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How to Make Money in the Home Based
Salvage and Recycling Business


Michael R. Meuser

Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved
(updated & revised September 7, 2015)

Note: All Purchasers Will Receive the Newly Updated 2021 Edition for free once it is complete.


Notice May 23, 2017 - Recently a person bought the ebook and then asked for a refund weeks later because he was "aghast" that the manual did not include all the various federal, state and local regulations related to the business included. Sorry folks, but it is not my intention to give a "checklist" of what to do and how to make money doing it. There are just way too many variables involved. What I have done is provide the things I have learned over 30 plus years of being in the business. Many of the things that work for me on a day to day basis will work for you. It's true the ebook has not been updated for over a year, but to tell the truth, there is not much that has changed. Like I say, it worked then and works now. It IS going to take some hard work and research on your part, but if you follow through, it is worth it. I do provide news and updates. Check Facebook for latest news and updates. AND I am always just an email away if you have a question.

UPDATE - My intention here is NOT for you to purchase the ebook to "try it out." It is a waste of my time and yours to do so. Please do not purchase the ebook unless you are certain that you want to be in the business. If you do commit to the business, then I will commit to you. Many many folks just like you were just starting out in the business and bought this ebook. The successful ones asked a lot of questions and I answered them.

Some want to stay small as I am now, some want to grow large. I've done both and you can too. The field is still very wide open and new opportunities appear all the time. Just stop by a local landfill sometime and see all the metal, reusable items, used lumber and building materials that people are paying to get rid of. There is a market and/or use for most of the stuff you see. You could be the one in your local area that gets this material before it is hauled off to the landfill.

Note too that this is my personal story over a period of 30+ years. I tell this story not to brag, but to inspire you, to show you how I started with nothing, learned how to find opportunities and made a good living. Again, this is my story, not a blueprint. In fact, there can't be a blueprint - a one-size-fits-all plan because each of you is different, each locale presents different opportunities. From my story you can glean many ideas that will help you get started. Just one good idea is worth way more than the cost of the ebook.

Check out everything on this page, the table of contents, the testimonials (yes, they are real). There is enough information on this page for you to determine what I'm talking about and if this is or is not for you.

Do not buy the ebook unless you are ready to commit. And please, please read this entire page and the website and blog. I make my money doing the business of salvage and recycling. I've done the ebook to "give back" to help you along -- it is not where I make my money. Give it some thought before you decide and once you decide ... COMMIT! -- THANK YOU! I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.

If you have any questions at all, please send me an email.

Make Money! Join the many individuals and families who are learning to prosper in the salvage and recycling business starting with little or no cash. Note that little or no cash does NOT mean little or no WORK - this opportunity will take some real honest to gosh hard work - nothing less. Are you ready? If so, read on.

Learn how I make money in the salvage and recycling business -
Avoid my mistakes and profit from my successes

Hi! I'm Mike Meuser. I started in the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. Getting started didn't take a lot of cash (very little in fact) but it did take a lot of hard work. It is not easy and you won't become rich overnight, but you will have the freedom to make your own decisions and set your own priorities that will determine your own future - no one will be in control but you. You can make a good amount of money in a very short time if you just get out there and DO IT! And, if you persist, learn from my successes and avoid my mistake, you can make a very good income.

There are thousands of pie-in-the-sky schemes on the internet that "guarantee" that you'll make something like $1000 a week in 30 days, six-figures this year and all you have to do is to work a couple of hours a day at most, sit back and watch the money come in all for an investment of $37 or $47 or $97. I don't think so! Sorry to say, but it doesn't work like this folks. There are no blueprints, step-by-step plans that will take you from poverty to riches in short order ESPECIALLY if they're telling you that it is easy and hardly takes any work at all. This is total B.S!

So, if you are looking for:

  • A blueprint that you can follow step by step with little or no creative action on your part.
  • A business that takes little to no effort - a business made for lazy people.
  • A business that will make you rich overnight.

Then this is not for you. All I can do is wish you good luck in finding something that fits.

But, if you:

  • Are not afraid of hard work.
  • Can see my story as just that "my story" not a blueprint, not a step-by-step plan (unfortunately internet and get-rich schemes have convinced many that these something-for-almost-nothing schemes are real - come on!), but an opportunity to be inspired by my successes and learn from my mistakes.
  • Are not afraid to ask me questions.
  • And you are ready to get real and put all the get-rich-quick pie-in-the-sky make-a-million-with-no-work-and-an-investment-of=little-money behind you.

Then stick with me and read on ...

If you are tired of trying all the "get rich schemes on the Internet" and wish someone would show you a STABLE, reliable way to make money...

Then this manual and website were created just for you. Here's the story...

Please Read This First - This eBook is only the beginning. There is no cookie-cutter, no one-size-fits-all, no blueprint, no step by step plan that will work for everyone. Every individual is different and every place is different - an opportunity for one is not necessarily an opportunity for others AND opportunities are constanly changing - they come and go, appearing here, disappearing there. The eBook is just the beginning. With it you have full access to me for as long as you need it. Ask me questions and I will answer them and give you all the help and guidance that I can towards your success in this business. If you have any questions now, please send me an email.

What How to Make Money in the Home Based
Salvage and Recycling Business
is NOT

This needs to be said right up front so I will make it very clear.

  • This is not a make-money-at-home manual that someone bought online and is reselling.

  • It is not a get-rich-quick-blueprint, step-by-step one size fits all fantasy that was dreamt up by someone whose only purpose is to make them money.

  • It is not a knock-off of some similar product that you will see offered over and over again on Ebay and other places on the internet.

What I am offering to you and will talk about in the eBook, is my experience at becoming an economic survivor (and more) over the last several decades in the salvage and recycling business. It is the distillation of my successes and failures that have kept me and my family going, and going well, while not having a job, and beginning with virtually no resources. It is a wonderful opportunity for those seeking a viable successful home-based business.

This information cannot be found online elsewhere or in any book, though bits and pieces of some of it may be found here and there. Indeed, I got my start by reading a now out of print booklet titled, "Surplus & Salvage." This book provided the catalyst that I needed to learn more about the business and, ultimately, change my life. My hope is that my eBook becomes a catalyst for you and your successful endeavors.

How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business is about success and failure. They say that success is never giving up. In that regard, at least, I am a success. I made it and lost it more times than you may believe and I sometimes care to remember -- it's been a lot of very hard work. But for all the work there have been many successes. My book will help you because you can learn from my experience and change your own success to failure ratio, winning many more times than losing.

You have made a good start by coming to this website. It shows that you are concerned about your future and willing to take steps to improve it. I have included a few examples below that will "whet your appetite" for the future that can be yours.

Make Money Fulltime or Partime

For many years I worked at the business fulltime. I came to realize that through my efforts I was not only doing good for myself and my family, but for the community and, in a general sense, the earth.

Once you get into this, you'll see what I mean. You'll also see the tremendous amount of waste that our society generates. Through our efforts a little less goes into the landfills, a little less is mined, a few less trees are cut, a little less hazardous waste is generated, a little less pollution is created ... use your imagination.

As I got into salvage and recycling I realized how much "material" of all sorts and descriptions was dumped, discarded, burned, buried ... I realized the production, consumption and destruction of most everything I saw had a toxic chemical and energy aspect to it. The more I salvaged, recycled and reused, the less toxics and energy needed to be produced.

The point is that you can make this business suit your needs -- full-time, part-time, stay small, grow, home based -- you only work it as much as you want or need to. Make it fit with your interests, other income earning things you do or reinvent yourself as a recycling, salvage and reuse entrepreneur -- the choice is yours.

The potential is there to make a near unlimited income if you work hard at it. The potential is also there to live a simple yet fulfilling life without working all that much. The choice is yours -- like it ought to be, don't you think?.

Here's an email from a go-getter. Linda M bought the eBook just a few months ago and has had one success after another. She has allowed me to post her message here. We both hope that what she has learned and done will inspire you.

December 14

HI again, I hit the jackpot today. You just need to look around like you said. Possibilities are endless.

In between jobs I stopped at a local thrift store. This store sells donated items to benefit a local shelter. I asked the cashier what they do with their old/broken electronics. She said, "we were just discussing that this morning" and went to get her manager. The manager said sure I have a ton of stuff for you, can you come back later today? Of course I could!

We loaded the pickup with tons of old electronics. The best part - the manager said I could come every week and she would fill my truck up. Oh my word, I think I'm dreaming. Someone pinch me!!

Wow, it so totally pays to ask. You just never know what you will get. Last week I stopped in a storage facility and gave them my card. The man went to the back room and came out with a working Black and Decker drill. He just lost the cord. Sweet!

I love this!!!!!

Linda M, Michigan

Salvage and Recycling Business Success Stories

bootstrap with no debt Note: Don't let this photo throw you off. It is an example of how I stayed small, kept my overhead low, but did a big job by contracting out the hauling, renting the yard space, filling containers, and how I bootstrapped my way into the flatbed truck, forklift and trailer without going into debt and having no money to speak of to start with. You'll find the entire story in the ebook.

30+ years ago, around the time of the first housing boom in California, I found myself divorced, jobless, child support to pay, a non-homeowner and with a new family to support. Things were tough. My wife, kids, two cats and I ended up camping for several months before finding a small 2 room cabin to rent in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. But once there, things changed for the better. This is where I learned that asking questions and being a good listener really pays off. In short, we persevered and we were always able to make it -- sometimes making it really big.

For instance, the Recycling and Salvage business provided the income to purchase two wonderful victorian apartment buildings and a home in Northern California. This all within two years from the time we began camping. Here are a few of my "deals" that got us from a tent to a victorian:

  • Would you believe that I bid so low on one item hoping that I would not get it, ended up getting it, and making $60,000 off of it? I did, but I nearly missed it. This is a true alchemist's dream -- turning lead into "gold." In the manual you will learn about this and also about the many ounces of real gold I recovered from electronic and telecommunications equipment.

  • I was paid $50 to haul away a classic 1947 1-1/2 ton GMC truck. It took me less than a day and $100 to turn it into a work truck that I used for several years. I eventually sold it to a collector for $4,000. In another case, I traded salvaged items that cost me less than $50 for a very nice modern 3-1/2 ton flatbed truck -- another work truck. I used it to haul hundreds of tons of material over several years and then sold it for $3,500.

  • How I got a commercial espresso machine for $2 and sold it the same day for hundreds more than I paid for it.

  • How I traded something that cost me $8 for a 3-1/2 ton flatbed truck that I used in my business for years and then resold for $3,500.

  • How I got a 14 foot oak sailboat for a few dollars, spent a weekend sanding, filling, painting and finally -- sailing it -- and sold it to a very eager buyer for $1,800 cash (I always wonder what it was really worth).

  • In a recent library sale I found an original signed and annotated-by-the-author first edition of a 140 year old book -- a classic in its field. Unsigned first editions of this book are going for between $1,600 and $1,800 if you can find one at all. Recently only photocopied reprints are available at $150 each!

  • How I literally raised the cash overnight to purchase a used $4,000 forklift with a buy-back guarantee.

I will include free email consultation for life (yours or mine, whichever comes first). I'm not guaranteeing that I'll always have the answers , but most of the time I will be able to at least point you in the right direction.

The following is an email from a young woman who purchased the eBook in October. I include it here hoping that it will inspire those of you that have not yet purchased the eBook to do so and get out there and begin making some money. My responses to Linda M are in italics.
-------------------- On Fri, Dec 2 LM wrote:

HI again, I've been working on a few things and had a progress report and some more questions, if you don't mind. ;)

Glad to hear from you! I'm amazed that very few people actually correspond with me at all after buying the ebook. It's good to hear from someone who has actually gotten something out of it.

I got a truck. It's a Dakota. It was listed for $1200 but had been sitting. I got it for $700 because I noticed it was leaking gas and I knew it need lots of work. I put $700 worth of repairs and it runs like a top. And when I'm looking to upgrade I know I could re-sell and make more because it only has 75,000 miles and I cleaned it up nice.

What a great deal!

I got my first load of electronics free from a computer place. 35 each monitors and cases. I scraped the cases and metal and got $150 right off. I have the motherboards and PCI cards set aside for a place I found that buys them. I'm waiting for a large enough amount to make it worth my while. I found a local place that will take monitors for free after I scrap out the copper. I just have to drop them off. I'm pretty excited. My dad is helping me out with the dismantling because I still work and can only do this on nights and weekends.

Amazing. You are really going for it.

I've been reading online forums and such to learn how to get the best out of the scrap I get. I've come up with a few questions maybe you could answer?


Everyone says they leave their business card. That's cool and I can make one up without a problem. I'm stuck on the wording. I'm thinking my name and Salvage/Recycling and contact info. Do you think that would be enough? They can always contact me for more correct? Should I put more like "free pickup" or something to get their attention?

I say almost exactly what you have. Just my name on one line and the Free PIckup of Salvage and Recyclables on the next. I'm careful to never do or say "hauling" because people tend to see haulers as something different and I don't want to be put in the category of hauling trash for pay.

Lots of people talk about putting up flyers. Do you find this works? Do you use several different flyers advertising different things?

I use simple flyers at grocery stores and other places in towns nearby. I keep it simple using the same text as on the card.

I recently found a post about asking the local auto repair and parts places if I could put a plastic drum there for them to dump their old wires and parts into for me to pickup rather than them putting the stuff in the dumpster. Have you done anything like that? I'm thinking you'd need to label the drum with your business name or whatever but it wouldn't hurt to ask right?

That's a very good idea. I do keep in touch with several different businesses for their scrap - auto repair, auto supply, hardware, thrift, etc. Usually not enough around here to warrant dedicating a barrel, but sounds like it will work for you.

BTW I just scored dozens of used steel barrels from an auto repair place. Enough oil left in them to do changes for my cars and trucks for years to come. I'm using them for passive solar on side of my home and inside a greenhouse. This might be a free source of barrels for you to use for your clients. You would have to cut the tops off though.

I liked your post about the free wood. I live in an apt so that wouldn't work for me but I know people who do burn so I'm going to look into that.

I really appreciate your information. I probably told you I am a website designer by trade. I'd be more than happy to make you a cool banner or header for your Blog for free to say thanks for your useful input. If you ever want to update it that is.

I'd love that if you have the time.

A favor. This email is a real inspiration to me. It's great to find out I'm actually helping someone. Can I post this email on the blog? I'll just use your initials, not your name. Let me know because I think it would help inspire others to get going.

Well I'm off to meet with a client so I'll talk with you again later.

Thanks so much!

Linda M, Michigan

You're doing great. Hope you do well enough to go at it full time soon. You're on your way. Mike

Recycling & Salvage Money Making Highlights

  • How to bootstrap your business without going into debt.

  • How to get your salvage for free or for pennies on the dollar. (In some cases you will be paid to take the material away).

  • How to find the best price in the least amount of time.

  • The tools and equipment you will need -- many easily fabricated.

  • Information based on my experience in salvage, recycle and reuse in the following areas:

    • Construction and building materials

    • Deconstruction and recycled lumber

    • Farm and ranch equipment and supplies

    • Heavy equipment salvaging for high value parts

    • Scrap metal - ferrous and non-ferrous

    • Electronic, communication, and computer scrap and recycling

    • Salvage for alternative energy systems

    • Antiques and collectibles

    • Promoting and marketing

    • Always treating everyone with fairness and respect and not profiting from the misfortune of others - ways to create win-win situations for ALL parties involved.

  • How to deal with scrap and recycling dealers and brokers.

  • Innovative businesses you can start using various salvaged materials.

  • How to arrange transportation, interim storage, cheap yard space without dealing with high cost commercial operators.

  • How to be paid for your work before you ever start.

  • How to get the equipment and tools you need.

  • How to stay solvent and operate on a cash basis.

  • Plus you will always receive helpful responses from me to your email questions and queries.

Hi Mike

I'm from New Zealand, I find your stories of real life experiences of failures to successes, absolutely overwhelming, turning scrap into fortune, I would most certainly like to follow your footsteps.

You're a legend,
Kind regards
L.C. New Zealand

Make Money in Good Times and Bad Times

This works in good times and bad. In fact, in many cases, there are more opportunities during "rough" economic times like we are now experiencing. This is a way to insulate yourself and your loved ones from the economic "roller-coaster," take charge of your life and have some power in and control over your future by learning how to recycle equipment, metal, lumber, building materials, jewelry, gold, computer scrap and more.

Can I Buy This Book in Bookstores?

How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business is only available directly from me as an eBook and it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. I decided to do it this way for several reasons. I wanted some control over the distribution, but more than that, I wanted to maintain contact with all of you. Also, an e-book is easily modified and updated to reflect your comments and insights and anything new that I learn.


First off thank you for passing on your knowledge of the recycling industry unto me. You've helped me think outside the box on many things. I just received the updated pdf. Thanks for the detailed update. I was praying for the day that I find a person such as yourself to act as a mentor, someone who is selling his experience and not just a product. The manual that I purchased is the wisest investment that I've made all year. I also have a few more questions if you don't mind answering them...

OMG...that was the quickest response I've EVER had. Thank you so much, it makes more sense now... Terry D. Colorado, USA

What You Get

1. The eBook, How to Make Money in the
Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business

How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business itself is over 70 pages of pure information - no fillers like photos, graphs and tables to take up space - pure text only. But that's not all. The eBook itself will grow over time as I update it and add new material. I'll always be on hand to answer your questions by email as best I can.

Here's the Table of Contents


Thank You and Introduction

1. Electronic, Computer and Telecommunications
    1.1. Visiting the sites
    1.2. Research
    1.3. Bootstrapping
        1.3.1. Bartering for equipment
        1.3.2. Outsourcing yard space and hauling
        1.3.3. Finding buyers and cash
    1.4. Salvage Work Begins
        1.4.1. Containers for scrap sorting and hauling
        1.4.2. Onsite work
        1.4.3. Loads arrive in yard
    1.5. Winding up the on-site work
    1.6. Working through material
        1.6.1. Marketing
        1.6.2. Precious metal - choosing a refiner
        1.6.3. Precious metal - refining yourself
        1.6.4. Remove gold from plated material
   Disclaimer and health
   Plated gold
   Gold plate removal system
   Equipment and Supplies
   Safety equipment

A WARNING about attempting to refine or remove precious metals yourself. So many folks asked me about how to remove gold plate, I reluctantly added this information to the eBook. I do not remove gold from plated material myself. I send it to a refiner.

The system for recovering gold from plated material in the eBook is for informational purposes only. It is a simplified version that I built using information from George Gajda's book Gold Refining and correspondence with the author decades ago. Given the expense and time involved in setting up a proper lab, I would not do it over again.

I encourage you to do the same and send it to a refiner who is equipped to safely process the material. You should not do it yourself UNLESS you have a fully equipped and licensed laboratory with the proper equipment and safety apparatus to fully protect yourself, your family, your community and the environment AND you follow all state and federal environmental regulations. Better safe than sorry.

Look forward to an electronics and computer precious metal recovery update in the months to come. I've taken the time to document my recent activities in this area and will be updating the eBook with photos, sources, techniques and buyers that I deal with - the "good, bad and the ugly." Once completed it will be sent to all purchasers of the eBook for free. There is no charge to you for this or other updates.

    1.7. Conclusion
    1.8. Update Re: Selling your electronic scrap material

2. Deconstruction
    2.1. Starting out
    2.2. Steel water tank and tower - bonus railroad rails
    2.3. Old commercial buildings
    2.4. Barns, farms and ranch structures and equipment

3. Industrial Salvage and Reuse
    3.1. Commercial knitting machines
    3.2. Valves

4. Scrap Metal, Salvage and Reuse
    4.1. Hauling scrap metal on percentage not for me
    4.2. Road grader and bulldozer
    4.3. '47 GMC truck and a sprint car
    4.4. Winter storms bring recycling profits

5. Ranch and Farm Scrap
    5.1. Aluminum irrigation pipe and sprinklers
    5.2. Old farm implements and machinery

6. Thrift Store Treasures`

7. The Crown Jewel of Surplus and Salvage

8. Pawn Shop Profits. Why Sell for Pennies Instead of Dollars?

9. Alternative Energy Salvage and Reuse

10. Bootstrapping Examples

11. Miscellaneous Deals
    11.1. Used hardwood flooring
    11.2. Free vehicles
        11.2.1. Subaru powered VW Westfalia camper van
        11.2.2. Diesel powered Winnebago LeSharo RV
        11.2.3. Swapped a table saw for a 280Z sports car
    11.3. Woodworking equipment
        11.3.1. Wood lathe
        11.3.2. Shopsmith Mark V
    11.4. Desktop computers for free

12. Turn Over Your Material Quickly

13. Problems with Specialization

14. Learning More and Staying Connected

15. Conclusion


Note that I have had many more successes since writing the eBook. New material is often added to the website, RecyclingSecrets.com and my blog.

Look forward to an electronics and computer precious metal recovery update in the months to come. I've taken the time to document my recent activities in this area and will be updating the eBook with photos, sources, techniques and buyers that I deal with - the "good, bad and the ugly." Once completed it will be sent to all purchasers of the eBook for free. There is no charge to you for this or other updates.

2. Periodic Updates

As I go through my notes, come across new opportunities, learn new things myself (I'm out there doing recycling and salvage work most every day) and respond to your questions I'll be adding new updates to the Recycling Secrets blog and website.

3. My Help is Available to You 24/7

Email me and I'll respond to your questions as promptly as possible. If the answer seems as if it would be of benefit to all users, I may use it as a basis for an update. Any questions or comments anytime - I look forward to hearing from and helping you succeed.

There is no magic bullet!

This is not an instant-follow-step-by-step-blueprint get rich quick scheme. If anyone tries to sell you something like that beware. If you are looking for that sort of thing, you should look elsewhere. The ebook that you will purchase is a beginning - it's a starting point. It's a framework of ideas and processes that have worked for me. Your situation and circumstances are different from mine and different from other members as well. I'd like to help you with the details and specifics that will put you on the path to success in the business. I'll do my best to point you in the right direction. If you ask questions, I will answer you directly as best as I can. Also, if you ask questions or make comments, I will move that subject to the top of my priority list and address those first. So, if you have anything that you would like help with or would like to know more about, let me know and I'll address it as soon as possible. I will post a notice on the blog about any new material that is posted here. I will email you as well. You get out of this what you put into it.

Ready to Commit? If so, if you are really ready then click below!

I can't wait to start working with you!

To your salvage and recycling success!

Mike Meuser

Email Mike

FREE STUFF! If you are not ready to commit to learning how to make money in the salvage and recycling business right now, please do take the time to check out all the free articles and resources linked from the menu at the top of this page and check out my homepage. Also, be sure to check out the Recycling Secrets blog. You can return to this page at any time by clicking on "How-to-Manual" at the top of any page. There's no hurry and no obligation whatsoever - browse and make use of the free material at your leisure. When you're ready to learn more about the salvage and recycling business, come back here. Thanks.

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