In a staggering economy that has all but completely crumbled it is nice to know that you can still get cash for trash. Now I am not talking about egg shells, coffee grounds or the undesirable used Kleenex type of trash, I am referring to the bulkier scrap metal type of trash that accumulates in and around your home, rusts and congests landfills at an alarming rate if not recycled properly at a center that will happily pay you cash for it.
Sorting Scrap from Crap
It is helpful to know before hand what metals are recyclable and prepare those items for top dollar. Preparing the metal simply means removing screws, rubber linings, and other objects that are not metal or not of the same type of metal as the junk or trash that you are recycling. This can include anything from damaged, used aluminum windows and storm doors to the glass and plastic shelves found in refrigerators. Simply put, you get more money for clean copper, brass, aluminum; tin and steel versus scrap metal that needs to be stripped down so that it is all only one type of metal.
Let’s face it, we are a nation of junk collectors and the stuff accumulates worse then a family of bunny rabbits. Your attic, cellar, cupboards, spare room and garage are all probably cash havens if you’ll just take the time to look around and sort it out. That old bucket of rusty nuts & bolts in the corner of your work shop can be recycled as can old hot water heaters, pipes, faucets, bicycles, aluminum cans, lawnmowers, air conditioners, empty metal canned food containers, metal filing cabinets, bed frames, etc.
Recycle Instead of Repairing Old Appliances
When appliances are in need of costly repairs it isn’t always a savings to fix them. In fact old appliances are not very cost effective. Instead you can make a profit from salvaging old stoves, washing machines and anything in the house that is made of metal, using the money towards a new appliance or gadget instead. Web sites such as http://www.recycleinme.com allow consumers to sell scrap metal and other trash online.
Grilling outdoors has become a popular trend since it was first aired on television as the best way to keep cool in the kitchen, and in the last decade propane-fueled gas grills have been sold at a record pace for outdoor home cooking because of this. Unfortunately this leaves the problem of empty propane tanks that are left in trash bins at alarming numbers. It is best to reuse these tanks, and many recycling plants will not accept unprepared propane tanks without first clearing them of dangerous pressurized gases.
Recycling Propane, Helium, and Scuba Tanks
Propane dealers are usually equipped to handle many types of propane tanks or you can place them in an open field for target practice to ensure that they are completely empty. Old internally rusted scuba tanks are definitely ready for the scrap pile. It’s important that they are empty and the valves removed so that it’s obvious the cylinders pose no danger.
To dispose of portable helium balloon tanks, empty the tank, remove the valve from the container, and place it with your metal recycling. Check instructions for removing the valve. Call ahead to ensure that the dealers you find are willing to accept your tank; there may be a small fee associated.
Iron, copper, tin, and steel is the most abundant of the recycled metals in the world, mostly because they are used for many types of construction and other building projects. Recycling aluminum is also a money-maker, especially since a new wave of savings minded consumers are now replacing their old aluminum siding with the more inexpensive vinyl siding and cashing in on their old recyclable aluminum.
Dumpster Diving for Scrap Metals
Many old appliances and other metal recyclable furniture and gadgets come directly from other people’s trash. I am not saying that you should garbage dig, but if it is out on the curb it is free and clear for you to take. You could also post ads around your city on bulletin boards offering to haul away scrap metal, junk and appliances for free. Word of mouth will eventually leak out and soon enough people will call you to come and get old appliances and other junk.
Scrap Metal Dealers & Businesses
Large reputable scrap dealers and recycling plants normally will purchase all forms of prepared and unprepared metal from manufacturers, small scrap dealers, demolition contractors, and people looking to clean out their old metal junk. The scrap is then sorted and prepared for sale to mills, furnaces and foundries. The amount of cash you make boils down to the size of your scrap load and the value of the metal at the time that you sell your scrap metal.
The prices on scrap metal vary widely from state to state and it fluctuates with the booming or crumbling economy. When you have a load of scrap metal ready for recycling, call your local area recycler, scrap or junk dealer and check on what their pricing is for the metals that you have to sell. The prices will normally change on a week to week basis from a few cents to a few dollars depending on the economy. With the rising cost of many scrap metals, this can be a lucrative business to someone looking for this type of hobby.
Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Scrap Metals
Scrap metal includes ferrous metals like iron, tin, motors, automobiles, & magnetic steel. Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, brass, and copper, die cast, lead, non-magnetic stainless steel, and heater cores. The best way to tell if a metal is ferrous is by sticking a magnet to it.
The United States Working Together
All 50 states contribute in major ways when it comes to recycling appliances, some working more aggressively than others to avoid land-filling these recyclable items by banning them from being put into landfills. The purpose of these bans is to extend the life of the nation’s landfills and to encourage private industry and the public sector to implement recycling of these goods.
According to Business-Week, virtually all steel products made by major metal manufacturers come from scrap metal. In fact the great reappraisal of trash has even prompted a Wall Street analyst to cordon off recycling in a separate investment category
Recycling has many positive reasons that all of us shouldn’t even begin to think twice about doing it. In 2008 alone, the scrap recycling industry generated $86 billion and supported 85,000 jobs. From steel mills and foundries to welders, burners, molders, sheet metal workers, factory, and dismantlers to name a few.
Facts about Recycling Scrap Metals
Trash and scrap metal collectors not only will make money from their hoard, but they can feel a sense of doing something good for the environment as well. Just one ton of recycled aluminum alone saves an average of $700 in electricity and recycled aluminum burns up 95% less energy.
Throwing away an aluminum soda can wastes as much energy as pouring out a can half-filled with gasoline.
Recycle catalytic converters for the silvery bronze colored platinum honeycomb found deep inside the structure. The catalytic converter can be recycled at a scrap metal yard or mechanic shop to help with recouping some of the cost of a new one.
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.
A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution and mining wastes by about 70%.
Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
Every day Americans use enough steel and tin cans to make a steel pipe running from Los Angeles to New York and back. If we only recycle one-tenth of the cans we now throw away, we’d save about 3.2 billion of them every year.