Did you know that many of the metals used to produce everyday objects are recycled rather than mined from the earth? Collecting and selling scrap metal for recycling is a great way to earn money for hobbyists and professionals alike. Whether you’re looking to make a little extra cash on the side or recycle scrap metal as a full-time job, here are some tips to help you get started.
Know Your Metals
When it comes to scrap metal, copper is the reigning king. The energy and expense required for copper recycling is much less than creating copper from ore, which makes any existing copper extremely valuable. Precious metals like gold and silver fetch an even higher price than copper, but they are difficult to find in large quantities. Other metals that can earn you a pretty penny include aluminum, brass, iron and steel.
Seek Out Sources
Now you know what metals to look for, but where do you find them? Construction waste is a great source of scrap copper from plumbing and wiring. You can also find copper wiring inside old electronics and appliances. Check pawn shops, thrift stores and estate sales for precious metal jewelry that can be sold for scrap. One of the most accessible sources of scrap metal is discarded aluminum cans, but you will need a lot of them to earn a significant amount of money.
Have a Collection and Storage System
The trunk of your car might be sufficient for scrap metal hobbyists, but you’ll need a more sophisticated setup if you’re serious about recycling. Get a truck or van for hauling your scrap around and a warehouse to store it. Use tall shelves and labeled bins to keep everything organized.
Find the Best Price
After all the effort you put into finding and collecting scrap metal, you don’t want to let it go for nothing. Search around for buyers who can give you the best price for your recyclable metal and keep an eye on the markets because the price of many metals fluctuates over time. Having a good storage system can help you hang onto your scrap until you find the best price.
Remember, metal recycling isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of work and perseverance to earn a living with scrap metal, but your efforts will pay off eventually if you stick with it. Don’t forget to keep careful track of your business so you can identify trends and maximize your profits.