You won't get rich when you sell scrap metal, but it might be an easy way to make some extra money. Maybe you’ve already found some scrap metal, and you're wondering what to do with it.
Is it worth bringing to a scrapyard? Can I get money to sell scrap metal? Perhaps you have easy access to large amounts of scrap metal. Could you make a side gig selling it?
This is worth considering, as scrap metal is often easy to obtain. People usually don’t want to bother with it and throw it out or give it away. Moreover, they are unaware you can make good money from scrap metals.
Scrap metal prices often reach interesting levels. Could it also be a source of extra money for you?
Should I Try to Get Money for Scrap Metal Near Me?
In 2022 the value of the scrap metal recycling industry in the US reached almost $50.1 billion. Selling scrap metal is a legit side hustle. You could make an extra buck on the side to increase your savings, get rid of debt, or collect funds for your goal.
What’s more, if you care for the planet’s future, you might be interested to learn that:
- Steel that Americans throw away could supply all the carmakers in the US constantly.
- Energy saved on recycling one aluminum can could be used to run a television for three hours.
- Related air pollution is cut by 95% when cans are made from recycled aluminum.
- The energy the United States saves yearly by recycling steel could supply Los Angeles with electricity for ten years.
These are only a few scrap metal recycling facts. Maybe they will motivate you to bring your scrap to the scrapyard.
What Is A Scrapyard
A scrapyard is a place where you can sell or buy such scrap metals as:
- stainless steel
- and lead.
In other words, it’s a recycling center. A scrapyard aims to reuse or repurpose the metal. Scrap yards often dismantle old cars, electronics, and appliances they bought. Then they sell the scrap metals to larger scrap brokers or refineries.
How To Find A Scrap Yard Near You
Check these methods to find a scrapyard in your area:
- Browse your local telephone book.
- Run a Google search. Try typing in phrases like:
- “junkyard near me”
- “metal recycling near me”
- “scrapyard near me open today.”
- “local scrap yards”
- or “metal scrap yard near me.”
- Search for metal scrap yards using the iScrap app.
What are the Best Things to Scrap for Money
When looking for some metal to scrap, it’s good to know what will bring you the most cash. Here’s a list of items that are worth money at scrapyards:
When you want to junk a car, call all the scrapyards in your area to compare scrap metal prices. They may differ significantly.
Before selling a washing machine or dryer for scrap, it’s good to dismantle it first. Scrap yards pay quite a bit for appliances that are taken apart.
You should always ask what appliances a certain scrap yard accepts. You may expect to get cash for scrap metal from:
- water heaters
- air conditioners
- and microwaves.
Sometimes it’s better to sell a broken motorcycle for parts than sell it for scrap. But if you go for the second option, don’t try to dismantle it yourself – they might refuse to accept it at the scrapyard.
Copper Pipe Or Tubing
Pipe or tubing is easy to find when renovating kitchens or bathrooms. Copper pipes are one of the most valued scrap metals.
From my experience, each family owns at least a few broken bicycles. They gather dust in garages or basements, waiting for better days when someone will fix them. But these days may never come. Consider scrapping your bicycle. Earn money and redeem your space.
The most precious boats for scrapping are those made of aluminum, such as Jon boats, bass boats, flatboats or pontoons. Steel boats are also scrapable.
Many boats are made of fiberglass, which is not valuable, and you cannot scrap it. But several parts, like engine brackets, bow rails, or fuel tanks, can be stripped off and scrapped.
Stainless Steel Sinks
Stainless steel sinks can be worth quite a bit at a scrapyard. To receive the highest price for them, remove parts of steel, rubber, brass, and caulk.
At the scrapyard, you will get money for certain electronic items such as:
- cell phones
- power supplies
- TV boards
- hard drives
- medium grade boards
- high-grade boards
- disk drives.
Although they do not weigh much, they are easy to come by. Later in this article, I give you ideas on how to collect them in large amounts.
Aluminum Pots & Pans
You can find some unusable examples of those in your kitchen. Remove any steel parts, like the handle, to get the best aluminum price.
Ceiling Fan Motors
Ceiling fan motors have copper inside and can weigh quite a bit. The blades of the fan are also worth checking. Under the wood, they may have cast aluminum.
Backup Batteries & Surge Protectors
You can find them in many home offices. The battery inside makes them relatively heavy, and you can sell them at your local scrap yard for a few dollars.
A laptop's life isn't very long, especially if one uses it as an everyday computer. So you are likely to find some to scrap. You should sell all the laptop’s parts separately at the scrap yard, so pull out things like:
- hard drive,
- RAM boards,
- low-grade disc drive boards,
- And a small motor for the fan.
Some scrap yards require that the batteries are removed.
Desktop towers weigh between 10-20 pounds, so you can sell them for quite good money at the scrapyard.
Check with your scrapyard if they accept them. You must remove and separate units from the inside to make some extra cash.
Aluminum Lawn Chairs
Those lightweight patio chairs can be found in most backyards. To earn more, clean them: take a knife, cut off the weave, and remove the plastic handles. Thanks to this, you will have sheer aluminum to sell for at least three times more.
Christmas lights are probably not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about scrapping metal. But Christmas lights can be quite worthy, as there's precious copper inside. They will give you a decent penny when you get enough of them.
Where To Find Scrap Metals To Sell
Selling scrap metals is an easy way to make extra cash, especially if you have knowledge and craftiness. With a little planning and the right resources, you can find a stockpile of scrap metal to sell. From online searches to rummaging through your garage, there are plenty of ways to get your hands on scrap metal. Let's look at some of the most popular ways to find scrap metals.
The Endless Source of Scrap Metal
Many people own metal things they can’t or don’t want to repair. Moreover, they don’t want to bother with hauling them away. They are happy if someone comes and does it for them. Craigslist has a free section where people give away a lot of scrap metal daily. But remember, when hunting for scrap metal there, you must respond quickly.
Occasionally, local businesses have scrap metal they want to get rid of. Ask if they wish to sell some metal parts. Sometimes they’ll even let you take away their scrap metal free of charge.
This approach is more suitable for small businesses, as larger companies usually have a system for taking scrap metal away. However, it won’t hurt to ask, even in larger ones.
You could also look for scrap metal at farms and ranches, shooting ranges, construction and renovation sites, or hospitals and medical clinics.
Ask Your Boss
It depends on your field, but maybe your company could be the source of scrap metal. In some companies, access to scrap metal is easy.
Are you in the construction business? You could deal with the management to collect scrap metal from them.
Or maybe there’s a soda machine in your company? Check if you could place a recycling container in the snack area to collect cans regularly.
This way, you will help your company be more environmentally friendly.
Ask Friends and Relatives
Why not ask family, friends, and neighbors when looking for scrap metal to junk? People are busy these days.
When they want to take old stuff off their sight, they usually take it to the attic, basement, or garage and forget about it. If you pick it up from them, you’ll do them a favor.
Maybe some of your family members and friends drink canned beverages regularly. Make an agreement with them that you will collect the cans every week.
Find Your Scrap Metals
You may search many places, but your garage, storage unit, or even your house may be the best source for scrap metal.
Maybe you had put some old appliances in your garage and forgot about it? Maybe there’s some old metal shelving waiting in your basement?
Look around and see what you can find. Incidentally, you may find other things you can sell to make extra money.
How Much Money do You Get from Scrap Metal
Several factors influence current scrap metal prices. Some of them are:
- the price of virgin metals,
- supply and demand,
- cost of energy and production.
For instance, when many people build houses, copper prices rise. That’s because a lot of copper pipe and wire goes into a new house. On the other hand, during a housing crisis, copper prices fall. Scrap metal prices also differ depending on the area.
Here are some average prices for scrap metal items:
- copper wire (bare) – $2 per pound
- aluminum cans – 50 cents per pound
- dryer (approx. 100 lbs.) – $6
- Washing machine (approx.200 lbs) – $8.50
- oven (125 lbs) – $16
- cast iron bathtub (over 300 lbs)- $36
- full-size Gas BBQ (180 lbs) – $19.
How Can I Get the Most Money Selling Scrap Metal
Bring As Much Scrap Metal As Possible
A trip to a scrapyard with a few small items is not worth your time and energy. A better idea is to accumulate scrap metal for some time.
Having a big load of scrap metal gives you a bigger ability to negotiate.
Sort Your Metal Scrap
To get the most cash for your scrap metal, first, you should detect if you have ferrous or non-ferrous metal and separate the two types. To figure it out, use a magnet.
When the magnet sticks to the metal item, it's made of ferrous metal. You won't make huge money on it at the scrapyard, but at least it will be recycled correctly.
If the magnet does not stick, you have a non-ferrous metal. Non-ferrous metals are valuable to recycle and will bring you more cash. Non-ferrous metals include:
- stainless steel
- and bronze
Separate all different kinds of metal to get the most money. You will earn more on, for example, copper if you sell it by itself instead of selling it with other materials. Label the metals you have.
Next, sort the metals you have by cleanliness. For instance, they will pay you more for clean aluminum.
But sometimes, you cannot clean everything, like stripping the Teflon layer from frying pans.
Use the Best Tool to Compare Scrap Yards
The best way to be up-to-date with current scrap metal prices is to use the iScrap App. It's a great tool made by scrappers, where you can also find a vast listing of the best scrap yards in the US.
Get Money For Scrap Metal
Some say that money is lying in the streets. With scrap metal, it is literally the case. Often you don’t have to invest any money to sell that commodity. You need to be cunning, have some knowledge, and be ready to make the effort.
Think of places where you could get scrap metal. Make a list. Plan your metal route. When you are going somewhere, pick as much scrap metal as possible. You might also want to look for used car batteries, and there are many places to sell old car batteries for cash.
Find the scrapyard that will pay you the most for what you have. And then, enjoy the extra money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the highest-paying scrap metal?
When it comes to scrapping for top dollar, rarity and weight are two important factors – so which item brings in the most money when recycled for scrap? Copper is a clear winner in terms of price, bringing in an estimated average of around $2.00 to $4.00 per pound. This makes it ideal for those looking to quickly capitalize on their scrap materials.
Other high-yielding metals include stainless steel and aluminum, both at less than 0.50 cents per pound. A good place to get an idea of scrap metal prices would be your local recycling center – they provide the latest rates based on national averages and local trends in the market!
What pays the most at a scrapyard?
Knowing which items are the most profitable can help you maximize your efforts and bring in the most cash. Recyclable materials such as copper, aluminum, and steel often bring more money than some of their lesser-valued counterparts.
Other popular scrap items include computers (specifically laptops, motherboards, and power supplies) and appliances with electrical components, such as refrigerators and washing machines.
With these three tips, you will be a pro at getting the most money for your scrap metal items. The next time you have some old pipes or appliances lying around, remember to follow these steps, and you'll be on your way to making some extra cash. Thanks for reading, and happy scrapping!