Learning About Metal Recycling

Learning About Metal Recycling

Your First Scrapping Adventure: Tips For Success

Barry Mills

Driving around town and browsing the internet for sources of used scrap metal is a great way to make some extra cash. You can take the metal to a local recycling center. Most accept an array of metals, from stainless steel to copper, and will give you money for them based on the weight you bring in. But while "scrapping" can be fun and lucrative, there are some tricks to the trade that you should keep in mind on your first time out.

Tip #1: Don't pay too much for your items.

You might see that old refrigerator for sale for $30 and figure it's worth taking since you figure you can sell the metal for $50. But this does not take into account the time and effort you put into picking up the fridge, removing the metal, and driving it all to the scrap yard. Most of the time, you want to get things for free when your intention is to scrap them; otherwise, your profits will be eaten up by things like gas costs and tool costs. If you can't get something for free, make a very low offer -- but don't get swayed into paying more than a few bucks.

Tip #2: Visit businesses, not just residential areas.

The most popular place to pick up scrap metal is throughout residential areas. You'll likely find appliances and other metal waste out to the curb. But don't make the mistake of only checking the residential areas for scrap metal. Stop into any businesses you pass, and ask if they have any scrap metal they need to get rid of. They might have some extra shelving, commercial appliances, and construction scraps that they don't have a use for. Sometimes, these items sit around in the backs of businesses for years because nobody has time to take them to the scrap yard. The owners may be happy to give them to you so they don't have to go through the hassle. 

Tip #3: Separate your metals.

If you drive up to the scrap yard with a bunch of in-tact freezers and refrigerators, they'll typically accept your delivery and pay you. However, if you have the metal all separated out before you take it to the scrap yard, they will often pay you even more for it. Hopefully, you have a garage or a backyard where you can take the items apart, get rid of the plastic and other materials, and sort the metal into piles based on the type of metal.

Tip #4: Don't overlook less valuable metals like aluminum and steel.

Copper and brass are the most valuable metals, so if you come across these, you definitely want to take them to the scrap yard. However, this does not mean you should overlook the aluminum or steel you come across. While you won't get as much money for these metals, they are still valuable -- and you can usually find them in large quantities, so the payout adds up quickly.

Tip #5: Make sure you have the right vehicle.

Always bring your pickup truck -- or borrow a truck from a friend -- when you're going scrapping. You don't want to come across a great find, like a whole pile of old pipes, only to find that it won't fit into the back of your vehicle. Line the bed of the truck with an old blanket so you can toss items in quickly without worrying about scratching it.

Happy scrapping! If you follow the tips above, you'll have a great experience and will probably embark on many more scrapping adventure in the future.


2019© Learning About Metal Recycling
About Me
Learning About Metal Recycling

Hello everyone, my name is Suzi Lanson. Welcome to my site. I want to talk about the different tools and techniques used for metal recycling. The backyard in my first home was a graveyard of broken appliances, tools and tin cans of all sizes. I looked at the collection sitting there in horror at first. A friend pointed out that the piles of garbage were actually a recycling goldmine. We transported the materials to a metal recycling facility and split the cash. I was pleasantly surprised to hear nearly all of the items could be broken down and processed to create new products. I will talk about the metal recycling process in more detail on this site.