Thinking of de-cluttering and throwing that scrap metal of yours?
Why not take a look at local scrap yards instead?
Scrap metals can be traded in for cash.
Here is everything you need to know in order to learn how to recycle and make money from those scrap metal you want to dispose of.
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Determining the Type of Metal
Find out if your metal is ferrous or non-ferrous metal, then segregate according to these two types. Determining if its ferrous or non-ferrous metal is no rocket science. Simply get a magnet. Take note that any magnet, even those found on your ref will do.
- Ferrous: If the magnet clings to the metal, then it’s a ferrous metal, something common like steel or iron. Ferrous metal, however, does not fetch a high price from scrap yards. But these yards will still get the ferrous metal and recycle them.
- Non-Ferrous: It is a non-ferrous metal if the magnet does not stick to the metal. Some common examples of non-ferrous metals are copper, aluminum, brass, stainless steel and bronze. Non-ferrous metal is actually valued more at scrap yards as these are very valuable to recycle.
Know Your Metal
Recognizing the different types of metal, and knowing their worth are considered as the most difficult task in metal recycling. Get to know the basic metals and their value, and you won’t be wasting your time on scraps that won’t make you any money.
If Copper is in good condition, then it will have a reddish color. But if it’s a bit worn, then copper will be of brown color with some green rusted areas.
Copper can be found in your own house as plumbing pipes, roofing materials like gutters. The interior of air conditioners and common electric wires are also made up of copper.
Take note that copper is one of the most valuable metals to recycle. Make sure to collect and set them aside as this metal is guaranteed to be bought for a good price by scrap yards.
Aluminum is of whitish, silver color. You can easily bend it if it’s thin. These are also usually colored in white paint.
Aluminum cans in bulks are those that are often brought to scrap yards. But be on the look-out as aluminum may be found in some finishing of your home such as the gutters, sidings, window frames, and doors.
Yellowish with an element of red color in it is how you can describe Brass. This metal is a heavy one, too, since it is dense. Brass is composed of combined copper and zinc. This is commonly used in plumbing fixtures and at the end of copper pipings.
You can also find brass in hardware such as keys, door handles, light fixtures, and bathroom fixtures. Scrap yards buy Brass at the mid-level price range.
Magnets easily stick to Steel.
It rusts easily.
And finding Steel within your home should be easy. You can find them in your cars, shelves, and cabinets, among others.
This, however, is priced low at scrap yards. But, nevertheless, collect it and bring it to the yard when you have thousands of pounds of it. Scrap yards for sure will know how to recycle it properly.
Need help in identifying the different types of metal? Check out this site.
How Much is Scrap Metal Actually Worth?
Scrap yards’ prices actually change depending on the world supply and demand for the metal. Take note that price may change daily based on factors such as the economy, and even seasons.
- Ferrous metal – $0.10/lb
For the most common metal or Ferrous metal you can expect $195/ton, or approximate 10 cents per pound, or $10 per 100 pounds
- Bare Copper – $2.85/lb
If the copper still has its shield ( for example a power cord) then yards will pay a percentage of the $2.85/pound or roughly 60% of the weight. Note that bare copper can be found in most power cords, along with copper pipes for plumbing.
- Aluminum – $0.50/lb
You can frequently unearth aluminum in old windows and patio furniture. But be warned, that you’ll have to take out the glass before you can sell the aluminum.
Collecting Scarp Metal
There are lots of places and ways you can collect, from your home, and place of work, to roadsides, neighbors, friends, and so on. Just what you sometimes simply discard can be a goldmine of worthy scrap.
For example, lights on that old Christmas tree you are wanting to throw away contain copper. That broken toaster you just dumped in the trash contains copper wiring, and of course has a steel body.
Take a look at these figures for common items found at your homes to guide you on how much these items are selling for in scrap yards.
- Washing machine $18-$22 average weight 200 lbs.
- Refrigerator with top freezer $16-18 average weight with the compressor taken out 175 lbs.
- Ovens and ranges $11-$18 average weight 125 lbs.
- Dryer $8-$10 average weight 100 lbs.
- Cast iron bathtub $30-$40 average weight over 300 lbs.
Selling Your Scrap Metal
The easiest way to find buyers for your scrap is to search for a local recycling center/scrap yard. You could either use Yellow Pages for that or if you want a faster and easier way, do a quick search by zip code here. It will give you a list of all scrap yards in close proximity to your location along with directions.
I would also make sure I have enough scraps to make it worthwhile for me and the buyer. You don’t want to waste time and gas going to a scrape yard with a few pounds of metal.
As for getting paid, depending on your state’s rules and regulations you will probably have the following options:
- Cash or Check for ferrous metal
Since scrap yards are not technically able to give you cash, they will either give you a check or they will give you a payment slip which you can use the onsite ATM to collect your cash.
- Check for non-ferrous metal
On the other hand, most states will only issue a check for non-ferrous metal only after two business days. This practice is being implemented in an effort to stop the prevalent theft of expensive metals all over the country.
Selling scrap metal is not only a great way to earn some extra money, it is also a great way to do your part in helping to keep our planet healthier since they get recycled and put back into products we all use.
I would love to hear your comments, especially if you do recycle scrap metal, or perhaps are thinking about making some money by collecting and selling scrap metal.