4 Beginner Guidelines for Handling Scrap Metal for Recycling

If you are interested in collecting and selling scrap metal for profit, you should understand the best practices for this type of operation. In general, if you handle your waste metal with appropriate care, you will increase its market value. Consequently, more businesses and dealers will be willing to purchase. On the other hand, poor management of your scrap will translate into poor earnings. Here are essential tips for getting the most out of your scrap metal deals.

Understand the Market

You should conduct thorough research on the local scrap metal recycling industry. If you are not knowledgeable on the market, you could end up losing profits. Ideally, you should know the general price of different types of metals. This information will help you avoid falling for unscrupulous deals. You should also learn about restrictions. For instance, there are rules which might be set in place by some traders on contaminated metals.

Know Your Metals

You should learn how to separate your materials before selling. Different types of scrap metal have varying value and prices. If your materials are mixed in a single bin, the unit price will probably be set according to the lowest quality metal. This is often the case because low-quality metals are common. You should begin by separating ferrous and nonferrous metals. Then, you can classify the more valuable non-ferrous metals by checking their characteristics.

Eliminate Contaminants

Where possible, you should clean the scrap metal before selling. Contaminants such as oil, paint and dirt can lower the selling price of the material. Simply speaking, the value of the metal will be the same whether the materials are clean or dirty. However, if you provide dirty materials, the recycler will need to perform treatment to eliminate the contaminants. Consequently, their purchase price will be lowered to avoid making losses. You should compare the effort of cleaning your metal and the potential losses before deciding on your course of action.  

Think about Storage

You should keep your materials safe and in good condition after collection. Poor storage of the materials can cause more losses than you might expect. If you have highly valuable scrap such as tungsten, you should consider placing it in a locked chest or container. This practice is particularly critical in a commercial building where unknown people are likely to gain access. It is also important to keep your other metals in a shielded place. For instance, metals with iron content will rust in wet environments, so they should be stored in a covered container.