Recycling At A Scrap Metal Yard

With billions of people walking the Earth each day, billions of pounds of waste are created.  In order to cut back on pollution and other detrimental side effects of waste, recycling is important.  Despite the importance of recycling, people need to be motivated to do it.  One of the best motivators is cold, hard cash!

Scrap metal yards are located throughout the country and they do the job of recycling metals.  These scrap yards will often pay money for metals that people would otherwise throw in the trash.  People can take their scrap metal to these locations.  The metal is then weighed, and an appropriate amount of money is paid out.

There are two types of metals that can be recycled: ferrous and non-ferrous. 

  • Ferrous metals pay out the most.  These are metals that are magnetic, such as iron and iron-based steel.  Some examples of ferrous metals are chain link fences, shelving, automotive panels, industrial equipment, pipe, beams, rebar and appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves and lawn mowers.
  • Non-ferrous metals won't get you as much money, but will get you some.  These are metals that are not magnetic.  Aluminum cans are found in abundance in many homes, and are considered a non-ferrous metal.  Brass, copper, stainless steel and lead are other examples of non-ferrous metals.

There are a few steps that you need to take before taking your metal to recycle at the scrap metal yards.

  1. Separate your metals.  First, separate your ferrous metals from your non-ferrous metals.  Then separate similar types of metal within those categories.  For example, if recycling non-ferrous metals, separate your aluminum cans from your copper wire. 
  2. Remove contaminants.  Make sure that your metals are free from other materials.  Plastic, cardboard and trash should be removed.  Some scrap metal yards will still take your items with a small amount of other materials, but it is best to be on the safe side and remove as much as possible. 
  3. Call different scrap yards in your area.  There are websites and mobile phone apps to help you locate scrap metal yards near you.  Call around to be sure if they will take your materials and also check on how much they will offer per pound.  This price may vary depending on the location.   

After you finish your scrap metal recycling, it is likely that your trash will be sent off to be refined and will then become usable items again.  Some items that are made from recycled scrap metal are containers and appliances.