Eight Things About Scrap Yards You Should Know

Many people don’t know the difference between a “scrap yard” and a “junkyard.” They often expect to see rusting parts, navigate piles of waste, and see a mess of metal everywhere. The truth is, a modern scrap yard is simply a specialized recycling facility, and visitors to Gardner Metals’ Austin scrap yard are often surprised by how bright, clean, and organized a scrap yard can be. If it’s been a while, or if you are new to metal recycling in Austin, here are 6 things about scrap yards you should know.

1. What Is A Scrap Yard?

A modern scrap yard is a recycling facility that buys and sells scrap metal. In fact, a modern scrap yard is more like a brokerage than a junkyard. Their staff members are professionals in the scrap metal market, understand the constant fluctuations in supply and demand that drive prices, and know how to add value during the metal recycling process.

2. How Do Scrap Yards Work?

Scrap yards buy scrap metal, usually from businesses in the construction, manufacturing, or utility industries. They then sell the scrap metal, hopefully at a slightly higher price, to recyclers or manufacturers who will reuse the scrap metal instead of using raw materials. 

Scrap yards also often add value to raw scrap metal by disassembling parts, sorting, and cleaning to make materials more efficient for the buyer to use. 

Scrap metal prices are very fluid and can change on a day-to-day basis. A larger scrap yard may have the space and resources to hold on to scrap metal for a while, waiting for a better price. Smaller scrap metal facilities may have to turn over metals more quickly, reducing their possible margins. 

3. Does Recycling Scrap Metal Make A Difference?

Yes! Recycling scrap metal is a win-win-win. 

  • Win: Recycling allows businesses like machine shops or contractors to make money off of their waste or demolition, increasing revenue for the company and reducing volume in landfills.
  • Win: Recycling scrap metal also has a huge benefit for the environment, reducing energy usage by up to 95%, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing our reliance on raw materials. 
  • Win: Recycling scrap metals promotes a circular economy that creates jobs, supporting small businesses in Austin. 

In other words, not only can you make money by recycling your Austin scrap metal: you can also promote a healthier environment and a stronger community. It makes a huge difference.  

4. Who Can Recycle Metal At A Scrap Yard?

Anyone can recycle metals at our Austin scrap yard. At Gardner Metals, we specialize in working with businesses and enterprises that generate scrap metal. We work with contractors, manufacturers, and utility service providers to remove and recycle scrap metal in compliance with local laws and regulations. 

5. Who Do Scrap Yards Sell To?

Where scrap metal goes after it’s been recycled at the scrap yard depends on the type of metal, the size of the scrap yard, and where the scrap yard is located. In Austin, most scrap metal is sent to a smelter to be melted down and formed into ingots after it is cleaned and sorted. Large scrap metal facilities may have their own smelters onsite, while smaller scrap yards may outsource the work to a local smelting company. The ingots are then sold to manufacturing companies that require raw materials.

When you recycle scrap metal in Austin, you create local jobs in scrap yards and smelting facilities, and your scrap metal is usually recycled into products that are made right here in Texas. This reduces our reliance on transporting raw materials from around the world, protecting the environment along the way. 

6. How Much Money Can You Make From Scrap Metal?

The value of scrap metal varies widely, depending on several key factors:

  • The type of metal. Naturally, different metals have different prices. An exotic alloy will be worth more than aluminum, for example. 
  • The condition of the metal. Scrap metal is usually priced by type and weight. Metals that are coated in dirt, oil, paint, and other materials that add weight without adding value can affect the price. 
  • The market price of the metal. Metals are commodities, which typically have a daily posted price and a market forecast. Constantly changing Market forces drive the prices of scrap metal, which can shift quickly and dramatically.

Although all these factors make it impossible to generalize how much money a specific business can make from their recycling program, at Gardner Metals, we are proud to offer fair and competitive prices for Austin scrap metal. Contact us for a quote.

7. What Is The Process For Recycling Metal At An Austin Scrap Yard?

Generally speaking, the scrap metal recycling process requires:

  • Gathering scrap metal. At most job sites, scrap metal and other recyclables are placed into dedicated containers. The more accurately scrap metal is sorted during this phase, the easier it is to recycle and get the most value.  
  • Transporting scrap metal. Scrap metal is then transported to a scrap yard or recycling facility. 
  • Evaluating and weighing scrap metal. Scrap metal is then evaluated for its type and condition and weighed to determine the price. 

Gardner Metals offers a number of services to help businesses simplify the metal recycling process, including container rental, scrap metal pickup, and even demolition and clearing

8. Where In Austin Can You Sell Scrap Metal?

You can sell scrap metal at Gardner Metal’s recycling facility in Austin. If you are looking for the closest place to sell scrap metal, contact us for a free consultation, to request a quote, or to schedule a pickup at your location.