Looking for ways to recycle old materials is great for the environment. However, not all recycling can make you money the way that scrapping metal can. Because metal is versatile and easy to reshape for new purposes, scrapping it can make you some spare cash. And commercial contractors can make a decent amount of money getting rid of scrap metal. However, your return on scrap metal is dependant on how much metal you bring, the prices at the yard you go to, and the condition of the metal. Here are some tips for getting organized to get the most out of your materials and efforts.
Know What Scrap Metal You Have
If you’ve never scrapped before and are just getting into it, it is wise to look into the different metals there are, where they come from, and what can be done with them. There are several scrap metal guides online that can help you figure out what metals you’ve got. Once you know this, you can start organizing and getting ready to bring your metals to the scrapyard.
Scrap Metal Organizational Tips
Before you delve into your items, make sure you are ready to separate them as needed. This means you’ll need to have bins or boxes ready to serve as receptacles for each type of metal you’re dealing with. Although most yards don’t have an official “organizational fee,” it is common that yards will pay an average price for unorganized metal instead of precise prices for organized metals. To get the most out of your metal, separating pieces by type is the best way to ensure you get the best price. Although if you do not have time to organize and want to conveniently get rid of scrap metal, bringing a single bin is always an option.
Scraping Metal Wires
If your scrap collection has an abundance of wires, you will want to have them sorted into a couple of separate piles: one for bare wires and another for insulated. Generally, if an insulated wire is very thin, it won’t be worth your time to remove the insulation. However, if the wires are much thicker, around a centimeter or two, you may want to consider stripping them to get to the bare metal inside.
With technology on the move faster than ever, you may come across a lot of old and outdated computer parts. Some of these parts may still be functional and can be sold as-is for a higher price than you’d get if you were just scrapping. But broken old parts can be scrapped. If you’re finding a lot of computers or parts, section them out so you have all motherboards in one place, then all hard drives, etc. Once they’re divided up, you can call a professional to see what can be done with any working parts and bring the rest to a scrap yard for disposal.
Steel and Iron
As a very common metal, chances are that you’ll see a lot of steel in almost any scrap yard. For new scrappers, use a magnet to determine if your scrap is steel or iron. If the magnet sticks, you have either steel or iron. If not, you may be looking at aluminum or stainless steel, which isn’t as valuable. Make sure you keep them separated to get the most out of your scrap collection.
Copper is probably the most valuable items that you’ll come across while scrapping. You’ll see it mostly in wires, tubing, and piping. If the copper is clean and relatively pure, it’ll be a #1, whereas the presence of solder, paint, rust, or any coatings will render it a #2. Keep the types separated, since they’ll fetch different values at the scrapyard. Not organizing your scrap keeps you from getting the most for your metal.