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Tips and Advice for Scrap Metal Recycling

Updated on July 20, 2016
Stuff Recycling, Winchester, KY Some of my crew and I
Stuff Recycling, Winchester, KY Some of my crew and I | Source

We Are In This Together!

Today, every dollar counts. Lets make some extra cash!

Did you can make money out of broken or outdated household items and other unusable metal scrap you have laying around the house?

Keep all of your scrap metal from going to the landfill by gathering all those unwanted metallic items and bring them to your nearest scrapyard to get paid! The metal recycling industry is growing. Be one of the people doing the right thing by bringing your scrap metals to be recycled instead of throwing them away.

Easy Tips to Make More Money

  1. Cut the cords on all appliances and keep them separate. (Copper wires, even cell phone chargers fetch higher prices)
  2. It you have any aluminum items, keep them separated from your steel items. (Pots, pans, gutters / siding are a good place to start)
  3. Keep a magnet around! It a magnet doesn't stick to an item, keep it separated. (Copper, brass, aluminum, stainless worn't stick to a magnet)
  4. If your state doesn't have a can deposit law, save your cans to take to the scrap yard.

Save your cans! But, plastic bags and trash cans are better storage options!
Save your cans! But, plastic bags and trash cans are better storage options! | Source

Separate What You Have At Home

Have your material separated before hand to make this easier.

If you separate your metal properly, you will know exactly what you have and I (your friendly buyer) will have a idea how you want to be paid. If you come with a mixed load of material, be ready to get paid a lower price because I don't have the time to separate everything perfectly for you.

  • Buckets, containers and even plastic bags are easy and practical ways to keep your material separated.
  • Separated material will command a higher price and you have more control over what you are selling.
  • Try to keep your material as separate as possible so the buyer will know what you have.

If you have any questions on how your material will be graded, ask before your material is taken from the scale!

Tips for Your Scrap Yard Trip

  1. Look for signs notifying where you need to go. If you are confused, stop and ask for assistance.
  2. If you have a load that is more than a handful, look for the truck scales to weigh in your vehicle. (If necessary)
  3. When you are where you need to be, look for carts, buggies or containers to load your scrap into. (If necessary)
  4. Ask for assistance if you do not know how to separate or load your material. Try to keep "apples with apples" and keep your material as separated as possible as you can while you load.
  5. Look for the scale and get in line. Be patient and stay alert for workers, other customers and heavy equipment.

I like to keep it classy in my domain.
I like to keep it classy in my domain. | Source

If You Need Assistance

  • If you need help, ask, but be patient.

If you need assistance with anything, the workers are willing to help. Sadly, we are not mind readers and we need to keep an open line of communication. We strive to help the customers that have come first or we might have pending tasks that we must finish, but your business is a priority

Please, be clear and polite when telling us what you need, or how we can assist you.

Mountains of junk, with more being made every day.
Mountains of junk, with more being made every day. | Source

Unused or Usable Items

Sometimes, we must ask.

  • Any items that don't look like scrap or are unused may be turned away.
  • Material belonging to utility companies, railroads or commercial industry could be rejected if you have no proof that you have the rights to sell it.
  • Any radioactive material, sealed tanks or any material deemed to be dangerous could be rejected.

Any materials that will pose a threat to our workers or customers will be turned away. Items that are obviously not legally yours to sell cannot be bought!

Don't Forget to Check Your Ticket!

  • Always check your ticket before you leave the scrap yard!

If you have any questions about what is on your ticket, ask. The longer you wait, the lower the chance the people at the scrap yard can help you. When explaining your problem, please be respectful and clear in describing your predicament.

Getting angry won't get you very far. Please be polite

Heavy machinery brings out the kid in us all
Heavy machinery brings out the kid in us all | Source

A Insiders View

I hope you have learned something by this article. The scrap yard is open because of you, so don't feel shy to ask questions, learn and maybe have fun in the process!

Knowing what you can sell, separating your material and finding where you need to be are key.

Working at the scrap yard is just another job in customer service. After 8 years of buying scrap metal, I still enjoy helping people to make extra money recycling!

Thanks for listening.

More? Check out my other articles on Scrap Metal Recycling!

Essential Tools For Making Money Recycling Scrap Metal

A "Typical" Visit?


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    • profile image

      Jessy Shaw 

      3 years ago

      My husband has basically turned our garage into his own personal work shop and there are scrap pieces of metal everywhere. I don't really know what to do with all of the things that he has no plans for so I am looking into metal recycling. I think that it is an awesome way to put all of the metal to good use and make a little money on the side.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I should probably do a bit more research on this! I have tons of extra metal lying around my house that I will probably never use. The post mentions that some pieces that don't look like scrap may be turned away. How can you tell whether or not something looks like scrap?

    • profile image

      Davey Hiltz 

      3 years ago

      This sounds like a great money making opportunity for me. I'm in college, but I usually have free weekends that I could go hunting for scrap metal. It would be hard though to find someone to work with me. I don't think I could lift everything that I could find, but if I had a buddy to help me out it would be a good way to make some decent money.

    • profile image

      Caleb Hart 

      3 years ago

      There are a lot of things that you can recycle for money. What's better, is the social good you are doing by recycling. I'm a big believer in recycling and preserving our resources. Our Earth is going to run out of stuff eventually.

    • profile image

      jenn davies 

      4 years ago

      Unused items can't be used for scrap metal? What if they're metal? I didn't realize that was a stipulation. I'm glad I checked this before heading to any sort of scrap yard. I'll need to go through my metal again before taking it in.

    • profile image

      Davey Hiltz 

      4 years ago

      We were able to find a huge pile of scrap metal in our back yard when we got our new house. Some of it we think dates back to the 1920's so we're debating if it would be worth anything as an antique. If not we'll cash it in for scrap metal. I think it'll fetch a hefty price because most of it is copper. Does it matter if the metal is rusted or not?

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      4 years ago from USA

      There are a lot of people here who go down the alleys to collect material to take to recycle. It must make some good money, since many people have stolen air conditioners and the like for recycling.


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