Selling your scrap metal is a great way to get some extra cash. But what exactly qualifies as “scrap metal”? Scrap metal is any product that contains metal that is capable of being recycled. The objects scrap metal comes from are usually deemed “damaged” or “unusable”, but they contain metal worth value. Scrap metal can be found in appliances, machines, household items, old auto parts, and more!
How to Find Scrap Metal
Household Items and Appliances – There are many household items that contain iron, copper, brass, and aluminum, which can be recycled and sold as scrap meal. Some common household items that have scrap metal include: toasters, iron patio furniture, Christmas tree lights, iron or copper pans, stainless steel silverware, and appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, and washers/dryers. These are just a few examples out of the plethora of things you can find in your home to sell for scrap metal. Additionally, if you remove the nonmetal parts of the items you wish to scrap, you could potentially get more money at the scrap yard.
Auto Parts – A great place to find scrap metal is in old auto parts. Old car parts contain a lot of metal, and you can usually get a large payout from them. When you take your old car parts to the scrap recycling facility, remember to take the parts apart beforehand so you get the highest return. Additionally, remember to take screws, bolts, and other small parts to the scrap metal yard, as these add up and can increase the scrap metal prices even more.
Don’t Forget About Plumbing Fixtures and Electrical Wiring – It’s common to discard many materials while remodeling a house but you can take them to a scrap yard instead! Electrical wiring can be found with appliances, inside the appliance itself as well as their cords. Plumbing fixtures like drains and pipes that don’t work anymore are scrapable as well.
Garage and Yard Sales – It’s common to find scrap metal at yard sales or home foreclosure sales, likely being sold at prices much lower than what they’re worth. When scavenging for scrap metal, it’s important to focus on the high-value metals. Metal prices are always fluctuating and can depend on your location. Copper usually goes for a high-value, but still fluctuates. Check metal prices online consistently so you have an idea of what the metals go for and what metals to focus on. Kitco.com is a great resource that provides up to date market prices on a variety of metals. Print out the information or keep it on your phone for when you are negotiating with scrap metal recycling yards.
Getting Ready to Sell Your Scrap Metal – Accumulate a large amount of metal before taking it to a scrap yard. Not only will this save you trips to the scrap yard, but the scrap yard is likely to offer you better scrap metal prices for high quantities of metal. Additionally, if you stick to one scrap yard and bring in a large amount of scrap metal every time you stop by, they’re more likely to see you as a valuable customer and give you better scrap metal payouts.
Picking a Scrap Recycling Facility – Pick a scrap yard that will take the metals that you have. To find out this information, you can call them, or some scrap yards have it on their websites. Usually, scrap yards will take ferrous metals, which include sheet iron, cast iron, structural sheet, heavy melt, and borings & turnings, nonferrous metals, which include copper, brass, aluminum, insulated copper wire, catalytic converters, and electric motors, and computers and electronics, which include PC towers, hard drives, motherboards, and servers. Additionally, you can contact the scrap yards and inquire about the scrap metal prices they offer. Pick the one that’s in a reasonable distance and offers the best rates.
Sell Your Scrap Metal – Now you’re ready to sell your scrap metal. When taking your scrap metal to the scrap yard, it’s best to use a flatbed truck or similar. Once you arrive at the scrap recycling facility, they’ll have you drive your truck with your scrap metal inside onto a scale. Afterwards, your scrap metal will be removed and then your vehicle will be weighed empty. You can choose to remove the scrap yourself or have the scrap yard personnel do it. The difference in the weight will be the weight of your scrap metal. The scrap recycling facility will then offer you a price based on the weight and the types of metals you have brought in. Most scrap yards will give you a print-out which you can take to an on-site ATM and get your money right away.