Flood a boon for scrap metal collectors

Flood a boon for scrap metal collectors
'Iron man': Ilyas collecting scrap metal in Kuala Krai.

KOTA BARU - While the recent floods have wreaked untold damage and misery on many in the east coast, some are finding a silver lining in the aftermath, among them scrap metal collectors, who are reporting up to a three-fold increase in their earnings.

The job is not just profit-driven as the collectors say they are also helping flood victims dispose of damaged items.

Scrap metal collector Ilyas Ahmad, 34, said his income rose between 100 per cent and 200 per cent since resuming his work after the floods.

He said he could collect up to 700kg to 800kg of metal a day - double the amount he used to get before the floods.

"Copper found inside the motors of electrical appliances like fans and washing machines fetches more money and I can easily buy it cheap from the flood victims," he said.

A freelancer who only wanted to be known as Mizi, 33, from Tumpat, said he stopped collecting scrap metal a few years ago after the rates went down.

"But I have returned to it now to make some money as well as to help flood victims get rid of destroyed electrical appliances," he said when met at a scrap yard here yesterday.

"I'm lucky to have a three-tonne lorry so I could load more onto it and drive further in search of scrap with my father," said Mizi, adding that he could earn between RM500 and RM600 for a day's work.

Ramli Mamat, 53, opted to gather plastic bottles as he did not have the means to transport more goods.

With a sidecar attached to his motorcycle, the father-of-three would rummage through garbage bins for plastic bottles.

Ramli said his income more than doubled after the floods.

"There were a lot of mineral water bottles donated to flood victims and the empty bottles are now in garbage bins everywhere," he said, adding that the number was higher in the first three weeks after the floodwaters receded.

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