Recycling is a great way to help the environment – it keeps a lot of waste out of landfills and puts less pressure on the earth’s already limited resources. While separating garbage into recyclables and non-recyclables is second nature to most of us, many people tend to chuck their metal into the garbage that goes to landfill. However, metals are among the most easily recyclable materials. As an added bonus, making sure metal waste gets to a scrapyard can be great for your wallet too. 

Depending on the type, quality, and quantity of the metal, you can earn a decent amount of money by selling it to scrap yards, recycling centers, or metal dealers. Read on for our quick guide to turning scrap metals into cold hard cash.

Types of Metal

Most metals can be recycled. However, not all of them are created equal when it comes to padding that wallet. The type of metal you have will determine how much you can earn from recycling it – the more valuable the metal is, the higher the price you can get. Precious metals like gold, platinum, and palladium fetch high prices as scrap – although it is unlikely that you will come across them in large quantities. More commonly recycled metals include iron, steel, as aluminum, copper, brass, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc. Each metal has different properties, uses, and prices in the market. Some metals are scarcer and in high demand, while others are more abundant and in low demand.

For example, copper is found in several different items like electrical wiring or plumbing and fetches great prices on the market while aluminium which is even more abundantly found, fetches lower prices.

Apart from the metal itself, its quality affects how much it fetches when you hand it in to a scrapyard. Metal quality is judged by considering various factors like purity, cleanliness, color, shape, and size. The better the quality of your metal, the more money you are likely to get for it. For example, clean and shiny copper wires will get you a better price than old, dirty ones. Larger pieces of metal can also fetch you better prices than smaller ones.

Quantity of Metal

Apart from the type of metal you have and its quality, the money you make by selling scrap metal is dependent on its weight. Simply put, the more metal you have, the more money you’ll make. Depending on your access to scrap metals, you may find that you may have to wait a bit to collect enough scrap metal to make your trip to the scrapyard worthwhile.

How to Sell Scrap Metal Effectively

Since the quantity of metal you have matters, collect as much metal as you (legally!) can from various sources. You’ll find metal household items, appliances, vehicles, construction sites, industrial waste, and more. You can also look for places that offer free or cheap metal, such as garage sales, thrift stores, junkyards, or online platforms. You can also join forces with other metal collectors and form a network or a cooperative to pool your resources and share the profits.

Once you have collected metal for scrap, you need to sort, clean, and strip the various items you have. Sort your metals to the best of your capabilities. Use a magnet to sort them into ferrous (iron-containing) and non-ferrous piles and then move on to separate your copper from brass or aluminum from steel. Strip the metal of any insulation or remove as many non-metallic parts from the item as much as possible. Remove any dirt, grease, paint, or other contaminants from the metal surface. 

These steps can help you increase the value of your metal and fetch better prices at your scrapyard.

Scrap Metal Prices (November 2023)

Scrap metal prices vary day-by-day according to the supply and demand in the market. The table below shares some metal prices per kilogram from the 27th of November 2023 to give you a general idea of that they look like. 

Metal Price per Kg
Aluminum $1.38
Brass $2.55
Bronze $1.26
Copper $4.7
Iron $1.94
Lead $3.33
Steel $1.8

Although recycling your scrap metal won’t replace your regular job, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash. The scrap metal experts at Allied Salvage & Metals are here to help you make metal recycling easy. Get in touch with us if you have any queries or require scrap metal pick up services throughout the Lower Mainland area.