How To Make Money From Scrap Metal

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Hello, my name’s Mark Lindon. I have to admit that I wasn't always the “greenest” person. I was even known to take a risk and litter once in awhile. However, I started to study the effects of waste on our environment and energy, and I was appalled. I found myself reading and absorbing as much information as I could on the subject. Where I live, recycling isn't a requirement. This makes me mad; it should be a requirement everywhere! I sat my wife and three children down and talked about the importance of recycling. I explained that if we spread the word, we would make a difference in the world. My kids were particularly excited about this concept. Along with their friends, they started encouraging people to have separate bins for their recycle goods. I’m going to share more about this for you.

How To Make Money From Scrap Metal

22 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Do you have a truck or a trailer or something that you can use to haul large and heavy amounts of metal? If so, you can make a decent amount of money cleaning up scrap from other people.

Be Scrappy

Most of the metal you're going to find will be refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers. Those are common items. Don't be afraid to look for less common items that you might not consider scrap. Search the local classifieds, Craigslist, and yard sales for these items, especially broken ones. These include:

  • Lawn mowers
  • Weight machines
  • Dumbbell sets
  • Filing cabinets
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Barbecues/Grills
  • Cast iron bathtubs
  • Automobiles
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Industrial molds

However, do note that you'll need to remove any of the Freon or other coolants from air conditioning and refrigerator units. These liquids are dangerous and can cause health problems or death. Only remove them if you know how.

Researching The Spots

Before you drive to the nearest scrap yard or smelter, take the time to make some calls and get some rates. Rates often change based on need, and some refineries will let you know if they're expecting an uprising in materials. 

You'll also want to check on what type of metals they accept — ferrous or non-ferrous. Ferrous refers to iron, and some scrap metal yards only accept one or the other. Just because a scrap yard only accepts one type of metal doesn't mean that it's worse. Because of the specialization, they may actually offer higher rates for the metals.

Delivering The Load

Most refineries work the same way, but there may be minor differences. Usually, though, you'll arrive at the scrap yard and drive onto a scale with a red and green light. An employee will weigh your vehicle and change the light to green signaling you to drive off the scale.

You'll drive to the designated area for your metals. (If you don't know, you can always ask before dumping everything.) Once you remove the items from your vehicle, you'll repeat the weighing process. After that, the company will either pay you in cash or cut a check. 

If you'd like an idea of how much you can expect to be paid, you can always check the Scrap Register which lists common scrap prices for all sorts of materials, including precious metals

While scrapping metal might not account for a full-time job, unless you're incredibly dedicated, it might be enough to take a load off your monthly expenses.