How to Make Money Recycling Scrap Metal
If you want to make some extra money to go on vacation or pay off a bill, the answer could be sitting in your garage or taking up space in your basement. We’re walking you through how to make money by recycling scrap metal, including the best places to find scrap metal and how to maximize your money.
Types of Scrap Metal You Can Sell
First, let’s look at the types of metal you can bring in to recycle. There are two main types of metal: ferrous and non-ferrous.
Ferrous metals contain iron, and include stainless steel and steel as well as iron. Ferrous metals make up a majority of scrap metal recycling, and while it is typically not as valuable per pound, it can still be lucrative to recycle in large quantities.
Non-ferrous metals are lightweight, strong, and malleable, and they’re also more difficult to come by so they tend to have a much higher value than ferrous metals. This includes:
- Copper, including copper wire, sheet copper, and pipes with no steel trace
- Aluminum, including soda cans, shavings from machining, cast aluminum, and sheet aluminum. Even aluminum siding can be recycled.
- Insulated copper and aluminum wire;
- Brass, including decorative pieces and plumbing fixtures
Where to Find Scrap Metal
Once you start looking for it, scrap metal is very easy to come by. Consider this list of commonly recycled items:
- Junk cars and car parts
- Lawn mowers and lawn mower parts
- Steel and metal shelving
- Old tools
- Old appliances, including ovens, refrigerators, and even toasters
- Metal furniture
- Wire from light fixtures
- Plumbing fixtures and pipes
- Aluminum cans (in high volume)
- Tech scrap, like disc drives, circuit boards, power supplies, and cables
When you’re getting ready to recycle scrap metal, start at your home, cleaning out your garage, basement, and shed of any metal, such as what’s listed above, that’s sitting around and not being used. Once you’ve cleaned out your house, try these sources to find scrap metal to sell.
Family and Friends
First, ask family and friends if they have any scrap they need to get rid of. Most people don’t think their appliances and other junk are worth anything and don’t want to go to the hassle of recycling a few pieces, so they’ll gladly give it to you to dispose of for them and will appreciate you saving them the trouble.
If you work in construction or manufacturing, you know there’s a ton of scrap metal that gets thrown out, including bales of copper wire, old pipes, and more. But even if you work at an office, restaurant, or retail store, there’s probably a storage closet with junk taking up space from old electronic devices to broken metal tables and chairs. Just be sure you ask before you load up your car!
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
Often, people will put items in the free section of Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Check there for metal items that can be scrapped easily.
Local Manufacturers and Machinist Companies
Often, small manufacturers or aluminum machining companies will have scrap metal that gets thrown away. Call and ask if you can haul it away for them for free. This may not work for larger businesses as they most likely have a plan or company that removes their metal waste, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
How to Make The Most Money Recycling Scrap Metal
Now that you have a big pile of scrap metal to recycle, how do you make sure you get the most out of it?
- Separate your ferrous from non-ferrous metal by checking each piece with a refrigerator magnet. If it sticks, it’s ferrous, if it doesn’t it’s non-ferrous. Don’t forget to remove non-ferrous metals from appliances that are stainless steel
- Strip the metal of any plastic, fabric, wood, or adhesive so you’re only taking in the metal
- Empty vehicles, vehicle parts, and tools of any fluids like oil or coolant
- Clean grease, oil, or dirt from the metal where possible
Contact Us to Learn More About Scrap Metal Recycling in Raleigh
If you’re ready to make some extra money and have some scrap metal to get rid of, bring it to Wall Recycling in Durham, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, and Wilson. We offer the best prices and make it easy to turn old metal into cash in your hand. To learn more, give us a call at (919) 582-7777 or fill out the form below.