Posted on: 17 October 2022Share
Making money with scrap metal recycling is challenging, but if you take some time to learn the ins and outs of the business, you can turn over a profit with some work. While scrap metal recycling is not something everyone wants to do, if you have access to materials and some tools to do the job, it can be a good side business you can do on the weekend for spending money.
Understanding Scrap Metal
One essential part of scrap metal recycling is knowing what is worth collecting and what material has little to no value. The most profitable materials are non-ferrous metals, which are materials that do not have steel or iron in them. Copper, aluminum, brass, and many alloys fall into this category and are the most valuable because they are reusable without degradation of their natural properties.
Non-ferrous metals allow use in higher percentages in metal production, so are more sought after. Most recyclers want the materials sorted so that copper is pure or aluminum doesn't have steel in the same pile.
The price of the material is often much higher when it is separated and pure. However, some recyclers will take mixed metals and pay a lower price. Copper wire that has insulation on it, for instance, is considered a dirty material. Taking the time to strip the coating could double the price when you sell it, and if you wait until the price is high, it can be well worth the time involved.
Steel and iron are recyclable, but they can only be used in new steel or iron creation in small amounts. Recyclers may actually make more money selling steel pipe as used materials or collecting structural steel and reselling it to a contractor or fabrication shop.
The price recyclers pay for ferrous metals is typically lower than non-ferrous, but if you have a lot of steel, the high quantity can make it worth selling. Scrap cars are an excellent example of this, and most salvage yards will crush and hold the steel until they have large loads to take to the recycler at one time.
If you want to collect steel and have a place to store it, it can be worth the effort, but hold it until the price jumps and then be ready to sell it all at one time. You can maximize your profit this way, and when supply is low, recyclers will push the price to double or sometimes three times the general market price.
When recycling any scrap metal, it pays to watch the market and learn the trends in it. If you limit selling to times when prices are high, you could increase your profits enough to offset your income significantly.
Reach out to a scrap metal recycling center to learn more.