When you think about recycling, your mind probably goes to plastic bottles, newspapers, and glass containers. Aside from recycling plastic, glass and paper, it’s important to recycle scrap metal, such as titanium, copper, aluminum, iron and more. While scrap metal recycling isn’t necessarily at the forefront of common recycling practices, it should be. Recycling metal is just as important to the environment, and, additionally, may put a little extra padding in your wallet.
Many sources of scrap metal – which make up one of the country’s largest exports – are far too often thrown out in the trash bin. Recycling metal reduces the amount of ore drilling throughout the world. What’s more, scrap metal, such as titanium, can be recycled for cash payments at a variety of local scrap yards across the country. Scrap yards collect most of their metal from the trade industry but welcome homeowners to recycle their scrap metal as well.
Before taking metal to the scrap yard for recycling, you must separate the metal by type. In order to collect the most value for your scrap metal, you should be familiar with the types of scrap metal and how much they’re worth.
Determining the type of metal you’re dealing with may be as easy as taking a magnet off your fridge. If the magnet sticks to your metal, the metal is ferrous. Ferrous metals include common metals such as iron and steel. Steel can be found in many products, including furniture, cabinets, and more. While steel may not collect much money at the scrap yard, it’s important to take such materials to the yard in order for it to be recycled properly.
If the magnet does not stick to your metal, that metal is non-ferrous. Non-ferrous metals are commonly worth more than ferrous metals, and include such common metals as copper, aluminum, brass, stainless steel and bronze. Reddish in color and high in value, copper can be found in pipes, roofing materials, and common electrical wires. Aluminum can of course be found in cans, as well as gutters, siding, doors and more. Brass is very heavy and can be found in the form of hardware and fixtures, such as door knobs and keys.
Finally it’s a good idea to call your local scrap yard after you have your scrap metals separated and inventoried to make sure they’ll take the type of metal you’d like to recycle. Not all yards will take all types of metal, and some metals, like titanium, can be hard to find yards that will take them. So before you go ensure that the yard you intend to visit will take what you have.
So before you throw away that old patio furniture, consider sending scrap metal to the recycling yard instead. While recycling metal is not a get rich quick scheme, the doing your part in the effort for a greener earth is reward in of itself.