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Recycling Your Scrap Metal: 5 Tips For Ease And Profits

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Metal is a limited resource, and thankfully, there are numerous recycling plants that have begun melting down scrap metal and re-purposing it for other uses. Many people collect scrap metal and turn it in to these recycling plants, an endeavor that can be quite profitable since many scrap metal recycling plants pay people who turn in the metal. Scrapping, as it is called, does take some getting used to when you first get started. Here are five tips to ease the process and increase your profits.

1. Collect from numerous sources.

Many people find scrap metal by driving around their neighborhood and picking it up from the curb. This is a good way to find scrap metal, but if it is the only method you use, the amount of metal you find will be limited. To find more metal, you can also visit local companies and ask if they have any metal they would like you to take away. Larger companies usually have established metal recycling programs, but smaller ones may not have the overhead to take care of this—and they may gladly give you money to haul scrap away. You can also post an ad online offering to pick up scrap metal and make sure friends and family members know you're willing to pick up their scrap metal.

2. Invest in a scrapping vehicle.

Many sources of scrap metal, like appliances and old pipes, are large and hard to haul around. So, you will want to invest in a truck to haul them. An older truck that you don't mind denting or scratching a little is best. You will save a lot of time if you can just toss the items in the truck rather than having to load and unload them very carefully each time.

3. Separate your metals.

Most companies that offer scrap metal services will accept a wide range of metals, from aluminum to copper. Some metals are worth more than others. The plant may sort and classify the metals for you when you arrive, but they tend to pay you less if they have to perform this service. To minimize your costs, separate the metals yourself. You may want to keep three or four totes in your truck bed so you can toss metals into different totes as you find them.

4. Keep valuable pieces separate.

If you find a piece with a lot of copper or platinum in it, set that piece aside and individually give it to the recycling facility. These metals are worth more, so you want to ensure the facility does not overlook them and gives you what you deserve for them. Do not overlook small items when you are scrapping. If they are made from copper or another valuable metal, they may earn you more than a big washing machine or dryer!

5. Get to know the recycling center workers.

When you do deliver a load of metal, take a few minutes to chat and get to know the scrap yard workers. As they get to know and trust you, they might share tips for finding better metal in your area or for  maximizing the amount they give you for various pieces. If you ever have a really big load, give the recycling center a call before delivering it. This way, they will be prepared for your arrival. They'll appreciate the advanced warning and the respect it shows will help build your relationship. 

With the tips above, you'll be ready for some great scrapping sessions. Remember, it's as much about doing what is good for the planet as it is about earning money, and it's okay to have a good time while you're out there!