Check out our tips for finding and selling scrap metal!

It comes as no surprise that recycling metal is environmentally friendly. But did you know that it can be quite lucrative too?

Scrap yards can be found across the country and most, if not all, of them pay for metal that is brought in to be recycled. These yards are often utilized by people working in jobs where they get large quantities of scrap metal such as plumbers and contractors. However, anyone can start recycling metal for money.

Many people have started collecting discarded metal as a way to bring in some extra income. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, we’ve put together a quick guide to finding and selling scrap metal.

Where to Find Metal for Recycling

Metal can be found all over the place once you start looking for it. Here are some of the most common methods/places for finding scrap metal!

At home: Many homeowners discard metal appliances and electronics on garbage day, not knowing how valuable their perceived trash can be. Next time you have an appliance to trash, look into whether it can be recycled! By driving around the neighbourhoods in your area, you may come across more items that would fetch a high price at the scrap yard.

Through ads: You can also advertise for free scrap metal pickup. You’d be surprised by how many people will take you up on the offer.

Demolition sites: This can be an excellent source for scrap metal however, you must get permission to enter these sites and collect the metal. Many companies take their scrap to the recycling plant themselves and would not appreciate someone else coming in without their permission.

Online marketplaces: such as Kijiji and Craigslist can be fruitful and both have a “free” section where many people post items that can be taken to the scrap yard. You will be most successful if you can find a recurring source of metal that can be taken to the recycling plant.

Ferrous vs. Non-Ferrous
It is important to know your metals. The 2 main types of metals are ferrous and non-ferrous. The difference between the two is that ferrous metals contain iron (Fe) in them while non-ferrous do not.

Using a simple fridge magnet can help you determine if you are looking at a ferrous or non-ferrous metal. If iron is present (i.e. the metal is ferrous), the magnet will stick to it. Common metals such as steel and iron are ferrous. These will bring a lower price at the scrap yard than non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass, and aluminum.

When you are out collecting metal, bring a magnet with you. You’ll be able to tell if you have more valuable scrap on your hands quickly and collect more of it.

Sort your metal

Different metals fetch different prices and sorting your metal is the best way to ensure you get the market price for the metal you are selling. If you have a mixed load of metal, many scrap yards will pay you for the whole load at the cheapest metals price. So, if you have a load of steel mixed with copper, you’ll be selling the copper for the price of steel and lose out on the true value of the copper.

Appliances, especially large ones like stoves and washing machines, are an excellent source of scrap metal. They are manufactured using a variety of different metals with different values. Taking the time to dismantle these appliances and sort the materials will result in a higher return.

Smaller appliances such as microwaves and toasters may not be as worthy of your time. Although they do contain metals, the quantity is much less but requires a lot of time to dismantle. Dropping them off as they are will give you a smaller profit, but we still recommend doing so for sustainability purposes!

Protect your metal

After you have gone through all the time and effort to find your scrap metal, dismantle appliances and sort everything into separate bins, you want to make sure you store them in a safe place before you take them to the scrap yard. Metal thieves are common and may choose to help themselves to your scrap metal. By storing it in a secured place, you will be sure to pocket the profits of all your hard work.

If you have any questions about your scrap metal, contact us now!