Want to make money from the scrap metal that’s probably lying around your house? Then, learn how to sell scrap metal for the best prices today and find the scrap yards near you.
If you’re looking to make some extra money with minimal effort, I suggest taking a look inside your home and finding some scrap metal.
Scrap metals are some of the best things to recycle. You can take your scrap metal to scrap yards and go home with some extra money in your pocket.
But how do you find a local scrap yard near you that pays good money for your scrap? What is the process of selling scrap metal? And what are the current scrap metal prices?
What is Scrap Metal?
Before you start separating scrap metals, let us first establish what constitutes scrap metal.
Scrap metal is any product that contains metal or metallic element that can be reused or recycled for future use.
It’s good to familiarize yourself with the different types of scrap metal, so you know where to sell them and approximately how much money they’d fetch.
Where Can You Find Scrap Metal?
You probably don’t realize it, but you’re probably surrounded by a lot of scrap metal. Take, for example, those discarded appliances and worn-out bicycles that have been gathering dust in your garage.
Here are the best places where you can find scrap metal right in your home:
- Outdated kitchen appliances contain some valuable metals, particularly copper.
- Stainless steel sinks and silverware are also considered scrap metal.
- Plumbing pipes and bathroom fixtures like stainless steel knobs and faucets are also acceptable in your local scrap yard.
- Light fixtures also contain copper wiring.
- Brass candleholders and musical instruments are also considered scrap metal.
- You could also sell aluminum cans, roofing, siding, and fencing at the nearest scrap yards.
- Scrap metal dealers also accept stainless steel appliances and cookware, as well as cast iron skillets, pots, and pans.
- Old television, computers, and other electronics also contain a good deal of scrap metal.
- You’ll also find a lot of scrap steel from old bicycles and cars.
- You can also take the copper coils from old air conditioners and take them to the closest scrap yard.
- Even power cords and Christmas lights contain copper wiring you can exchange for money.
Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Scrap Metal
Why would you bother recycling metal when you could just throw them away?
Well, there are a couple of good reasons why you want to make the time effort to scrap metals.
- You make money without spending any. The amount you make depends on the type of metal, weight, and condition, as well as the supply and demand in the market.
- Recycling metal scrap helps reduce waste in landfills.
- Selling scrap metal allows you to declutter your home or property.
- You help bring down metal prices as recycling metal costs lesser than producing new ones.
Selling scrap metal means putting money back in your pocket, helping the environment and the overall metal industry.
Types of Scrap Metal: Ferrous Metals vs. Non-Ferrous Metals vs. E-Scrap Metal
Before selling to a scrap yard near you, you must first identify your scrap according to type. Scrap metal recycling centers accept ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, and e-scrap metals.
Ferrous metals contain iron and zinc. The best way to identify a ferrous metal is if a magnet sticks to it.
Ferrous metals are a lot more common and cheaper, but you make good money if you have a lot of them. Some of the best examples of ferrous metals include cast iron skillets, scrap steel, stainless steel appliances and parts, and wrought iron fences.
Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, do not contain iron so a magnet won’t stick to them. They are desired for their ability to resist rust and corrosion. They are also not magnetic, so these metals are excellent for electronic wiring.
Non-ferrous scrap metal includes scrap aluminum, copper wiring, copper alloys, tin, lead, brass, and bronze.
E-scrap metal or precious metals from electronic devices could also be sold to some wreck yards. To find e-scrap metal, you could look into electronic devices such as cellphones, computers, old television sets, and cameras. They contain small amounts of gold, silver, titanium, palladium, and platinum.
Remember that not all junk yards buy e-scrap metal, so it’s best to inquire first and find local scrap yards that would pay more money for these metals.
Most scrap yards typically pay more money for non-ferrous metals.
How to Find the Nearest Scrap Yard
Now that you know the types of scrap metal and where to find them in your home or property, it’s time to learn how to find scrap yards near you.
Fortunately, scrap metal is a huge industry worth over 50 billion in 2022. That means there are plenty of people going into the business of buying and selling scrap. Different scrap yards offer different scrap metal prices, so it’s good to look around where you can get the most money from your scrap metals.
Here are the top ways to find the best local scrap yards nearby:
Locate Local Scrap Yards on Google Map
One of the best and easiest ways to find nearby scrap yards is simply to Google them.
Simply launch the Google Maps app on your phone and key in “scrap yard.” You could also use the app’s voice assistant feature if you want to go hands-free, say while you’re driving around looking for a scrap yard near you. The app should then give you locations to the nearest junk yards, as well as their phone numbers and customer reviews.
Find a Scrap Yard Near You Using the iScrap App
If you sell scrap regularly and you want to be updated with the current scrap metal prices before visiting a scrap yard, then using the iScrap is the way to go.
iScrapp is an app dedicated to scrapping and is a great app for people who have frequent access to scrap metal (think of construction workers, electricians, and plumbers).
You use the app to find a scrap yard near you by putting your location into the search tab. But I think its best feature is to check scrap prices straight from the app to know if you’re getting a great deal from your preferred scrap metal recycling center.
Use the YellowPages to Find a Scrap Metal Yard Near You
Alternatively, you could also use Yellowpages to find scrap metal yards nearby. It’s just as easy as using Google Maps, too. Simply key in your search query, like “scrap yards” and location, and the site gives you a list of scrap metal recycling centers you can visit.
Using any of the abovementioned methods, you can easily identify a scrap yard near you. You can opt to visit smaller scrap yards too.
But just to help you save more time and effort, it’s great to call the scrap yard or metal recycling center first and inquire if they accept the type of scrap metals you have on hand and how much they’d pay for those. Once you’ve done that, you’d know the highest-paying scrap yard near you and make your way there.
What Are the Most Valuable Scrap Metals?
There is always an opportunity to make more money in scrap metal recycling. But scrap yards pay according to the metal type you intend to sell. So before you expect too much, it’s best to get to know what are the most valuable metals.
Here are the best scrap metals that pay the most money:
Copper is a valuable non-ferrous metal that commands a good price and all scrap yards would take in copper. You can find copper in many places, including copper pipe, copper cables, and even electrical wirings in light fixtures and Christmas lights. Additionally, most appliances contain copper wires, such as air conditioners, blenders, toasters, and coffee makers.
This particular metal type is always in-demand because it can be recycled so many times. Aluminum cans are always a great source of this metal type, but you can also find these metal objects on aluminum rims, as well as window frames and some electronics.
3. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel may not be as expensive as other metals, but they’re easy to find and collect. Any good scrap yard would also accept stainless steel because they’re easily some of the best metals to recycle. Stainless steel is found almost everywhere, from scrap cars to kitchen appliances, to stainless steel sinks and more.
Brass is not as popular or widely used as stainless steel or aluminum, so it tends to command a higher price. It is often recycled with other metals. You can find brass in bed frames, fixtures like door handles, candlesticks, and trophies.
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Scrap Metal Prices: How Much Are They Worth?
Scrap metal items are being sold and bought at fluctuating prices. Different factors come into play that dictates current metal prices, including the following:
Supply and Demand
Any scrap yard near you would likely check the current supply and demand of the scrap metal. Common scrap metals like aluminum cans wouldn’t sell as much as metals that have a higher demand, such as copper pipe and copper tubing.
The supply and demand of scrap metals are also affected by the time of year. Metal recycling tends to pick up more during the warmer seasons, so there’s likely to have more demand for recycled metal in these months.
Quality of the Scrap Metal
Quality is another important factor that affects metal prices. bringing corroded, rusty scrap metals to a scrap yard would guarantee a low payout. The same can be said if you haven’t pulled out the non-metal parts. If you want to make more money when you get to the scrap yard, you have to clean the scraps first and organize them according to type (ferrous or non-ferrous metals, for example).
Finally, always remember that scrap yards process scrap metal in bulk. So if you only have a pound or two, then you’d want to wait and collect some more until you have a lot to sell in one go. You’ll have a better chance of haggling the price to your favor if you bring large quantities of scrap to the recycling center.
How Do Scrap Yards Work?
You’re probably wondering how scrap yards operate and what they do to the scrap you bring them.
Essentially, a scrap yard is a metal recycling facility where people like you and me, as well as businesses who have constant access to scrap, trade scrap for money.
Say you’ve just renovated your home and you’ve collected a couple of aluminum sidings and window frames. You bring the scrap to them, they weigh it, and you get paid. That’s about it for the seller.
But the scrap yard has a lot more to do after that.
Once they’ve collected the scrap, they would have to sort them out according to category (ferrous or non-ferrous), and type (copper, brass, stainless steel, cast iron, etc.).
Now, the scrap yard shreds those scraps into smaller pieces and then takes them to facilities where they recycle metal. The shredded pieces of metal are melted and then fashioned into new but recycled metal products.
Through this recycling process, there is a lesser need to create new “virgin” products which would have cost more money and resources. Also, it helps ordinary people make some money from their scrap, as well as keeps the scrapping businesses going.
It’s also worth noting that scrapping and recycling are fantastic ways to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce waste in our landfills.
How to Sell Scrap Metal to a Scrap Yard Near You
Say you’ve collected a massive amount of aluminum cans, perhaps some copper tubing and cast iron metals as well, and you’re ready to exchange them for cash. But if it’s your first time selling scrap, then you need to know what to expect during the entire process.
- Collect and sort your scrap metal. You need to separate the metals according to type so it’s easier for you and the people at the scrap yard to process them. This also helps you bargain a better price for your scrap.
- Call a couple of scrap yards first and inquire about their prices. If you want to make top money from your scrap, then you should only sell them to the highest paying scrap yard.
- Load your scrap into your vehicle and drive to your chosen scrap yard. Once you get to the scrap yard, drive onto the scale and wait for your load to be weighed.
- Once the weight is confirmed, the people at the scrap yard would separate the ferrous and nonferrous metals with a massive magnet.
- Finally, accomplish the paperwork and receive your money.
How to Make the Most Money from Metal Scrap
The entire process of selling scrap is quite easy and straightforward. But there are a couple of hacks that you can do to make more money at the scrap yard.
1. Learn about the supply and demand of scrap metal
As you know, supply and demand is a huge factor that affects the price of metal scraps. It’s always good to identify the most valuable scrap metal items so you can hold onto them until prices go up. For instance, you can ask for old and discarded Christmas lights from family and friends because the copper wires inside them are worth good money.
2. Identify and categorize scrap metal
You don’t want to drive to the scrap yard and sell them a whole bunch of mixed-up scrap metal. Most scrap yards won’t pay you good money even if you have some copper or platinum mixed up in there.
Use a magnet so you can easily identify ferrous from nonferrous metals. From there, identify your scrap metal and separate them according. One group for copper, another for aluminum cans, and a separate group for stainless steel scrap. The scrap yard operator is likely to give you a good price because you minimize the work for them.
3. Take out the non-metal parts
You should also remove the non-metal parts from the scrap so that they can be weighed properly and you’ll be given a fair rate. Always remove the plastic, glass, rubber, insulation, and any other material attached to the metal.
4. Research the rates
The rates for scrap could vary from one scrap yard to another. You should call a couple of scrap yards near you and ask which scrap they accept and how much those are worth.
You should also look up the national averages on iScrap to make sure you are getting a fair, if not the best deal, from your chosen scrap yard.
Always look into the reviews of the scrap yard, even ask for recommendations from people you know.
5. Learn to negotiate
Scrap yard operators do not necessarily have to follow the average prices down to a T. You could haggle especially if you brought them a lot of scraps, or if you’ve cleaned out the metal first, or if you’re selling a particular scrap that’s high in demand. Also, establish a good relationship with the scrap yard owner so it’s easier for you to negotiate the next time around.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most valuable item to scrap?
The most valuable thing to scrap is copper. Copper is an important metal because it is lightweight yet durable, so it can be used in various applications, from copper tubing in appliances to plumbing pipes. Copper costs around $2 – $4 per pound, depending on which scrap yard you to take them.
What can I scrap around my house?
You’d be surprised that there are actually a lot of things that you can scrap around your house. You can sell stainless steel kitchen appliances, take out the copper tubing from HVAC systems, aluminum rims from old vehicles, soda cans, and tin cans to cast iron cookware you no longer use. If you familiarize yourself with the different metal types you can scrap, you’ll see that there’s actually a lot you can scrap for money.
What pays the most for scrap?
We already know that copper pays the most for scrap. But other metal types pay good money too, such as brass and aluminum.
Scrapping can be a great way to make some extra cash on the side. You can find things to scrap around your home or neighborhood, or at your place of business, especially if you are into electronics, construction, or plumbing.
Selling scrap is easy, but you have to be willing to do some work to increase your earning potential. This includes sorting out metals, removing non-metal parts, searching a well-paying scrap yard nearby, and doing the actual selling process. But rest assured, you can turn those scrap into cash.
This is really helpful! We are currently remodeling our lower level and we were initially going to just take everything to a junkyard ourselves. We quickly realized though just how tricky that would be. We decided to get a dumpster rental and they have been so helpful in letting us know what we can and can’t throw inside it. Thanks for helping us find a junkyard near us!