Our business is in giving our customers the best prices for their scrap metal. All sorts of items come through our gates every day, from old cars to cookers, beds and machinery parts.
Which got us thinking, what would the prices be of some of the world’s biggest structures?
The most famous landmarks on the planet contain a huge amount of metal. We set to work to calculate the world’s biggest metal installations, statues and structures to see the basic value of these global icons.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
This lattice tower was constructed in 1887-1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. Initially, it was despised by some of the leading figures in France of the time. The writer, Guy de Maupassant, detested it so much that he claimed to lunch at the top of the tower every day only because it ensured an Eiffel Tower-free view.
Weight: 7,300 tonnes of wrought iron/puddled iron
Scrap worth: £1.3 million
Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
Lady Liberty has been holding up her torch and greeting ships coming in to port since 1886. The statue was given as a gift to the United States from the people of France. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor, was inspired by the recent U.S events of the end of the American Civil War and the end of slavery. The outer shell of the statue is copper, which meant that the Lady was actually shade of brown when she was first erected. Over a short period of time, the copper oxidised to create the blue-green patina that we see today.
Weight: 130 tonnes of wrought iron, 88 tonnes of copper shell
Scrap worth: £340,000
Big Ben, London, UK
Big Ben is often applied to the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. However, as any true Brit knows, Big Ben is the actual bell, and the largest within the tower (which is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower). When the original bell cracked in testing, a new bell was cast on 10th April 1858 and weighs in at 13.5 tonnes. Since then, the big bell and the smaller quarter bells play the Westminster Quarters every fifteen minutes past, half past, quarter to and on the hour and can be heard across central London.
Weight: 13.5 tonnes of bronze
Approx scrap value: £38,000
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is in San Francisco and is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait. It links the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. Up until 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge at 4,200ft long. The bridge opened on 27th May 1937 and the day before motors were allowed on, 200,000 people crossed on foot or by rollerskates.
Weight: 83,000 tonnes of steel
Approx scrap value: £12.5 million
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The Burj Khalifa is what is known as a “mega tall skyscraper” and is the tallest structure in the world standing at 2,722ft. Building work started in 2004, and it finally opened in 2010. Since its opening, it has won many awards for design and engineering. The building is influenced heavily by Islamic architecture, particularly with its spiral minaret motifs. It is a mix of residential, office and hotel space.
Weight: 400,000 tons steel, 2875 tonnes aluminium
Approx scrap value: £62.5 million