Recycling scrap metal is environmentally responsible, and it is a great way for you to earn a little pocket money for something you would otherwise throw out. Making a trip to a metal recycling facility every time a piece of metal is available is inefficient. Keeping all collections organized will make the process easier. Use these simple tips to sort and store the material.
Have a Work Area
Store the metal in or near a convenient workspace. The work area is necessary for sorting as well preparing any of the metal. Preparation efforts for scrap metal could include stripping insulation from wires, removing metal from any attached non-metal material, or even disassembling electronics to find metal. Tools, a workbench, and good lighting improve efficiency.
Line up a row of large bins, metal barrels, or even sturdy cardboard boxes to hold the different types of metal. Label the containers with the name of the metal to avoid mistakes. Reserve an area for large items like appliances and potentially messy products like car batteries or fuel tanks, as these are usually taken to the scrap yard without dismantling.
Learn How to Sort
Identifying the type of metal is very important for scrappers because the scrap prices of the materials change frequently. Some people choose to only recycle a specific metal when the price increases and others take everything at once. Sorting is necessary because scrap yards do not sort while the scrapper waits. They weigh everything together and pay the lowest rate.
The first task of sorting is to determine if it is ferrous (magnetic) metal or non-ferrous (non-magnetic). Non-ferrous examples include copper, brass, and lead. Ferrous metals include steel and iron. Purchase or print an online guide that lists the properties of each metal to help distinguish between similar-looking metals until comfortable with this step.
Non-ferrous metals are almost always more valuable than ferrous ones. Magnets make it easier to determine the type of metal, and they are a common tool for all scrappers. Most dedicated scrappers keep a magnet with them when they are collecting material to avoid dragging home a less valuable metal when their space or time is limited.
Keep the Metal Covered
There are many reasons to keep scrap metal undercover. Many communities have restrictions on storing any scrap where it is visible to the neighborhood. Another concern is theft because there are criminals that are happy to remove metal from an unattended pile. Leaving scrap metal uncovered is also an environmental concern because the metals could contaminate rainwater runoff.
Determine a Delivery Schedule
Create a routine to help keep the metal under control. Go to the facility once a month or plan a trip when a certain amount is collected. A plan helps to prevent procrastination that leads to your scrap pile growing out of control. Since the material is bulky, heavy, and usually dirty, you can easily become overwhelmed if you don't have a routine established.
Scrappers that prefer to wait for the highest price before they recycle should be prepared to haul the items on the day they receive a quote. The metal market is very volatile, and a price quote is not likely to be accurate a day or two later.
Scrap metal recycling is a hobby that has developed into a career for many people. At Dominion Metal Recycling Centers, Inc., we accept scrap from people that collect full time as well as one-time collectors who are cleaning out their basements and attics. Contact us for our current pricing or stop by the center to trade in your scrap metal for instant cash.