How does a scrap metal business work?

Written by dale devries
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How does a scrap metal business work?
(Hazel Bregazzi)

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Starting Out

Many people have found that scrapping is a quite a lucrative business. They don their gloves, jump in their pickup trucks and scour the neighbourhoods for discarded metal. That metal can come in many forms, such as old washing machines, air conditioner compressors or even aluminium siding. Each type of metal is worth a given amount at the local recycling centre; some metals worth much more than others. In more populated areas, a good day can produce upwards of £97 to £130.

Professional Scrapers

Some savvy scrappers develop accounts with car dealerships, HVAC dealers and plumbers. They agree to haul away their scrap on a regular basis. Some of the businesses charge for the metal while others are just glad to have their scrap removed. The scrapper either takes the metal to a recycling yard where he is paid a certain amount per pound, or he finds buyers for the various types of metal. Some of these buyers melt down the metal and make something out of it. This is the beginning of a true scrap metal business. These entrepreneurs keep records of their expenses and income and sometimes even need to hire help. Depending on the location, this can be a very busy business.

Scrap Yards

A scrap yard is usually acres of land dedicated to the collection and resale of metal. These yards can be small businesses where the scrap is sold to small recyclers, or they can be very large businesses where the equipment to sort the metals costs tens of thousands of dollars. A scrap business also can branch out into plastics and other recyclable materials. Some of the largest scrap metal yards around work with cars. They sell off parts and tires, and then crush the cars for metal recycling. This type of business isn't affected too much by the economy, either. Things break or become obsolete in every economic climate.

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