How to Get the Best Scrap Metal Prices

Scrap metal recycling is an environmentally responsible way to bring in revenue. However, it can take some savvy to get the best scrap metal prices per pound. Whether you are a general contractor who wants to improve your scrap copper wire prices or a small fabrication business that needs to boost its cast aluminum scrap price, these suggestions will get you the best deal at the scrap yard.

Learn to Identify Common Scrap Metals

The ability to pick out the types of metals that are valued at your scrap yard will help you prioritize scrap materials for recycling. There may also be laws or regulations about the proper disposal of certain metals, which makes identification that much more important. Some key traits to learn include:

  • Magnetism. Knowing whether a metal is magnetic lets you flag your material as ferrous (iron-based) or non-ferrous. Magnetism can also help you determine your stainless steel scrap value, as prices vary by type.  
  • Color. Color is especially key for helping you to identify copper wire and grades. Because bare bright copper is valued higher than scrap brass per pound, it can save you time to distinguish between them. 
  • Common uses. If you know which metals are usually found in communication wires, electronics, plumbing and roofing materials, it will help you quickly determine where to collect scrap from demolition, construction or remodeling jobs for the scrap yard.

Prepare Your Scrap for Recycling

A big step toward getting the best price at the scrap metal recycling yard is separating your items. The more refined your categories are, the better your price will be. 

Most scrap yards will pay by weight, and they will give you a price that takes into account the least valuable metal in the pile. So if you want the scrap bronze price, for example, you should separate your bronze pieces from your other piping and tubing. Your local scrap yard may even make this easier for you by providing containers so you can organize your scrap as you go.

Depending on the types of scrap your project produces, there may be additional ways to improve the price. Cleaning or removing residue, oil, coating, insulation or corrosion improves the look of your items and may get your scrap a better grade price. Your scrap yard may be able to provide guidance on best practices for preparing different items to be weighed, such as whether it is worth your effort to strip copper wires for a better price.  

Estimate Your Scrap Value

Scrap markets change daily, with certain metals like copper fluctuating more than others. The scrap metal prices today may be significantly different next week. If you have an idea of your scrap metal prices per pound, it can help you decide when it is the right time to sell to the metal recycling yard.

You can calculate your scrap prices yourself, or you can reach out to your scrap yard to get an estimate for your potential scrap price. If you contact the scrap yard, be ready to provide information about the types of scrap metals you have and their weights to get an accurate idea of what your scrap is worth. 

Know When to Bring in the Professionals

Sometimes the best way to get the right price for your scrap is to let the experts handle your scrap collection and removal. Commercial scrap services may include an evaluation of your company’s scrap metal removal needs and provision of regular pickups for a reliable stream of scrap revenue. Having a scrap metal recycling program ensures that your metals are collected as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. It also helps businesses avoid common downfalls when scrap metal is not picked up regularly, like material degradation and employee theft of valuable scrap metal materials.

Want to learn more about how Gardner Metal Recycling can help you get the most value from your scrap? Contact us today for an estimate or more information about our commercial scrap pickup and removal services.