Recycling scrap metals is easier than it sounds. There are about 150 metric tons of scrap metal produced in the United States alone each year, with about 85 million being iron and steel. If this metal is not recycled, it can leave a damaging impact on the environment. Luckily, scrap metal recycling is becoming a larger trend for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental impact, minimize waste, and turn a profit in the process.
Scrap metal recycling is unique because metal can be recycled repeatedly without any degradation of its properties. This allows manufacturers to continue to produce new products without having to mine new materials, thus reducing their carbon footprints.
The entire recycling process itself creates jobs that can stimulate local economies. In fact, some states rely on scrap recycling profits to maintain their annual revenues. Scrap metal is also a major player in global trade and economies.
Aluminum, steel, and copper are the most popular metals used in manufacturing. The value of scrap metal depends on the quantity, quality, and type of material being recycled. The first step in identifying how much your metal is worth is to find out if It is magnetic or not. Magnetic metals are ferrous and aren’t worth as much as nonferrous metals. Nonferrous metals are worth more for a number of reasons, mainly because they have greater resistance against corrosion, higher conductivity, and weigh less. Scrap metal can range in value from $.50 to $2.50 per pound, depending on where you recycle it.
Common types of materials that can be scrap recycled and where to find them:
Aluminum: Soda cans, food wrap foils, screen doors, storm windows, and air conditioning wiring
Brass: Air conditioning units, door knobs, old brass bed frames
Carbide: Tool bits, drill bits
Cobalt: Batteries, alloyed scraps like turnings, filter cakes, and leach residue
Copper: Plumbing, statues or living room décor, appliances, kitchen sinks, pots, electronics wiring
Gold: Jewelry, old smoke detectors, old VCRs, old cell phones, heat insulators, photographic toners
Iron: Patio and garden furniture, iron pans, lawn mowers, swings, iron railings
Lead: Lead is a toxic material. If you have any lead items to recycle please call a professional to handle them
Nickel: Canadian coins, rechargeable batteries, microphone capsules, electric guitar strings
Silver: U.S. coins minted before 1964, jewelry, tableware, utensils
Steel: Stainless steel appliances, sinks, trays
Titanium: Jewelry, airplanes
Tungsten: Razor blades, jewelry, ballpoint pens