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NYC Notes: No Goldman Sachs, Instead We Monetize Sacks

We were in NYC for a week, and regrettably I never got any face-time with my Peeps at Goldman Sachs. But while Leslie and I were having a beer and burger at The Spotted Pig one afternoon I was reminded that NYC is a hotbed of financial innovation.

As I looked out the window, with beer in hand, I noticed an entrepreneur with a small re-cycling business.

A few weeks ago I described my own financial returns in the area of recycling. So I was interested to compare a professional’s return with my, admittedly amateurish, effort.

Recycling By A Professional, Don't Try This At Home

Here’s what I calculate:

  • I’m estimating 250 recycle units in the bag(s).
  • Containing all aluminum cans, at 32 cans/pound we are looking at 7.81 pounds.
  • At a recycle value of $1.57/pound this bag would fetch our small businessman $12.26.

On the other hand, if he switched from recycling aluminum cans to plastic bottles the return would be better:

  • If the 250 units were plastic, at 14 bottles/pound we are looking at 17.85 pounds.
  • At a recycle value of $0.93/pound that same bag would fetch our businessman $16.61.

Which would be a 35% increase in cash flow for the same amount of effort.

I was briefly tempted to consult with our entrepreneur, but then Leslie reminded me that he probably knew more about his business than I could hope to learn. And, she insisted rather strongly, that he didn’t need any help from me.

So I stayed right where I was, and quietly sucked down my beer.

Note: If you are interested in the detailed financials of residential recycling, and who wouldn’t be, see our previous post.

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