Selling Scrap Metal
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The best kind of decluttering is the kind that you get paid for. My husband just took a truckload of scrap metal over to a recycling center (mostly stuff that was pulled out of the house during recent renovations), and he came back with $62.75. Not too shabby!
Here’s how that broke down:
- 29 lbs of aluminum siding at $.50/lb = $14.50
- 32 lbs of aluminum cans at $.50/lb = $16
- 5 lbs of copper tubing at $2.40/lb = $12
- 3 lbs of electric wiring at $1/lb = $3
- (1) 13-lb alternator at $.15/lb = $1.95
- 153 lbs of steel at $.10/lb = $15.30
How to Sell Scrap Metal
If you’ve never sold scrap metal before, here’s what you need to know:
- Prices vary from scrapyard to scrapyard, so call a few to compare prices before you go
- Some of the materials they’ll take may surprise you. Ask what they’re buying while you have them on the phone. One center here, for example, pays $.40/gallon for used motor oil. Who would have guessed?
- Copper commands a real premium these days, and that’s led to a lot of copper thefts. To combat this, scrapyards are required to hold checks from copper sales for a certain number of days. Our local center will mail you the check when it’s been released, so it’s no biggie
- To sell metal, you’ll have to provide a valid picture I.D., and you may be required to provide a fingerprint, too. Don’t be surprised, if they also write a description of your vehicle and your license plate number on the sales receipt. This helps police to prosecute scrap metal thieves, so it’s a good thing
Erin, this is an awesome post! Thanks for sharing. I have always wondered how much I could make by quitting my job and joining the scrap metal labor force 😉
I’m curious- do you strip the electrical wire first, or do they take it as is?
They take it as is. The scrappers in our area will cut the cord off of anything electronic that you leave in a curb pile.