You might think that once metal has been put inside a building or molded into a defined shape, that its fate is sealed. Across the country, hard working recyclers are making a profit by scouring waste streams in search of high-quality scrap metal. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to all the metal that shapes our daily lives once it has served its purpose, you need only ask a scrapper.

Exactly how much money is there in the scrap metal industry, and which metals are bringing in the most throughout the world?

Current Price of Popular Scrap Metals

Before you set out to scrounge up a fortune in scrap metal, you should know how much you can expect to get paid. That all depends on what you’re bringing in.

– Copper is by far the most expensive metal. High-grade copper, called Bare Bright, can get up to $2.85 a pound. Low-grade copper like the kind found in Christmas Lights is about a quarter a pound.

– Aluminum, like the kind in house siding, window frames, or aluminum cans can be worth up to 65 cents a pound.

– Brass for plumbing fixtures and piping can swell to up to $1.44 a pound.

You can also get money for the precious metals found in electric motors, alternators, and starters, but those tend to fetch about 10 to 20 cents a pound.

The prices of various scrap metals are always changing. And they’re not even static from one scrap yard to another. Based on a yards contracts or reputations, the amount they’ll pay for scrap can vary. Fortunately, there are several sites dedicated to keeping the general public informed of the current price of scrap metal.

Some Tips and Tricks for At-Home Scrappers

Are you thinking about getting into the scrap metal game? Have you memorized the scrap copper prices? Do you have a reliable truck with a big bed? Here are some tips for scrapping beginners:

– Learn how to spot metals by sight and equip yourself with a good magnet.

Sort your metal into its various components. This will help you get an idea of how much you can expect to earn.

– If you want some good scrap metal, talk to construction companies. They might need someone to cart off their excess.

Shop around for an honest scrap yard. Then, call them and find out how much they’re charging for individual metals.

There’s far more intricacy to this thriving field, but this is a great place to start.

The Profits Depend on Smart Decisions

From an owner’s perspective, the profit margins in a scrap yard can be thin if you’re not using the right scrap processing solutions. Success depends on the companies you choose to work with and the hard work you put in. To learn more about scrapping or the scrap processing equipment that General Kinematics offers for automating large-scale scrap operations, contact us today!

2 Responses to “Which Scrap Metal is Worth the Most?”

  1. Avatar
    Millie Hue

    It’s great to know that copper is the most expensive metal, but it will still be based on if it is a high-grade or a low-grade copper. I will share this information with my best friend since she has lots of them in their home which she plans to sen to a recycling company. She can get money out of it which she can use to pay for the needed repairs on her car. Thanks!

  2. Avatar
    Daphne Gilpin

    Thanks for explaining that we should do some research about how much we’ll get paid, since the prices for scrap metals are always changing. My husband and I recently learned about scrap metal recycling and want to try making money by selling some. I’m glad I read your article because now I feel more prepared to start selling scrap metal.

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