By destroying it.
The 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla., has found an innovative way to turn spent brass into cash for the wing’s quality of life programs.
The wing just set up an “ordnance deformer machine” that will recycle about 240,000 pounds of spent ammunition casings each year. Then the base can sell the scrap for about $70,000.The cases go for about $.20 each to recreational shooters, with no processing. Ammo prices are up recently, due to cost of materials, so $.20 might be ridiculously low.
The empty cartridge case of the .50 Browning Machine Gun weighs about 900 grains give or take, yielding 7 3/4 cases to the pound (corrections? please email).
I am presuming that Gummint-contract .50 BMG brass is indeed brass, rather than steel or aluminum, meaning it can be reassembled a couple more times before it's worn out and has no value over the material of which it's made. I am also presuming that when Uncle Sugar buys new .50 BMG ammo, he pays about the same for that new case by the trainload as a private citizen does for once-fired in boxes of 100. If I'm off, it's not by far.
The Air Force got snookered, which isn't surprising, or didn't want that brass to find its way to the market for reloading by private fifty-cal citizens, which isn't surprising either. Whether this brass would be sent back to Uncle Sugar's mills to become new .50 BMG or jobbed out to the market, USAF still screwed themselves, and You, Mr and Mrs Taxpayer, out of about $300k per year at just one base.