It took a gang of kids, a couple trucks, and about 10 tanks of propane to get a ton,(that's 2,000 pounds), of lead out of there. And we left a bunch there.It took most of the spring of 2010 and maybe 100 manhours, but the final cost was maybe $2.00 per 100 pounds.
As I said, cost is relative. My side jobs(not my regular job) average me about $40 an hour. 100 hours of work would net me $4000. Last time I checked, the local recyler told me he'd sell me all the WWs I wanted for $.70 a lb. That's $1400 a ton(yep, 2000 lbs in a ton). That means I could do without the TWO trucks, the handful of kids, the ten tanks of propane and still end up with 2.85 tons of lead for the same amount of work.
I guess if you put no price on your Spring of 2010 and your time is worth absolutely nuttin', then you've done good. My time is valuable and I put a price on it. Over Memorial Day weekend, I took on a side job that took me right around 20 hours, and netted me over $800. With that I could've bought half a ton of wheel weights I guess and spent the next weekend smelting and casting. Instead, I bought a new 5'' 686 and spent the next weekend shooting jacketed bullets. That's being realistic.
Now I'm not saying it's not a good idea to recycle. I'm also not saying that casting your own bullets is not a rewarding hobby. It is and one cannot put a price on that. But again, realistically the majority of handloaders out there do not have a whole spring to dedicate to scrounge for ton of lead. Nor do they have the availability. That does not mean they won't save monies and have better ammo if they reload with store bought components. Yes, I fully agree that some can reload for the prices they claim.......but that is the exception, not the norm, and I think it is wrong for so many folks to give a different impression of these facts to new reloaders.