Scrap metals can come from many different sources. Often scrap metal is generated by the disposal of items that are no longer in use or by manufacturing processes that produce excess metal during the fabrication process. Metals are not biodegradable and should be properly disposed or recycled. The best thing to do with your scrap metals is to bring them to a salvage yard to turn them in.
- First you will want to separate them to get the best value for your scrap metals. Properly understanding how to prepare your scrap metals before your visit can significantly impact how much profit you leave with. It can often be difficult to identify and sort scrap metals as many of them look the same. To make the process easier, before you get started, have on hand a magnet, large bins, and something to label them with. This will keep your metals will organized throughout the process.
- Start by sorting Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are magnetic so use a magnet to help you determine which metals are ferrous and which are non-ferrous. Magnetic metals will include iron, and steel. The non-magnetic items will contain metals like aluminum, copper and brass.
- Once you have separate magnetic from non-magnetic your next step will be to sort Non-ferrous metals into different types of metals. Copper which holds an obvious copper color can be found in pipes, cables, and wires. Brass will hold a more yellow color compared to the copper and aluminum will be easy to identify with its light weight and silver color.
- Next separate the remaining metals into different types of ferrous metals. Steel is a solid strong metal that can become rusted (100% stainless still will not rust). Lead will be lighter than steel and carry a dark gray color. Tin is thin and light and if bent will make a cracking noise.
- Once you have separated all your metals out from ferrous to non-ferrous and then into each individual metals make sure they are clean as clean metals will be worth more than dirty metal. Be sure to remove and rust dirt or other debris from the metals to ensure the best value. You also will want to remove mixed metals, as it could decrease the potential values of the metals.