Female doing scrap metal recycling at a scrap metal yard in Dallas TX

7 Ways to Make Sure You Get Top Dollar for Your Scrap Metals

Metal scrapping is a fun hobby that can be quite lucrative when you put your energy and know-how into it. Collecting scrap metal and selling it to a local scrapyard is environmentally friendly, too. 

Here are seven of the best ways to make sure you get the most money for scrap metal.

1. Know Your Metals

There are two types of metals you’ll be collecting: Ferrous and non-ferrous, a distinction simply about whether or not the metal in question contains iron. You can detect ferrous metals with a magnet or, unfortunately, by oxidation and rust that may occur in the wrong circumstances. But even rusted metal is often still worth something.

2. Store Scrap Correctly

Keeping ferrous materials away from moisture and water is a great first step to eliminating the threat of rust on your steel and other ferrous scrap. Keeping your scrap away from fire and chemicals can be difficult on a construction site, but it’s also worth keeping in mind if you’ll be scrapping any of your debris.

Our suggestion is to create a separate, covered holding area for your scrap and schedule regular visits to your local scrap metal facility.

3. Be Smart and Safe When Moving Your Metal

Sharp edges are just one concern, but they can be damaging or even dangerous if you’re not careful. Some health risks associated with transporting scrap metal can include:

  • Cuts, scrapes, abrasions, and bruises
  • Tetanus
  • Blood poisoning
  • Animal inhabitants

Be aware also that an open-bed truck is preferred for drop-offs since they can use magnetized cranes to collect the scrap from you. For a car or other closed vehicle, unloading becomes your responsibility. This is to protect your vehicle.

4. Research Metal Prices

Metal is a volatile market, and prices per ton change frequently. A more reputable scrapyard may publish its current price list, but be aware that prices are subject to change. For the most current prices, visit a site that publishes them regularly, like Price of Scrap Metals.

If you are limited in your storage or transportation capabilities, it’s worth noting that non-ferrous materials are worth more by weight, which you can see at that link: Aluminum and copper, for example, should take precedence over steel, along with any alloys, like brass.

5. Find a Licensed & Insured Scrapyard

Look for a scrapyard with a good reputation, the best prices, and that’s environmentally responsible. Don’t be afraid to call around. Just remember that you’re looking for a long-term relationship, so you should put some thought into the scrapyard you choose. 

Action Metals has the best prices in the area and we’re devoted to making sure everything we do is safe, smart, and environmentally relevant.

6. Collect Your Documentation

There are several requirements for getting paid.

  • Valid ID: A driver’s license, state ID, or military ID will work.
  • A valid license plate on the vehicle you use to bring the scrap to the yard
  • A real mailing and permanent address
  • Proof of ownership of the materials

If the scrap you picked up was abandoned, you won’t exactly have a receipt. That’s fine, as the scrapyard will have you sign a document attesting to that fact instead.

7. Clean & Sort Your Scrap

Your secret sauce for getting the best prices and most solid hauls should be sorting and cleaning up your scrap before you drop it off or bring it to the yard. Plastic parts and garbage take up space that you could be filling with more lucrative metal. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right!

Likewise, sorting your metals is an essential activity for the professional scrapper. Say you bring a load that contains copper, but is mostly steel: you may get paid for that tonnage at the steel price, which is lower. It’s worth the time and effort it takes to sort and clean your metals, in the long run. 

Action Metals Recycling Is Here to Help

We’ll help you sell your scrap and make sure you get a great price. We’re licensed and insured to make certain we’re giving you the best service anyone can offer. Reach out today and we’ll help you plan your next visit.