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Published On: Tue, Dec 25th, 2018

Making Money Out of Scrap Metal

Unless you are King Midas, you cannot turn what you touch into gold, but you can turn junk into cash. This is the challenging yet exciting feat of metal scrappers. For scrap metal collectors, their job is important because they help the environment while generating income. They can do it on a part-time or full-time basis or be their own boss. For a modest cost, they can start their scrap metal business and learn the basic steps to earn by collecting scrap metal.

photo/ Alexandra / München

What you’ll need

As a beginner metal collector, the most important thing you will need to have first is a magnet. This is necessary to identify ferrous from nonferrous metals. If it sticks, it is a ferrous metal, such as steel and iron. If it doesn’t, it is nonferrous. Common ones are aluminium and copper, which are worth more than their counterpart is because they are lighter, higher in conductivity, and more resistant against corrosion.

You also have to be ready with your containers for sorting scrap so that you won’t have to take long to separate the different types of metal you collect before you take them to a scrap yard. Other things to keep handy include screwdrivers, cutters, grinding wheel, hammer, protective equipment, and a first aid kit.

Knowledge of metals

You do not have to be an expert metallurgist to start collecting scrap metal. Basic knowledge is enough to tell metals apart. This is important to estimate the value of your collection. Among the cheapest metals are steel, which is also the heaviest. It is worth less than other metals because steel is abundant and almost everywhere. The good thing is, you probably won’t run out of it.

Iron may not cost a lot, but it is one of the most recyclable metals because it is easier to reprocess. This is why common items have a lot of iron in them.  Copper is a valuable metal that is also easy to recycle. It is reddish or dark brown in colour and can be found in cables and power cords. Aluminium is similar to steel, but it does not stick to a magnet. Common uses include window frames, cans, and car parts.  

Stainless steel is 70% iron but is worth more than common steel because it contains around 8% nickel. It is not magnetic and is commonly used for kitchen utensils, automotive and aerospace equipment. Brass contains copper and zinc and is yellowish in colour. Common applications include doorknobs, keys, and valves. Lead is useful for industrial applications.

Scrap metal pricing

You should understand how pricing works for scrap metal collection. In general, scarce metals such as nonferrous types are more valuable. Prices fluctuate depending on the market, but there are many resources to help you stay updated.

Scrap metal collection is a satisfying and profitable endeavour that can be gratifying if you naturally love to collect valuable items. Make sure to observe safety practices by carrying a first aid kit and wearing protective equipment. You should also deal with the best scrap yard Dudley offers to make it worth the effort.

Author: Joana Green

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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