How to Dispose of Scrap Metal

Written by j. lang wood
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How to Dispose of Scrap Metal
Scrap metal has value and can result in money in your pocket. (gleisschrauben image by Karsten Fischbach from

Whether you are a home hobbyist, home handyman or metal manufacturer, your store of scrap metal can build up until it becomes a nuisance and a hazard to store. These items can include items with sharp edges or metals that are contaminated with solvents or grease. Disposing of scrap metal properly is a concern of many communities that offer scrap-metal pickup as part of routine waste disposal rounds. This scrap metal can also be a source of extra money by selling to businesses that purchase scrap metal in your community.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • car or truck to transport metal
  • phonebook
  • phone
  • heavy gloves
  • heavy boots

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  1. 1

    Contact a local scrap-metal business to pick up the material. Most larger communities have businesses that deal with scrap-metal pickup. These can be located in your local phone book or online. They will come to your home and pay you a sum for the scrap metal, on a per-pound basis.

  2. 2

    Take the scrap metal to a scrap-metal yard in your area. Again, the phone book will help you to locate a scrap-metal yard or recycler near you. Some of these recyclers can weigh your car or truck when the metal is in it, then weigh the vehicle after the load of scrap has been removed, to give you an accurate weight of the metal and how much it is worth. The amount paid for scrap metal varies according to the type of metal.

  3. 3

    Advertise smaller pieces of metal in local papers, hardware stores, notice boards or on Craigslist. There are many metal sculptors, auto remodelers and other hobbyists that need odd pieces of metal for their projects. Advertise the type, length and size of the metal on one of these forums, and you may find that your scrap is a desirable commodity for others who work in metal.

  4. 4

    Contact your local waste-disposal company to pick up large pieces of metal, like household appliances. Most communities will pick up large metal appliances if you arrange in advance for the pickup. For smaller pieces, you may be required to bundle the metal or place it in containers for easy pickup.

Tips and warnings

  • Prices for metal fluctuate. You can check a number of scrap yards that give their current rates for various kinds of metals.
  • Metals like copper and brass will earn more than steel or aluminium.
  • You will earn less for your scrap metal if you have a scrap-metal business pick it up than if you take it to the scrap yard yourself.
  • Many metal recyclers will not accept or pay for metals that contain hazardous materials.
  • Wear heavy gloves and heavy boots when loading or unloading scrap metal to avoid injury.

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