4 Things To Know About Scrap Metal

Scrap metal is material that is unused or discarded at the perceived end of its service life. This metal can be recycled and repurposed into new products. Individuals and businesses with access to scrap materials can receive financial compensation from recycling companies like Sikora Metals. Here is more information about recycling unused metal:

1. How To Make Money From Scrap Metal

Metal recycling is a worldwide industry. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 32% of the 1532 million metric tons of steel used worldwide in 2019 came from recycled materials. The demand for scrap metal is also growing, with the international market increasing by 30% from 2003 to 2016. The prices paid for different types of scrap vary from company to company. While load weights determine pricing, so do composition and need. Some companies may specialize in recycling only certain materials. Current market demand might also affect pricing. Rates are set on a company level instead of a strict industry standard.

Professionals like general contractors often have leftover metal materials from various residential and commercial projects. Tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, and IT professionals can also recycle their unused metal materials. Used pipes and wires pulled from old plumbing and electric setups are recyclable. Old auto parts like car batteries, transmissions, and radiators can be recycled. Some recyclers now accept e-scrap, such as PC towers, laptops, and individual computer parts. Scrap metal recyclers also benefit individual property owners. Commercial and residential building owners can turn in the scraps left over from a renovation or demolition. Almost any building material made from iron, aluminum, brass, or copper can be recycled. 

2. What Is Needed To Get Started

Individuals must be at least 18 years old with a valid state ID to sell their materials to Sikora Metals. Having access to a truck or trailer helps individuals transport their scrap metal more efficiently. If you don’t own a truck or trailer, you can rent one for your recycling delivery. All vehicles used to transport scrap material must have a valid license plate. Keeping your metal in a secure storage space until you’re ready to recycle protects the material from the elements. Rusted and degraded materials might be worth less when selling them to a recycling company. 

Before you spend time and effort collecting scrap metal for recycling, research the federal and state laws regulating component disposal. Special statutes may mandate that payments come through official channels for certain items, such as used automobile parts. Several environmental regulations require that certain materials be treated before being discarded. One example is used appliances with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). To protect the environment, the CFCs must be reclaimed, not vented, before recycling. 

3. How To Prepare Scrap Metal for Recycling

Once you’ve accumulated scrap metal and are ready to turn it in, sort it based on composition. There are two categories of scrap metal: ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals contain iron and are typically used in structural steel, cast iron, and automotive vehicles. Non-ferrous metals contain no iron. These materials are used in auto parts, household hardware, and electrical equipment.

Materials like household appliances and vehicles require additional preparation before recycling. Refrigerants need to be reclaimed from these appliances before you sell them. Vehicles need to be drained of all fluids, like engine oil and transmission fluid. Owners must also remove the vehicle’s tires and gas tank before selling it to a recycling company. Metal containers holding combustibles should be opened and drained of any substance that might ignite during recycling. 

4. How To Get Scrap Metal to the Recycler

Secure all scrap metal in your truck or trailer before transport. Try to keep the sorted materials organized to improve the efficiency of your transaction. Call the recycling company before you arrive if you require their assistance to offload your materials. Larger loads might require the assistance of a pilot car during transport. Pilot cars lead and follow your loaded truck with warning signs to confirm other drivers on the road stay at a safe distance from your transport. 

Extremely large loads may present a logistical and financial challenge when it comes to transport. Potential solutions include moving the materials in several trips or paying the recycling company to pick up and transport the scrap. If you have a large amount of scrap material, look for a recycling partner that provides containers for metal storage and retrieves them from your location when they are full. 

Start Accumulating Your Scrap Materials

Recycling leftover scrap materials creates an opportunity for businesses and individuals to earn money. Participating in metal recycling programs clears your workspace of unwanted materials and protects the environment from excessive waste. At Sikora Metals, you can schedule an appointment to drop off your metal or have our team pick up your materials. Contact us today for more information about our metal recycling services.