Scrap Metal Recycling For Dummies

Construction workers, plumbers, and other professionals are often more familiar with scrap metal recycling, but the average person is welcome to recycle scrap metal too. It can be a little confusing or even frightening to a newcomer to the scrap metal game.

If you’ve never done it before, here are a few things you should know about scrap metal recycling.

1. Why Recycle?

There are several reasons to consider recycling your old scrap metal pieces. Scrap metal prices are higher than they’ve been in the past and you could get some extra cash for things you aren’t using anymore. On top of the money you get, scrap metal recycling is helpful to the environment. Your old scrap metal will be made into new objects which, according to Earth 911, reduces the amount of ore drilling we have to do. For a little effort you can get some extra money in your pocket while doing your part to preserve our environment.

2. What to Recycle

If you’ve got metal lying around your house, you might wonder if it’s something you can use. Metal shelving, old bikes, construction material, or aluminum cans can all be good things to consider scrapping.

Different types of metal are more valuable than others. You’ll want to separate your metal into ferrous metal and non-ferrous metal. If it sticks to a magnet it’s ferrous, if it doesn’t stick to a magnet, it’s non-ferrous and worth a bit more money. Look online or call your local scrap metal for different prices.

3. Where to Recycle

There are many recycling places and there’s likely one pretty near you. Recycling your scrap metal can be done easily at a scrap yard near your home. Just do a web search for scrap metal yards near you and compare prices for the material you have.

4. How to Recycle

Once you know what to recycle and where to take it, you need to know what to do with it. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how you are going to take your scrap to the yard. Your vehicle will need to be big enough to hold all your scrap metal. According to Popular Mechanics, a flatbed truck is best because then a crane can help you unload your scrap.

5. When to Recycle

When you get to the scrap metal yard, there’s a general process you’ll follow. First you will weigh your vehicle on an incoming scale. After the attendant has recorded your incoming weight, you’ll unload your scrap. If you are bringing in ferrous material like iron or steel, the yard will use a crane with a large magnet on it. Other material will be unloaded manually or with a forklift.

Finally, when you leave the yard you’ll get your outgoing weight and the difference will be your scrap weight total. Based on that total, the scrap yard will calculate how much your scrap was worth. The material will be compiled or shredded and later melted in a smelting furnace. The metal will later be used to make all sorts of metal objects.

Your scrap metal could be made into household appliances, or even a car! The great thing about scrap metal is that it’s a win for everyone. You get money in your pocket and get rusting metal out of your yard. On top of all that, your material gets used in new projects that are useful to someone else.

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License: Creative Commons

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Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. Theo also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment. He relies on General Recyling Industries for his scrap metal recycling projects.

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