• Catalytic Converter – Responsible Recycling


    In response to environmental concerns, governments started mandating stricter pollution controls for automakers in the late 1970s. One of the most effective ways to reduce tailpipe emissions for gas-burning vehicles was the addition of a ‘Catalytic Converter’ to the vehicle’s exhaust stream.

    The converter uses precious metals to kick-start chemical reactions in the exhaust gases. As a result, the quantity of pollutants made by the vehicle is reduced. These catalytic agents are valuable metals in the platinum family – platinum, rhodium, and palladium.

    Different grades of converters contain various combinations and quantities of these metals, plus a steel or ceramic substrate material and a steel casing. The combinations are endless, and as a result, values vary greatly in the recycling market.


  • They don’t make’em like they used to!

    The useful life of household appliances is shorter than it used to be. Purchase prices have come down as manufacturing processes have become more efficient. It costs less to build machines with fewer mechanical parts, and more electronic ones. As the machine ages, mechanical parts can be repaired or replaced, which is good for your pocketbook and the environment. On the other hand, electronics quickly become obsolete. For example, when the motherboard in your washing machine or dishwasher stops working, it may be impossible to repair, and replacement parts could be hard to find. Unfortunately, this could mean the end of life for your appliance.

    Where do broken appliances go? The landfill is not the ideal place for household appliances. Did you know that almost all appliances can be recycled? Most contain a fair amount of recyclable material, from the steel cabinet to cast aluminum parts, and copper windings in the motors.

  • Make the Most of Your Scrap Metal at urbanmine

    If you’re an electrical or plumbing contractor or work in another business that generates scrap metal, you can maximize your business’ profits by selling your scrap material for top dollar.

    In the past, the business of scrapping metal could be untidy, with muddy lots and a confusing system of payment for your material. urbanmine is working to redefine metal recycling with a new, professional approach.

    Redefining User Experience. At urbanmine, we concentrate on the user experience. Our yard is clean and well organized. You can come inside and speak with a knowledgeable employee who will help you organize and load your metals onto a scale. You’ll be able to see the scale readout, so you know how much it weighs. We pride ourselves on our transparency – you are in the loop every step of the way. It’s our integrity that keeps people coming back to urbanmine.

  • Not All Metal is Created Equal

    All metal is worth something. The exact value of your scrap metal can vary though, and scrap prices are volatile. That can mean the difference between $ and $$$.

    What affects it? Several things actually, but some of the main ones are:

    The market price

    The going rate for scrap metal fluctuates in the same way it does for minerals or natural resources. Its values can even be impacted by economic and political affairs.

    The price of copper was around $4 CAD/pound in 2008. In January 2009, at the height of the U.S.-led global recession, that price had fallen to less than $2.50 CAD/pound (Source: Infomine,

    The type of scrap

    Not all scrap is worth the same amount. This is largely because the supply and demand of different metals fluctuate at different rates. Non-ferrous metals are generally more valuable for recycling than ferrous ones, especially in smaller quantities. (That’s why we love A-LU-MI-NUM!)

    Non-ferrous metals like aluminum and copper are non-magnetic. Ferrous metals (steel) are typically magnetic.

    The value of your metal can vary, but Urbanmine will always give you a fair price. Our pricing model is transparent, and there are no surprises. Come down and see us—we’d love to pay you for your metal!




  • The Road to Urbanmine with Don’s Salvage

  • How to Be Lean Manufacturer with Urbanmine

  • Working with Equal Opportunities West

  • Old Parts New Starts for Habitat for Humanity

  • Urbanmine’s History

  • A-lu-mi-num Jingle

  • Dead Car, Good Deed

    Old Parts New Starts gets polluting cars off the road. Turns them into cash donations.

“I like the read-out scale. You can see it.”

— Don Zieglgansberger

Don's Salvage, Estevan, Saskatchewan

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“Extremely open and transparent.”

— Lise Baker

General Manager, Champ Industries

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“Concerned about the environment.”

— Lyndon Finney

Chief Financial Officer, Canadian Tool and Die

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“Big enough to handle our products.”

— Barry Fraser

Production Manager, Imperial Steel Products

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“Beautiful, clean... This is a scrap yard?”

— Terry MacLeod

CBC Radio Manitoba, Broadcast October 2009

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