Key Takeaways from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Convention

This spring, Liquidity Services attended the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Convention in Vancouver, Canada. As one of the largest gatherings for recycling professionals in the world, the convention covered topics including protection from identity theft, the future of copper scrap, and safety in scrap and recycling. We had the opportunity to present on a panel discussion with Michael Espada of Sims Recycling Solutions and Sebastian Passarello of Crestwood Metals to discuss the unique nature of DoD scrap and innovative ways it is used around the globe.

Recycled DoD scrap is used in everything from engine cores to security force craft yards, fueling a panel discussion that was quite different from others at this year’s conference. Over time we have seen our buyers find a wide variety of uses for their purchased scrap material, such as a builder turning old military railroad cars into bridges, and a do-it-yourself enthusiast transforming scrap wood from bunk beds into a brand new staircase. The scrap world provides innovative businesses with numerous opportunities.

There is also a large focus on sustainability when working with scrap materials. Liquidity Services has played an integral role in many of our clients’ zero-waste initiatives and has worked with the federal government to pioneer one of the largest green initiatives to date, deferring nearly three billion pounds of scrap material from landfills. By supporting clients’ sustainability efforts we help extend the life of assets and scrap, preventing unnecessary waste. Each item purchased through our Government Liquidation site ( helps to better our planet by increasing reuse and recycle initiatives.  

There were many important aspects to this year’s conference. Here are three we took note of and are pleased to share.

Buying Military Scrap – Key Takeaways from ISRI

  • Doing Your Homework

Don’t commit to anything until you have done your research. A bid award is a legally binding contract and should be taken seriously. Familiarize yourself with the websites terms and conditions since these can vary from bid to bid. Ask yourself questions such as these: If demilitarization is required, who is responsible for loading? Can you make logistics work? Is a bid deposit required?

  • Pointers for the New Bidder

Ensure sales tax certificates are submitted prior to bidding, and monitor them regularly for unintentional expiration. Also know that timing is everything. Bids have very specific start and end times, although last minute bidders can “surprise” you and extend end times in 15 minute increments.

  • You’ll Win Some and You’ll Lose Some

Know you can’t win them all. If you lose, you can always look back at the bid history to see what the highest bid was. This will help you manage expectations for the next time, as the same material you were bidding for will most likely appear again. In the case that you do win your auction, proper follow-up is critical. Pay close attention to email correspondence and make sure to download your invoices for payment. Schedule your material removal time with the site and take your new auction item home!

Please contact us for more information on scrap items in any category or if you would like to learn more about our presence at ISRI in Vancouver.