During the past year, Walter Dunston has spent most of his days collecting scrap metal.
"I'm the scrap king. That's my label," he said. "I lost my job about a year, about two years ago. And I was introduced to a neighbor of mine and he turned me on to scrapping... the rest will be history."
Dunston picks up metal from businesses that would otherwise throw it out. Then he drops it off at Raleigh Metal Recycling on Garner Road. The company accepts more than a hundred types of metal products, everything from bicycles to blenders (click here to see a list). A few minutes later, Dunston walks out with cash.
He won't say exactly how much he has made since he started.
But, "it's a living. It's a living. It's a living," he said.
Gregory Brown, the owner of Raleigh Metal Recycling, says he knows hundreds of people making a living collecting scrap metal. And some are earning from $30,000 to $40,000 a year, he said.
"They make a living gathering scrap metal, working with stores, with gas stations, mechanics... They work with air conditioning suppliers that take out old air conditioners," he said.
The number of people dropping off scrap at his business doubled from last year to this year, as the price of metal steadily increased.
Much of the metal that people sell is melted and exported to China, Brown said.
Dunston is doing well enough that he plans to continue scraping.
"If you can apply yourself in the right way, in the right fashion, it's great for you," he said.
CONTACTSRaleigh Metal Recycling
Greg Brown, 734-740-9514