinc.  We work in base metals, and the various forms they come in.

One of the most common questions is regarding copper. The most glamorous of the base metals, this comes in many forms, such as tubing, wire (insulated or bare), and copper flashing (used architecturally). It’s also used along with other base metals, such as aluminum copper radiators commonly found in AC units and refrigerators. Also used in cooling systems, this form is a commodity bought as an entity to itself.

Some items are copper-based, but not actually copper. Brass is one commonly-used example, with brass fixtures, sprickets, and plumbing often seen.  These brass items have a certain percentage of copper—i.e. 55% in faucets, and up to 83% in valves—with the remaining material being other elements, such as zinc or tin. However, as the demand for copper has increased and is getting more expensive, brass items tend to use less copper, often replacing it with plastic or die cast, which is made from zinc and is growing in demand.

So what do we buy? Any of the items listed above, as well as copper windings in electric motors, copper in lighting fixtures, and more. What don’t we buy? No junk! This can include light fixtures made of steel scrap, which is of very low value. If you do have an item of low value, it’s best to bring in the item and have the low-value material removed, then sell the material by itself.  We also recommend trimming down an item (en electric motor or copper tubing, for example) as best as possible down to the element.

By recycling your metal, you are getting materials more sophisticated than when they come out of the ground, and the opportunity to have something melted down and changed into something else.

Finally, when it comes to measurement, we buy and sell by weight. Oversized items are not desirable, so they must be broken down to fit into a furnace and made acceptable to consumers. It’s best to strip an item down as much as possible, which will also save you money.

If we didn’t answer your questions here, not to worry. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

Kurtz Metals and the Four Business Practices for Success!

November 25th, 2013 by

So, what makes Kurtz Metals different from the rest of scrap metal recycling companies? What has allowed us to thrive for more than thirty years? It goes without saying that providing reliable, friendly service to the non-ferrous scrap recycling community play a critical role in our success. However there is more to picture than meets the eye. For us four key best business practices allow us to succeed in these competitive times.

1. Integrity

You can never lose when your business is built on integrity. When customers know they can trust you every step of the process, whatever it is, they will return and spread the good word. When it comes down to it, honesty is not only the best policy; it is the only policy.

2. Appreciate Your Customers

After being in business for a while, it is easy to become complacent. Don’t do it! There is no guarantee that your customers will always come back. If you don’t treat them with the utmost respect and caring, they will go somewhere else. It never fails.

3.Encourage Questions

It might sound odd, but you should encourage customers to question things. When your clients feel they are free to question everything, how you are doing something, why you chose a certain process, or why something cost what it does, you are leveling the playing field. Your customers will feel like equals and from there it is s much easier to gain their trust.

4.Keep it Clean!

Keep your facility clean. Sounds basic, but you would be surprised how many people in our industry skip this step. Not only do your customers feel more comfortable visiting your facility but it also makes for a much better work environment. Cleanliness not only brings customers back but it also helps you keep valuable employees on your team.

At Kurtz Metals, we truly feel that if you can follow these four basic but critical business practices, success is much easier to attain.

Waiting With Baited Breath – The Challenge of Uncertain Times

September 16th, 2013 by

A lack of stability always takes a toll on the market. Without a clear idea of what’s going to happen, people lack the confidence to invest. We end up with a situation where everyone is holding onto what they have. Two of the biggest unknowns posing a threat to investor confidence right now are the future of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing measures, and what lies ahead for the Chinese economy and GDP.

Quantitative easing has seen the government buying billions of dollars of bonds each month in order to infuse the market with capital for people to spend and invest. Right now, the economy is improving and unemployment numbers are falling. Because of this there has been talk of the Federal Reserve pulling back on quantitative easing. But while the improvements in the economy can be seen from the top down, for the person on the street these changes aren’t quite so evident, and in some cases not evident at all. The prospect of a pullback on quantitative easing at a time when many don’t feel that they’re out of the woods has created anxiety. To what degree will quantitative easing be pulled back? When? From the moment talk of these changes began, the commodities market has taken a hit.

The other major factor adding uncertainty to the market is China. Chinese growth, both in construction and manufacturing, has created a large market for commodities. This growth has largely been stimulated by the Chinese government. But last quarter the Chinese GDP fell to 7.5%, and there’s talk of the Chinese government holding it there by restricting growth for the time being. Once again, the questions become what and when? If Chinese economic growth slows for the foreseeable future, then there’s less of a market for commodities, lowering prices once again.

The market hates uncertainty, and we live in uncertain times. While people may have more to spend than they have in recent years, that doesn’t mean they’re spending it. Restoring investor confidence is essential to giving the market the jumpstart it needs.