December 10, 2021

How to Get the Highest Payout for Your Scrap Metal

If you’re going to recycle your scrap metal, you’re taking part in an important step to protect our fragile environment by keeping usable metals out of landfills and giving them new life. However, we know you’d like the best chance to earn the most amount of money for your scrap metal recycling.

At Roane Metals, we value your business and want you to get great value for scrap metals you bring to our scrap yard. Here’s a quick reference to get you the best prices for your valuable scrap metals.

  • Disassemble Scrap Metal Items

Valuable metals can be hiding within many household, construction, or manufacturing items used as tools and machinery. This is especially true for electronics, which can hold a variety of metals (including valuable copper wires) within one device.

The same goes for stripping insulation from cables and copper wire. As of July 2020, bare copper wire prices are $2.09/pound while insulated copper wire prices are far less at just $0.55/pound. The weight of the insulated copper wire is counted as a total weight (insulation and wire), but the pay per pound is far less.

  • Identify Common Scrap Metals

You have to know what you have before you can sell it for scrap. With a little know-how and some tools like a magnet, though, this can be very helpful in getting the most value for you scrapping efforts.

For example, if you are renovating a house, it’s important to know the difference between copper and brass or aluminum and steel so you know exactly the types of metals you are bringing for scrap recycling.

  • Sort and Organize your Metals

If you bring a large amount of mixed metals, you’ll likely be paid based on the lowest valued metal. For example, if you bring brass and aluminum mixed together in one bucket to the scrap yard, you may only get paid aluminum prices.

However, by organizing and separating your metals into categories, recycling a truck load of scrap metals will yield the highest return on your time invested.

  • Clean your Metals

This doesn’t mean get out your rubber gloves and scrub your metals with bleach. This means strip any attachments or paints that would affect the weighted value of the metal. Copper prices in particular are subject to this since the metal is of the highest value.

  • Follow Scrap Metal Price Fluctuations

This will also help you make informed decisions on what, if all, scrap metals you want to bring to be recycled.

These prices fluctuate regularly during a normal business climate, but they are fluctuating more due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are several resources online that can help you keep track of changing prices and when to cash in on your metals. You can also reach out to your scrap yard for an estimate on the current price for your scrap metals.

  • Collect Non-Ferrous Metals

The first thing you need to know is the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Ferrous metals and alloys contain iron and nonferrous metals do not. The difference between the two is that you’ll get more value from non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, and lead than from ferrous materials. A quick reference is to use a magnet. If your magnet sticks to a piece of metal, chances are it’s ferrous. If not, it’s likely nonferrous.

If you choose to scrap ferrous materials like old grills, lawnmowers, and some appliances, be sure they are free of harmful liquids like gasoline before you bring them to the scrap yard.

  • Find Metals to Scrap on Craigslist

On sites like Craigslist or social media you’ll find posts where someone has an old appliance or vehicle to dispose of and will allow anyone to come pick it up for scrap. These people may not want the headache of repairing the machine or cannot afford to have it repaired. This is an excellent opportunity since many people know scrappers who recycle metals as a side hustle will remove the unwanted item.

Many times, these sorts of posts are on the “free” section of Craigslist.

  • Contact Local Manufacturing Companies

Local manufacturing companies will, at times, give away their scrap metal or unwanted metal parts. Check with these companies in your area and see if they’ll allow you to haul away their scrap metal for free.

This typically works best with smaller companies, since larger companies usually have a plan for removing scrap metal.