Recycle Scrap Metals and Make Money

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Scrap metal recycling offers a great way in which to earn some extra money.If you have some old appliances and junk metal lying around your house, consider bringing it in to a scrap metal dealer where you can sell it. What you earn depends on the amount and types of metals that you have brought in.
You could even take it one step further and begin selling scrap metals for a living by learning how and where to collect metals around your neighborhood. It may be easier than you think to recycle enough scrap metal for a good earning.

Where to Find Scrap Metal

Anything metallic will have some value, so take this into consideration when you are clearing out items from your home. Maybe you have an ancient, non-working washing machine or some rusty bed springs. You might be able salvage metal doors, dirty old beer kegs, and other metallic item that you had previously presumed to be useless, all of which can be brought into a scrap dealer and exchanged for cash. When it comes to fridges, there may even be recycling incentive programs in your area that will pay you for them to come and pick up your fridge. For more information on this, and to find your nearest refrigerator recycling program, go to Energystar.gov.

Look around the home, garden, neighborhood, and sides of roads for trashed metal piping, old grills, etc. There are many ways for making money in scrap metal recycling, and as mentioned above, as long as an item is metallic then it has some value, even if it looks like complete junk.

You will need to find some way to transport all of the metal that you collect. If you have a pick up truck, that will be a big advantage. If not, you could ask around about borrowing one. You may be able to fit some scrap metals into the back seat of your car, but the space will be limited and you risk dirtying up the interior.

How Much is Scrap Metal Worth?

When recycling metal at a scrap yard, there are two main factors that determine the scrap metal price: metal type and metal weight. Here are some of the different metals and their estimated selling potential:

Aluminium
Lightweight metal with a dull silver color. Used for beverage cans, tins, and some cabling. Approx. price – 0.70 cents per lb.

Stainless Steel
Dark and often shiny metal alloy, consisting of iron and chromium, used in kitchen utensils, beer kegs, and hub caps. Approx. price. – 0.80 cents per lb.

Copper
Red metal used in household tubbing. One of the more valuable scrap metals Approx. price – $2.50 per lb.

Brass
Yellowish in color and an alloy of zinc and copper. It is used to make musical instruments, decorative items, and some plumbing applications. Approx. price – $1.30 per lb.

Iron
Silver, shiny, heavy, and magnetic metal. Used in automobiles, construction beams, and pipes. Approx. price – 0.10 Cents per lb.

Prices regularly change, so when selling scrap metals, it is importnat to know their current value. This way, you will be able to negotiate a better price with the scrap metal dealer.
A great resource for up to date scrap metal pricing is  at RockawayRecycling.

Scrap Metal Dealers

There are scrap metal dealers all over the country. They can be found listed under “Scrap Metal” in the yellow pages or by doing a Google search.
Before you go:

  • Call different dealers in your area to compare the buying prices of the different metals per lb., so that you can get the best price possible.
  • Confirm that they will accept the metals that you have.
  • Separate your most valuable metals from the general. Stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass should all be separated, so that they can be weighed and valued individually. You will get more money this way.
  • If you can, remove non-metal attachments like plastic or rubber, as these may devalue your metal.

More Ways to Find Scrap Metal

  • Collect and recycle more scrap metals by offering your services to pick up people’s junk for free. Advertise on bulletin boards and Craigslist.
  • Search in the “free stuff” section of Craigslist for people giving away junk metal items that you could scrap.
  • Contact local plumbers and offer to take away the scrap metal that they accumulate. They will often have bath tubs, heaters, furnaces, and other items.
  • Try contacting demolition businesses and offering to pick up some of their scrap metals.After awhile, you will begin to find metals easily. You will know what is valuable and what isn’t. There is tremendous profit potential in selling scrap metals, and you will get out of it what you put in.

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