How To Prepare To Bring Metal Into A Scrap Yard

Posted on: 17 May 2017

If you're about to go sell some scrap metal for the first time, take a moment and prepare everything. If you just bring in a jumble of metal, not only will it take a long time to get your money, but you'll establish a not-so-good reputation for yourself at the yard. If you make an effort to at least try to prepare the metal, though, the staff there will be a lot more understanding of any newbie mistakes you might have made. Preparation can take some time, so start now.

Separate Metals and Other Materials

Do not bring in a mess of mixed metals. Separate out all different types of metal; if you have a lot of stainless steel, which comes in different grades, contact the yard to find out how or if they want all of that stainless steel organized -- they might do it for you. If any of the metals are connected to other materials, like an aluminum window frame that still has glass in it, carefully remove the other materials.

Secure Loose Metals out of Sight

As you free up and organize your metal, lock it away. Scrap metal sales are a major business for some, and loose scrap metal is at risk of theft. This is especially true for copper -- never leave copper sitting out unsecured. If you can, secure metals you haven't yet sorted if you have to stop for a while.

Strip Away Labels and Insulation

Remove paper labels and stickers, and strip away insulation from wires. Be careful doing this (get safety goggles and gloves), but do take care of it. You'll get a higher price for bare metals.

Verify Prices That Day

Call the yard the morning you plan to bring in the metal. Prices change daily, and you don't want to haul in lots of metal if there has been a drastic price drop overnight. Write down the amounts so that when you're at the yard, you can confirm what you were told when it's time to have your metals evaluated.

Scrap yards have had to deal with more new sellers starting up in the past several years, so they are used to answering questions about the basic process and about the yard's requirements. Call a recycling center like American Northwest Recycling and let them know what you think you have and see if there are metals they are not currently taking, too. The more you know now, the easier it will be to make your first sale.