Getting The Most From Your Next Trip To The Recycling Center

There are many reasons to take household scrap metal to a recycling center. Whether you’re doing your part for the environment, or you’re just looking to put a few extra dollars in your pocket between paydays, there are easy ways to maximize the return on your efforts. The most common scrap metals turned into recycling centers are copper and aluminum, both of which require different approaches.

Getting Your Aluminum Ready

For the average family, the most easily obtained scrap metal is aluminum, making it the focus for many people. It takes quite a lot to make it worth your time though, so it’s best to make the most out of each trip by packing as much aluminum into your vehicle as possible. When it comes to cans, make sure you’ve compacted them as tightly as possible, not only to pack as much into a container as possible, but many scrap buyers pay slightly higher prices when part of the work is done for them.

For scrap aluminum from sources other than soda cans, such as radiators and condensers, make sure you’ve cleaned them as best you can. Remove anything that isn’t aluminum, and thoroughly rinse the outside. This will give a more accurate weight, and reduce the amount that a scrap buyer will have to do in order to recycle it, which may also increase the price per pound you see in return.

Preparing Your Copper for Sale

Copper is found in a variety of different grades, depending on its intended purpose and age, so it’s important to sort it into these grades before taking it in for sale. The easiest method is simply to separate copper into wiring and piping, though even among these categories it’s possible to refine further. Thick wire, bright tubing, plating and the like are all potentially different grades of copper, and thus carry a different value.

As with aluminum, it’s important to remove any coating, soldering, insulation or shielding in order to get the most accurate weight, and thereby the best price. Copper is valued at a higher price per pound than aluminum, but it still pays to hang onto it until you have a substantial amount. This will ensure that you don’t make a trip out to a scrap buyer for just a few dollars, allowing you the chance to walk away with a considerable sum.

Selling scrap metal is an easy way to bring additional money into your home, but it can also help offset expenses from other areas too. Home renovations, updating HVAC systems, running new electrical lines, or replacing old air conditioning units can all be good sources of scrap metal. Just remember that you stand to make the most money when you’re recycling clean metal in large amounts.

Author: Frieda Jones

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