Last updated Mar. 3, 2023 by Charles Zemub

Scrap metal is an under-utilized asset that can help you make extra cash. With the right tools and knowledge, you can start your journey toward building a profitable scrap business today. Here are eight ways to earn money from scrap metal:

Scrap metal

What is scrap metal? It’s a broad term encompassing anything made from metal that can be reused or recycled. This includes old cars, appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, tools, and machinery—even decorative items like ancient statues or fences can be considered scrap metal. The possibilities are endless!

How do I collect scrap metal? If you have any business or work in the construction industry where you might encounter large amounts of discarded metal objects around town (like old cars), it’s worth watching for them if they come your way.

Otherwise, if you don’t have one already built up through specific connections or professional contacts in the recycling field, it’s time to start making some!

Before proceeding, we must tell our readers that there are many laws specifically about this area of commerce. Please check with relevant governing bodies before acting on anything related hereon outwards.

Scrap bronze and copper

If you have any bronze or copper in your home, it can be sold for a pretty penny. Bronze is often used to make statues and other decorative items because of its beautiful color. Copper is commonly used in electrical wiring, cooking utensils, and roofing materials.

Bronze and copper are precious metals that can be sold to scrap yards for cash! You may not realize how much bronze or copper is lying around your house until you start looking for it—many people don’t realize how much they have until they start thinking about what to do with it.

Selling scrap metal involves more than just picking up a phone and making an appointment with a local scrap yard (although this option is available). If you want to get the most money out of your unwanted items, consider these tips:

Scrap electrical wires

A wire is a widespread item. It can be sold by weight, length, gauge, type, or brand. Wire also comes in many different colors and insulation types. The price of scrap wire will depend on its composition and condition. For example:

  • Copper – $3 per pound
  • Brass – $1 per pound
  • Aluminum – $0.50 per pound

Old Appliances

  • Copper, brass, and aluminum
  • Lead and other hazardous materials
  • Steel and iron
  • Plastic and other non-ferrous metals (these can be recycled for scrap metal)
  • Cast iron (this is usually sent through a shredder) * Stainless steel, which is not typically found in old appliances but can be found in jewelry (such as a watch strap), electronics equipment such as mobile phones, MP3 players, or laptops, cutlery and even building supplies like window frames.

Old car parts and rims

Old car parts and rims can earn you a nice chunk of change, especially if your city has a lot of auto shops or scrap metal yards.

  • Car parts:
  • Car batteries
  • Car engines (careful with these—they’re heavy and sometimes dangerous)
  • Fenders (the metal part by the wheel)
  • Tires (you might need to sell them in pairs)
  • Car rims:
  • Tail lights: These are usually sold as a pair. A good seller will have both in working order and can tell you if they’re cracked or not. You should also check that they aren’t bent up; this makes them harder to sell later on down the line!
  • Headlights: Headlights are another common type of scrap metal that sells well, but they can be tricky because they’re often expensive when bought new. If yours still functions correctly, it could pay very well for itself when it comes to the sale.

Old plumbing fixtures (faucets, showers, etc.)

Old plumbing fixtures (faucets, showers, etc.) can add up to decent profits. They’re made of metal and easy to recycle and sell at scrap yards. If you have a metal detector, search around in old houses or buildings being torn down—you might find some hidden treasures.

Now that you know what plumbing fixtures are and how much money they can be worth, it’s time to start your treasure hunt. Here’s everything else you need to know about collecting old plumbing fixtures:

  • What is a plumbing fixture? A plumbing fixture is any part of your water system that connects directly with the pipe itself; for example, faucets and showerheads are all part of this category. All these types need regular replacement throughout their lifetime due to wear-and-tear caused by heavy use over time (or if something breaks). That said…
  • What are some excellent sources for finding these items? Try searching through old houses before demolishing—they may contain hidden gems like these! You’ll also want to look around town if there weren’t any homes nearby that might’ve had most of their materials recycled already.”

Old tools

Old tools, like wrenches and other hand tools, are usually steel. Steel is a valuable metal that can be recycled into new steel products. Most scrap yards will pay you in cash or give you store credit for old tools.

Aluminum cans

Aluminum cans are the most valuable scrap metal, costing about $0.50-$1.00 per pound (valued at the same rate as copper and brass). According to the US EPA, aluminum is also the most recycled item in America.

That’s because recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of its energy and 50 percent of its raw material value compared to producing it from scratch—and that’s good news for your pocketbook.

Highest paying scrap metal near me

Now that you know where to find scrap yards, we can discuss how to find the best one for your needs. If you’re selling scrap metal, you must look for a firm that pays a fair price and has been in business for a while. You can often tell this by looking at their website—if they have one! Most recyclers will have an active social media presence and post pictures of what they’ve picked up recently or are currently buying.


Another valuable resource is Yelp; many people leave reviews on their favorite shops and provide valuable insight into what makes each place special (or not). An experienced recycler can tell if a customer is taking advantage of them, so don’t try anything funny—they’ll spot it instantly.

How do scrap yards make money?

Scrap yards make money by buying scrap metal. This might seem obvious, but it’s worth noting that scrap yards pay for scrap metal by weight, not by the pound or the ton or even the kilogram.

If you want to get paid more for your metal, you need to ensure it weighs more than whatever weight they’re currently paying for.

An excellent way to increase the weight of your metal is through sorting. If you are removing screws from an old piece of furniture before bringing it into a yard, remove all of them and put them into one pile so that when you weigh your items in the yard, they don’t get counted as additional ounces due to their small size.

That way, only larger pieces are being considered and added to your total sale cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make money from scrap?

You can make money from scrap metal by recycling it. If you have a pile of old, rusted car parts and other metal scraps that require recycling, there are several ways to turn them into cash.

Sell Your Scrap Copper for Cash

It’s easy to find buyers for copper wire, pipes, tubing, and other items made of this precious material. Whether you’re looking to sell your scrap copper as-is or melt down the materials at home before selling them on eBay or Craigslist is up to you—but either way, it will benefit your wallet!

Recycle Aluminum Beverage Cans Into Money

The metals inside aluminum beverage cans (aluminum itself) are also valuable and worth money when sold separately from their plastic coatings on either end (the “tin-plated steel shell”).

Will scrap prices go up in 2021?

The price of scrap metal has been downward since the late 2000s, and it’s expected to continue falling for the next few years. According to MetalMiner, global prices could drop by up to 10% in 2021 relative to their current levels (which are already low).

Scrap prices rose in 2018 due to increased demand from China, which had started buying lots of recycled materials as part of its “Green Fence Initiative.” However, this spike was short-lived.

We saw prices drop by about 20% throughout 2019 and are now below where they were before the Green Fence went into effect.

While some may look at these numbers and assume there’s no point in selling scrap metal anymore—why to bother if your earnings will be so low?—that view isn’t entirely accurate.

While making money off your junk isn’t always easy or guaranteed (and it certainly won’t happen overnight), there are ways you can make sure that whatever profit you do make is as high as possible by taking advantage of what’s out there right now:

How do you collect scraps?

Once you’ve found potential leads on companies locally in your area that buy or process scrap metal from homeowners like yourself – take note!

These businesses will often have different requirements for how much material needs to be delivered per load, so make sure whatever amount fits within those guidelines before filling up any vehicles with junked electronics.

What pays the most at a scrapyard?

Aluminum- The most common of the metals listed here, aluminum does not have as high a value per pound as copper, but it is much lighter. For this reason, it is ideal for larger projects.

Copper- With a higher value per pound than aluminum or steel, copper is another popular choice among scrap metal buyers because of its malleability and durability. It’s also environmentally friendly because it can be recycled repeatedly without losing integrity.

Steel- While steel has less value per pound than copper or aluminum, it’s still worth noting as one of the most common types of scrap metal found at your local scrap yard or recycling center.

Steel also boasts excellent durability when compared to other materials such as plastic and wood (both useful in construction projects), so if you’re looking for something strong enough to build with but doesn’t require much time or money upfront, then consider collecting some old pipes from plumbing jobs around town before heading over to your local recycling center tomorrow morning.

Brass/Bronze – These two metals are similar enough that we’ve grouped them here on our list; both have similar properties, like being malleable when heated up (which makes them great candidates for manufacturing new products out there).

However, unlike brass which contains zinc along with other metals like lead, which make they are unsuitable for use in many industries today (due to regulations).

Bronze consists only of carbon dioxide mixed with tin dioxide making these two materials quite different from each other despite having similar uses today thanks to past centuries when they were both commonly used.

How do I start my own scrap business?

Getting a truck and trailer is the first step to starting your scrap metal business. You can use this equipment to go out and collect scrap yourself or sell it directly to a scrap yard, processor, dealer, or another buyer.

The next step is to find a location. You can set up a shop in your backyard or rent space from another business. If you have capital, purchasing land and building a facility yourself is possible.

What is the most profitable material to recycle?

The most profitable scrap metal is aluminum, followed by copper. Copper is used in many electrical and electronic products, so it’s easy to see how that could be a hot commodity.

Metal recycling isn’t just for making new metals; it can also be used to make other products like jewelry, eyeglass frames, and clothing.

If you’re looking to get involved with the recycling industry, here are some things to consider:

  • The cost of shipping your items back home from where they were picked up (if applicable) will be deducted from your total earnings at the end of each month/year, depending on your chosen payment plan.
  • If there are any costs associated with retrieving your items after they’ve been sold off, such as storage fees or transportation expenses, then those costs will also be deducted from your earnings at the end of each month/year, depending on which payment plan you choose


These are all great items to collect to get some extra money.

There are many ways to collect scrap metal. Here are a few:

  • The first place to look is in your home and yard, where you may have old appliances, tools, or other items made of steel. These can be sold for money at a recycling center or junkyard.
  • If you don’t want to go out looking for scrap metal yourself, ask friends and neighbors if they have any pieces lying around that they don’t need anymore—they may be willing to part with some if you offer them cash in return!
  • If all else fails, consider checking out your local recycling center or junkyard; people often donate items because they no longer need them but don’t see any value in selling them online for very little money (or nothing at all).

At Scrap King, we’re committed to offering you the best scrap metal prices in town. We also want to ensure that your experience with us is positive.

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