I updated my original post, as George corrected me. The bales that get spat out from the metal machine (wasn’t that cool???) are 300 lbs.
The copper bales weigh 4000 lbs [edited: ]and are worth $12,000. My mistake.
But while riding today I remembered another thing George told me: ever wonder why so many storm drains and such are missing in Central America…um, unethical recyclers (NOT INVEMA!!!). People will steal storm drains covers, metal anything, and turn them in for a few cents. George told me a not-so-funny story about a power tower that fell over because people had stolen the bolts (presumably for recycling) that held it together.
Over the years INVEMA has had to institute several rules about stuff they will NOT take…
But people will try anything, even putting nails in the plastic bottles so they’ll weigh more. And so INVEMA has a metal detector in their plastic processing system.
Quite the entrepreneur, George has already begun construction on a the first battery recycling center in Honduras. They are working on being able to capture both the plastic AND the lead / acid from the batteries, and have already done a bunch of ground testing on the site to make sure they do not contaminate it.
Now if he’d just figure out a way to deal with all the roadside trash he’d probably be sainted here in Central America…