Preparing Scrap Metal for the Recycling Yard

So you’ve decided to take your scrap metal in for recycling. Congratulations—this is a great way to help out the planet while making some extra cash in the process. Gardner Metals has put together some scrap yard tips on how to prepare your metals so you can get more bang for your buck and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible!

Safety First

Any time you’re dealing with scrap metal, especially large quantities, there is bound to be some sort of hazard. Make sure you go into things with a good safety plan. When preparing larger items for recycling, it’s a good idea to enlist help so that you don’t injure yourself due to fall or muscle strain. And regardless of the size of your scrap, wearing proper clothing—especially a good set of gloves—will go a long way toward protecting you from sharp edges. 

Equip Yourself for Success

In addition to some sturdy gloves and protective layers, it’s a good idea to have proper tools on hand. A standard toolkit can help you with some of the required disassembly, but your best friend in the sorting process will be a magnet. 

A good magnet will stick only to ferrous items (items that contain iron, and are usually of lower value), which means it will help you quickly identify which metals are most valuable. If the magnet doesn’t stick, it’s likely copper or aluminum, so put it in the “high priority” pile!

Location, Location, Location

Sorting is probably the most important part of your prep work, because it helps you inventory what you have before you get to the scrap metal yard. Most recycling yards will either require you to separate your metals before coming to them or simply pay you by the weight of the least valuable metal in your container, so sorting right off the bat saves you work and increases your value. 

Know Your Worth

Before trading in your scrap, do some research so you can have an idea of how much value to expect from your scrap. While the value of scrap metal varies depending on a variety of factors, weighing out your metals in advance and looking up the most recent national scrap values will help you come up with an estimate on your own.  

Load It Up or Schedule a Pickup

Once your scrap is sorted and you have an estimate in mind, get it loaded up to take to the scrap yard. Use plenty of containers to make sure it stays organized in transit. If you’re dealing with large amounts of industrial salvage, you might need to rent equipment and take a couple trips, so be sure not to mix your metals! If you would rather enlist an Austin recycling center’s help to haul away your scrap metal, give us a call to schedule a convenient pickup.

Get Help from the Recycling Experts at Gardner Metals

Now that you have our top five scrap metal tips to get prepared, here’s a sixth tip for free! Once you have your scrap ready to go, Gardner Metals is happy to help you get to the finish line. To learn more about recycling scrap and get a price quote for your scrap metal recycling, contact us today.