How To Turn Scrap Metal Around Your House Into Cash

A rusty truck sits in the grass next to a house, indicating potential for scrap metal.

Have you ever thought about getting cash for scrap metal? Whenever you throw away any piece of metal, you are throwing money away!

However, some metals are obviously more valuable than others. The first thing you must do is to learn about the metals themselves. Plain steel is often not worth the trouble, because of its low price. Unless you’ve got a ton of steel or more, you are unlikely to make enough money to justify your time. However, many other metals can bring a reasonable reward without a need for tons and tons of material. Copper and aluminium are the two things you should concentrate upon since both are extremely common and relatively valuable. Brass is also valuable, but generally harder to find. By the way, steel can sometimes bring good money if it is of high quality.

There are potentially many different sources of scrap metal that you might have laying around, or which you might be able to acquire.

What Can Be Sold as Scrap Metal

1. Aluminium Cans

The most well-known source of scrap is probably aluminium cans. People throw away so many of these things that you can probably hunt for cans any day of the week. At the bare minimum, you should save your cans. If you notice that your neighbours are throwing cans away, see if you can acquire them. Waste not, want not!


2. Non-Working Electronics

Electronics are another great source. The next time one of your electrical appliances quits, don’t just throw it away. Take it apart and remove all the little pieces of copper and other metals. Occasionally, household electronics will even contain gold or platinum, since both are incredibly good conductors of electricity. A computer or an old TV are great sources of scrap.

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A broken TV on the ground that can be scrapped for metal.

3. Broken Cars for Cash

Scrap cars and car parts are probably the best sources of scrap metal money, simply because they are so heavy and scrap yards pay by the pound. Also, many car parts will contain valuable metals. An alternator contains lots of magnetized copper wire. A radiator will usually be made of aluminium. In fact, catalytic converters even contain a small amount of platinum. If you are not inclined to take your vehicle apart, you have many options to get rid of your broken car. Many times, scrapyards will buy entire vehicles. As for how much money you will get, it’s all determined by the weight. Try to resist the temptation to add more weight, as this could be considered as fraud and prosecuted as such. Getting some extra cash for scrap cars isn’t worth going to jail.

4. Stainless Steel Kitchen Implements

Now, let’s talk about good steel. We already mentioned that plain steel doesn’t bring much, but stainless steel is another story. Good-quality stainless steel kitchen equipment can bring almost as much as copper aluminium, which is great because steel is so much heavier.

5. Broken Tools

An old broken screwdriver is one example of a source for good tool steel. Old broken tools, large springs, lawnmower blades…all of these and more are sources of high-quality steel that you can sell for a decent price.

A table displaying rusty tools.


How to Sell Them to Scrap Yard

Before you even set foot in the scrap yard, be aware of how they work and how they price different metals. If possible, it is also best to weigh your scrap to determine approximately how much weight you have. While most scrap yards are honest, some are dishonest scallywags who will gladly take advantage of your lack of knowledge.

Make sure you separate your scrap before taking it off to the yard. If you just bring them a pile of broken electronics, they will not give you as much money as they would for a neatly separated bag of copper and other metals. The reason for this difference is quite simple. If you don’t separate your metals, the scrap yard will need to pay someone else to do it. As a final note, remember that many yards offer scrap metal pick up. With a little bit of luck and a little hard work, you too can help to keep the world a little cleaner while making a few bucks in the process.

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