View Full Version : Wheel Weight Collecting Strategies

08-24-2008, 10:35 PM

With lead-based WW getting more and more scarce (and soon to be illegal in CA) I've found that just asking isn't working anymore. Seems either the tire stores are either selling it to someone, or some idiot has convinced them it's "HAZMAT" and they need to collect their WW's and "properly dispose of them" - I explained to THAT idiot if they were Hazmat, why would they let them put them on cars? :confused:

So, I need to hear your advice to cheaply/freely gather several hundred pounds of used WW, or other cheap sources of recycled lead.


08-24-2008, 11:24 PM
Best way is put the word out. Ask around. I know at times it seemstough or useless but sometimes it just happens and you end up with some.

Tom W.
08-25-2008, 12:06 AM
It ain't like it was... you gotta be ready to drive around and part with cash....

08-25-2008, 12:17 AM
I ain't afraid to part with the cash; it's those idjot's which pay'em more so no one else can afford to buy 'em.

I still have one place which is first come best served; just got to time it right that the bucket is full and before someone else pops in to collect it.


08-25-2008, 12:33 AM
I found 3 when I ran today! Free lead!


08-25-2008, 12:49 AM
I found 3 when I ran today! Free lead!


I carry an extendable magnetic pick up when I walk and in the car. I have to bend to pick up the bits of broken WW only. I always mange to get a few pounds this way free.

I find it is better after a cooling shower of rain in hot weather; maybe the clips expand but don't contract fast enough when the temp drops suddenly?


Post #859

08-25-2008, 07:11 AM
I've seen the "I pick up a couple pounds every time I go for a walk" posted by at least a half a dozen people. I'd love to walk where they do. I've picked up less than a pound in the last 5 years... WAY less than a pound.

To the OP, lead WW are not going to be illegal in CA. The manufacturers have voluntarily decided not to sell lead there to settle a lawsuit. There is a difference in those things.

WW are a scrap yard only thing around here. Every store from a Mom & Pop to the largest chain has a recycling agreement with someone and offering to beat the other guy's deal goes nowhere. My lead in recent years has come from indoor range scrap and I've paid between free and 14 cents a pound. At this point I have a stash that just might last me the rest of my casting career, but then again, it might not... I'm always looking for another deal.

08-25-2008, 07:19 AM
the salvage yard here...kept in 55 gal drums....60 cents a lb...buy all ya want...

08-25-2008, 11:31 AM
the salvage yard here...kept in 55 gal drums....60 cents a lb...buy all ya want...

That sounds like a good deal, they are higher than that around here.

08-25-2008, 01:32 PM
Well I find that smaller shops with less material are better to get them free- my local garage's main thing is car repair, and while they DO put on tires, it isn't their main business. I get maybe 30 pounds per year from them. It just isn't worth a scrap dealer driving out for 30 pounds, nor is it worth them driving 5 miles to the nearest scrap yard to get what, $20 tops? So I would focus on smaller stations first.

Now that said that isn't much. I get most of mine from a guy whose kid my dad used to tutor. He owns 4 tire stores and gives me most of his weights. He's also a shooter, so I return him as many 9mm, .38, and .45 bullets as he wants. I used to load the ammo for him too until someone pointed out the liability issues- so I bought him a basic Lee C frame press and dipper set and load manual and dies as a thank you for all the weights- now he enjoys loading so much he's talking about a progressive press (meaning I might have to cast a lot more, lol). So a mutually beneficial relationship.

One thought that has gotten some play here but I've never seen followed through on is to buy a broken down sailboat and salvage the keel lead. If not a lifetime supply, close to it. Local marine scrap yards here on Lake Erie have dozens of old sailboats lying around, I would bet if you paid the owner of the yard he'd let you go in and strip out whatever you could carry. A sledgehammer, chainsaw, and weed burner would net you quite a bit for a few pounds work, methinks.

08-25-2008, 07:32 PM
98, where'd you say you live?[smilie=1:

08-25-2008, 07:46 PM
Sneak around a mall parking lot with pliers and a screw driver and just pluck off as many as you want! Tie a rope to your ankle and bungee cord a spackle bucket to a shate board to haull out your goods. Works Great !!!


08-26-2008, 02:21 PM
Never try to liberate weights from a moving vehicle.

Old Ironsights
08-26-2008, 05:34 PM
As I have a certificate of training in "Hazardous Waste Disposal" (OEW/CWM) I "put out a shingle" as a "Certified" Hazardous Waste Recovery/Recycling Service specializing in Lead and Lead Alloys.

Hey, ya gotta do whatever works... ;)