Sure, scrap metal recycling isn't exactly rocket science. However, this also doesn't mean that there isn't a process involved with recycling. From knowing what type of metal you are in possession of to knowing what you need to do with it, there is a lot of important information that can make the scrap metal recycling process smoother and easier.
Distinguishing Metal Types
It's helpful to know what type of metal you have as all recycling centers don't take all types of metal and for the centers that pay, they don't always pay the same amount for all metal types. One of the easiest ways to identify a piece of metal is to perform a magnet test. Place a small magnet on the metal. If the magnet doesn't stick, this means you have a non-ferrous metal.
Non-ferrous metals include bronze, aluminum, copper and stainless steel. In terms of value, non-ferrous metals have a higher value than ferrous metals. Unfortunately, if the magnet sticks to the metal, you are in possession of a ferrous metal like iron or steel. While you may not get any money for recycling ferrous metals, many recycling centers will still recycle them for you.
When it comes to assessing the value of scrap metal, think of the process somewhat like purchasing gasoline. The price can easily fluctuate, even within a single day. In order to avoid disappointment, it's generally best to contact the recycling center on the same day you plan to visit. This will offer the most accurate idea of what the current payout is for the type of metal you have.
In addition to current rate, the amount of metal you have is important. While you don't necessarily need to show up with a large truck load of metal, you do want to have a sizeable load to recycle. The current value of the metal is assessed based on a minimum weight. Depending on the center's policy if you don't meet the minimum weight, you might receive a partial payment or no payment at all. It's best to collect your metal until you have a decent sized load.
While there is no wrong or right way to recycle, there is definitely a way to go about this process in order to yield the greatest return for your effort. Always make sure you know what type of metal you have and that you've recently researched current values for the best results.