Thursday, July 17, 2008

Commodity Boom Hits Market for Manhole Covers

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan -- Scrap metal thieves have stooped to stealing manhole covers and sewer grates right off the street. In the past year, the city of Flint has had to replace nearly 400 manhole covers and grates that officials believe were likely stolen and sold for scrap.

A scrapper might get about $20 covers and grates, but it can cost the city more than $200 to replace a single manhole cover.

A few years ago, scrappers got only $35 a ton compared to the current $425 price for a ton.

7 Comments:

At 7/17/2008 9:45 AM, Blogger Marko said...

The city should pay scrappers 30 bucks for manhole covers. Save some money.

Or, spend a couple hundred extra and electrify the manhole covers . . .

 
At 7/17/2008 9:52 AM, Blogger Marko said...

The city should pay scrappers 30 bucks for manhole covers. Save some money.

Or, spend a couple hundred extra and electrify the manhole covers . . .

 
At 7/17/2008 10:10 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

marko,

Anyone who removes a manhole should be sentenced to guard the replacement for one year without pay of course.

No cost involved here but problem solved.

 
At 7/17/2008 11:44 AM, Blogger randian said...

I thought the free market didn't apply to commodities. Or so Congress says.

 
At 7/17/2008 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait till the scrappers start peeling metal off vehicles to place in their shopping carts for later resale!

 
At 7/17/2008 5:42 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

A stolen manhole cover cannot be worth $20 to a fence unless some cities or suburban developments are buying used covers. The simplest theft prevention measure (adopted by many cities) is to design customized manhole covers with the city's name or logo on top. These have no resale value and can only be sold as scrap metal worth $1 or so.

 
At 7/17/2008 11:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Dr. T says: "The simplest theft prevention measure (adopted by many cities) is to design customized manhole covers with the city's name or logo on top"...

That made me wonder and of course the Dr. T was on the money:

City installing new manhole covers

The damn things are expensive: "$250: Cost for new cover and casting. The same cost as the old manhole covers."...

Note the following 2005 article on WikiNews: Beijing cracks down on manhole cover thefts

"Beijing's utilities are cracking down on manhole cover thefts by removing the incentive to steal them. A pilot program is using a new material with negligible recycling value in over 2,921 installations of various types"...

 

Post a Comment

<< Home