Brass Recycling in Austin
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Brass is a type of mixed-metal alloy made up of copper and zinc. The different combinations of these elements can affect the grade of brass, color and other resiliency properties. As a rust-resistant metal, brass items make ideal candidates for scrap metal recycling. It’s also noteworthy that non-ferrous metals like brass fetch a higher trade value compared to ferrous metal counterparts like steel or iron. In this guide, we’ll look at how to recycle brass– from brass shavings to new brass cuts, brass borings, brass radiators, and more.
Responsible Brass Metal Recycling in Austin
Because Gardner Metal Recycling in Austin wants to help our clients dispose of metals responsibly, we offer competitive brass scrap metal prices to make it worth your while. We even offer commercial services like dumpster rental and pickup so you won’t even have to leave your project site in order to make metal recycling part of your scrap metal solution.
What Is Brass and Why Recycle It?
Brass, made from copper and zinc, is a powerhouse in the world of metals. It's tough, durable and has a range of uses that many might not even realize. In Austin, where quality and durability are paramount, brass plays a significant role in various industries.
Recycling brass isn't just an environmental nod — it's a smart business move. When we recycle, we're not just keeping metals out of landfills, we're also reducing the need to extract new raw materials. This means less energy consumption and less environmental disruption. Plus, with the rising costs of metals, recycling brass can be a cost-effective option.
Moreover, brass recycling offers a quicker turnaround compared to producing brass from raw materials. The energy saved from recycling just a single pound of brass can run a household light bulb for over a month. That's not just a fun fact — it's a testament to the efficiency of recycling. By giving brass a second chance, we're also conserving our natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing the harmful environmental impacts associated with mining.
Additionally, recycling brass helps in reducing the strain on our landfills. With the rapid urbanization in Austin and the subsequent increase in waste, our landfills are filling up faster than ever. By recycling brass, we're not only reclaiming a valuable resource but also ensuring that our landfills don't get overwhelmed. This proactive approach not only helps in managing waste effectively but also paves the way for a cleaner, greener Austin for future generations.
In Austin, where there's a strong push towards sustainable practices, recycling brass makes sense. It supports the local economy, reduces waste and ensures that this valuable metal gets a second life in another product. For those in the construction and industrial sectors, it's a win-win — good for your bottom line and good for the planet.
Where Is Brass Scrap Found?
Brass is used for a variety of industrial purposes, ranging from decorative to mechanical. Although the recycling process for alloys is a bit more involved than for pure metals like aluminum or copper, the high value of brass scrap—in part because of its relative scarcity—makes it worth partnering with a metal scrap yard near you.
Brass is often found in products like doorknobs, home finishes, bed frames, musical instruments and light fixtures. However, the durability of brass also makes it useful for pipe fittings and valves, ammunition shells and automotive radiators. Common industries with brass to recycle include remodeling professionals and general contractors, demolition crews, automotive repair shops, machining and manufacturing, plumbing and electrical.
While all brass is worth recycling, not all brass is equal. Its value is dependent upon its combined ratio of copper to zinc. Copper is one of the more valuable metals, so the higher the percentage of copper contained in your brass scrap, the more valuable it is. Some brass is also contaminated with other metals.
What Is Red Brass, Yellow Brass and Dirty Brass?
While there are over 60 types of brass, there are three important distinctions you should think about when considering the value of most brass scrap metal.
Red brass has a high copper content, making it more valuable than other brass types. Red brass scrap metal generally contains about 85 percent copper and 15 percent zinc, and it will contain very little in the way of trace tin and lead. Its reddish color comes from its high copper content. Red brass recycling scraps are less common than other forms of other available scrap brass but can be found in mechanical parts like sprinkler valves and pump components.
Less valuable yellow brass is far more common and is found everywhere from bed frame hardware to light fixtures to plumbing parts. The automobile industry is a major user of yellow brass, fabricating everything from radiators to car keys from it.
While the value of red brass and yellow brass is different, both are still considered unadulterated alloys—unlike dirty brass. Dirty brass contains contaminants, which may include paint, glass, other metals or oil. One example of dirty brass common in Texas scrap metal recycling is spent ammunition casings that have primers made of steel, which is a ferrous metal. Gardner has the facilities to responsibly recycle these kinds of brass shells.
What Can I Get Out of Recycling Brass Shavings?
Brass shavings recycling can oftentimes be an overlooked secret source of cash. Industrial metal grinding, drilling, filing and boring all produce scrap metal shavings, chips, turnings, filings and swarf and more. Recycling brass shavings scrap metal can be leveraged by turning them over to an industrial metal recycling center in exchange for cash. This can serve as a convenient supplemental source of revenue that can offset some of your manufacturing overhead costs.
You’ll need to devise a way to collect your scrap by-products. Some industrial inventions, like metal chip vacuums, can make the process easier. Coolants or lubricants can be used to create a temporary web that encases the scrap metal filings. The scrap metal shavings can later be extracted using a metal briquetting system and compacted into briquettes to be conveniently transported to the scrap metal recycling facility. A little can add up to a lot– one case study conducted by US Ecology found a manufacturing client was able to generate a six-figure return by recycling grindings using a metal briquetter.
How Brass Scrap is Recycled
Recycling brass scrap is a straightforward process, but it's crucial to get it right. From the job site to the recycling facility, every step ensures that what was once discarded gets a new lease on life, ready for its next role in the construction and industrial world. For those in the construction and industrial sectors, understanding the recycling process of brass scrap is essential. The process is intricate, ensuring that every piece of brass is utilized efficiently. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to know when collecting your own brass metal scrap to recycle:
Handling brass, especially in large quantities, requires attention to safety. Always wear gloves to protect your hands from potential cuts or scrapes from sharp brass edges. If tools are used to clean or remove non-brass attachments, ensure they are used correctly to avoid any accidents. Safety goggles can also be beneficial if there's a risk of flying debris or particles.
Gathering Brass Scrap
Brass scrap can be found in various places on a job site. It's essential to have a systematic approach to collecting it. Start by designating specific areas or bins for brass scrap. This helps in ensuring that brass doesn't get mixed with other metals.
Sorting the Brass
Once you have a substantial amount of brass scrap, the next step is to sort it. Different types of brass have different values, so it's beneficial to separate them. Yellow brass from plumbing fixtures and red brass from valves and fittings are examples. Using a magnet can help in this process; brass is non-magnetic, so if the scrap is attracted to the magnet, it's not pure brass.
***Warning: Dirty Brass***
"Dirty brass" refers to brass that contains foreign contaminants such as paint, oil, and other metals. This type of brass is considered of lower value compared to "clean brass" because of these impurities. When recycling, it's crucial to differentiate between the two, as dirty brass may require additional processing to remove contaminants, which can impact its price at scrap yards.
Storing the Sorted Brass
After sorting the brass, it's essential to store it correctly. Separate containers or bins for different types of brass will prevent them from mixing again. Ensure these containers are labeled clearly and are kept in a dry place to avoid any corrosion or tarnish on the brass. Proper storage not only preserves the quality of the brass but also streamlines the process when it's time to transport it to the scrap yard.
Preparing Brass for the Scrap Yard
Before taking the brass to the scrap yard, it's essential to clean it. Remove any non-brass attachments or contaminants like screws, bolts, or plastic parts. This ensures that the brass is pure and can fetch a higher price.
What to Expect at the Scrap Yard
When you arrive at the scrap yard, the brass will be weighed, and you'll be paid based on the current market price for brass. It's a good idea to call ahead and check the current rates. Some scrap yards also require identification or documentation, so it's best to be prepared.
The journey of brass scrap from a job site to its reincarnation as a new product is a testament to the power of recycling and the circular economy. Each piece of discarded brass undergoes a meticulous process of gathering, sorting, and preparation before reaching the scrap yard. There, it's weighed, valued, and then sent off to be shredded, melted, remolded, and eventually resold. This cycle not only gives brass a renewed purpose but also significantly reduces the need for virgin materials, conserving resources and energy.
For construction and industrial professionals, playing an active role in this process is not just about understanding the steps but also about recognizing the broader impact on the environment and the economy. By ensuring that every piece of brass is efficiently recycled, we contribute to a sustainable future where resources are valued and nothing goes to waste.
How Do I Get the Best Brass Scrap Price?
Your brass scrap value will depend on a variety of factors, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you get the best brass recycling prices. Because brass is often a part of pieces composed of multiple materials, it’s important that you separate your brass scrap from other metals, plastic, wood and rubber.
If you have an abundance of brass recycling, you can schedule a scrap pickup from Gardner Metal Recycling and save your company the hauling costs. Another way to maximize your recycling haul is to make different collections for your red and yellow brass so that you can make sure to have all your valuable red brass accounted for at the scrap yard. Finally, before you go to the recycling center, check on prices; the brass scrap price today may not be the same as tomorrow. Gardner Metal Recycling: Your Brass Scrap Metal Recyclers
We take almost all forms of brass to make it easy to recycle with us at Gardner Metal Recycling. Common types of brass scrap include:
- Door handles and locks
- Pipes and fittings
- Brass cuttings and shavings
- Vehicle radiators
- Brass shells
Contact us for a competitive price quote on your brass scrap or to schedule a consultation for sorting, preparing and transporting your scrap metals using one of our scrap container rentals. Find out how Gardner Metal Recycling can benefit your company’s bottom line by upcycling your trash into treasure.