Find a scrap yard in your area using our ‘scrap yard near me’ locator so you can make extra cash selling various types of scrap metal. However, it is important to note that not all scrap yards and scrap metals are created equal. Keep reading to get the details on which scrap metals will net you the most money, and what to expect when you get to the scrapyard to drop off the scrap metal.
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Gathering scrap metal can be hard work, but if you do your homework before loading up the truck and heading to the closest scrap yard, it can be a great way to make extra cash.
First, use our scrap yard near me locator, second, learn about the different types of metal that are worth the most money, and last, get busy gathering up the top-value scrap metal laying around so you can drop it off at your nearest scrap yard.
Highest Paying Scrap Yard Near Me
Enter your zip code below to find local scrap yards [a Google Map will open or enable pop-ups if the map doesn’t open]:
PRO MONEY TIP
Get Updated Scrap Metal Prices
Scrap yard prices can change as the national average price of scrap metal changes. Get current scrap metal prices by downloading one of the apps: iScrap App, Mervis Scrap App, or ScrapMonster App.
The following chart shares the national average of scrap metal prices [updated in April 2022]:
National Average Scrap Metal Prices for Common Items 
#1 Copper Tubing
#2 Copper Tubing
Insulated Copper Wire
Stainless Steel Sinks
National Average Scrap Metal Prices for Common Items 
What is scrap metal?
If you’ve ever taken a trip to the recycling center, you’ve probably seen people sorting through piles of metal objects.
They are going through scrap metal, which is any metal that is no longer being used and is destined for recycling or disposal. Even though scrap metal may not be suitable for its original purpose, it can often be recycled and reused.
This is what a scrap metal yard is used for.
Scrap metal can come in the form of unused sheets, offcuts, shavings, or scraps of metal left over from a project.
Other common sources of scrap metal include
- old cars
- construction debris
- discarded electronics
While most scrap metal is relatively easy to identify, there are certain types of metal that can be more difficult to classify.
For example, alloy steel is a type of steel that contains small amounts of other metals, making it difficult to determine its value.
As a result, scrap metal dealers often use specialized tools and testing methods to identify the metal type and grade before purchasing.
This is the reason you want to understand the type of metal you are taking to the scrap yard when you decide to sell scrap metal for extra money.
Important: Different scrap metal items are valued differently.
Types of Scrap Metal
The two most common types of scrap metal are ferrous metal and non-ferrous metal.
The difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals: ferrous metals contain iron, and non-ferrous metals do not.
In terms of making the most money on scrap metal, non-ferrous scrap metal has the highest value over ferrous scrap metal.
Examples of commonly recycled non-ferrous metals that are valued the most include aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, titanium, tin, zinc, brass, and bronze.
Less common but highly valuable non-ferrous precious metals include gold, silver, and platinum.
Best things to scrap for money
Copper, aluminum, and brass are the best scrap metals to take to a scrap yard.
Electronics can also be taken to some scrap yards, but they are not as valuable as these three metals.
Aluminum and brass are less valuable than copper but can still fetch a decent price at even smaller scrap yards.
With this in mind, keep a lookout for these items when you are cleaning up the yard or working on a home renovation:
- Copper pipe and copper tubing are in high demand so scrap yards pay the best price for this valuable scrap metal. It is highly conductive, easy to transport, and can be recycled into numerous items.
- Examples of household items that have copper include refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, dishwashers, toasters, coffee makers, washing machines, dryers, TVs, computer monitors, computer towers, hot water heater storage tanks, air conditioners, plumbing fittings and pipes, and even the wiring in Christmas lights.
- Aluminum cans are the most common item brought to scrapyards even though they are not the most profitable. However, every penny adds up and aluminum cans are easy to crush and store in a corner of your garage until you have enough to make a trip to a scrap yard near you and drop them off.
- Aluminum can also be found in bike frames, ladders, mailboxes, staples, nails, golf clubs, sinks, faucets, screen doors and window frames, patio furniture, pots, pans, gates, fencing, metal siding, car parts, and car rims, and don’t forget the obvious, aluminum foil
- Brass is highly sought after at scrap yards because there is less of it
- Examples of items that can be taken to scrap yards for brass metal scrap include plumbing fixtures, bolts, pins, locks, lamps and other light fixtures, furniture, handrails, decorative cabinet knobs, doorknobs and hinges, ammunition casings, bed frames, and radiators
- E-scrap is a term used to describe electronic waste or the waste generated by discarded electronic devices
- Examples of electronic waste you can scrap for money include computer towers, cell phones, power cords, DVD players, and TVs. While the value of these items has decreased in recent years, they can still be worth scrapping if you have a lot of them
- Because these types of items can be harmful to the environment many scrapyards do not accept them
Examples of Scrap Metal Items
WHERE TO FIND
plumbing pipes, heating systems
door knobs & hinges, cabinet knobs, ammunition casing
foils, cans, kitchen utensils, vehicles
knives, turbine blades, cookware
cookware, water pipes, machine tools
fencing, railing, chains
Examples of Scrap Metal Items
Tips to Get More Cash for Your Scrap Metal
Scrap metal can be a great way to earn extra cash, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
Before setting foot in a scrap yard, it’s important to know the basics of how to sell the scrap metal to your local scrap yards.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck selling scrap metal, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Take the time to sort your scrap metal by type and composition since not all scrap metals are created equal.
- Ferrous metals, like iron and steel, are worth less than non-ferrous metals, like copper and aluminum. By separating your metals in advance, you’ll be able to get a better price for each one.
- Get the current scrap metal prices at your local scrap yard.
- Metal prices can vary widely from one location to another, so it’s important to know what kind of prices you can expect. Using the apps previously mentioned or doing a quick online search will let you know what local scrap dealers are paying for each type of metal.
- Take your scrap metal to a reputable scrapyard and get an official quote.
- Be sure to ask about any fees associated with selling scrap metals, as these can vary between scrap yards.
- Accept the quote (or negotiate for a better price) and get paid.
QUICK WIN TIP
Get Ready to Haggle
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many scrap dealers are willing to haggle over prices, so if you don’t feel like you’re getting a fair price, don’t be afraid to walk away or try another dealer. With a little effort, you can ensure that you get the best possible price for your scrap metal.
How does a scrapyard work?
When you think of a scrap yard, you probably picture a junkyard filled with old cars, piled-up aluminum cans, and worn-out appliances.
But in reality, scrapyards are highly organized businesses that play an important role in the recycling process.
Scrap yards purchase scrap metal items from individuals and businesses. The scrap is then sorted into different metals, such as aluminum, steel, and copper.
Next, the scrap yard cleans and shreds the scrap aluminum and other scrap metal into small pieces.
Finally, the shredded scrap metal is sold to companies that will melt it down and distribute it to scrap metal recycling centers for use in creating new products.
Even though there are national average scrap prices for the different types of scrap metals, local scrap yards can set their own prices.
Smaller scrap yards near you often offer more money than larger yards, so it’s best to get prices from both so you get more cash in your pocket.
Once you decide which scrap yard to take your scrap aluminum, valuable metals, and other metal scraps to, this is what to expect when you arrive:
- Drive onto the scale
- Wait for the workers to remove the scrap metals from your truck bed or flatbed trailer
- They will use either a forklift or if necessary, a magnetic crane to separate the ferrous and non-ferrous metal
- Complete the paperwork to get paid, including showing your ID and signing some documents
- Get paid for your scrap metal
Difference Between a Scrap Yard and a Salvage Yard
A scrap yard is a place where metals and electronics are bought and sold, typically regardless of their condition.
In contrast, a salvage yard is a place where used or damaged vehicles are dismantled and sold for parts.
As a result, salvage yards are often able to sell car parts from these scrap cars for a much better price than a new or used car dealership.
Difference Between a Scrap Metal Recycling Center and a Dump
A scrap metal recycling center specializes in processing metal waste from every metal type.
These facilities accept all types of metal scrap, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as copper wiring, copper pipe, copper tubing, cast iron, aluminum cans, plumbing pipes, and even the most valuable metals.
The scrap metal is then sold to companies that use it to create new products.
In contrast, a dump is a facility where waste is disposed of without any attempt to recycle or reuse it.
Dumps are usually located far away from populated areas, and they typically accept all types of waste, including hazardous materials.
Scrapyard Near Me FAQ
Can I scrap my car for cash?
You can scrap your car for cash, but a scrap yard may not be the best place to make the most money.
Scrap yards will take scrap cars and crush them for recycling, whereas a salvage yard will take the parts out of the vehicle and sell them individually, which typically will pocket you more cash.
What appliances have the most copper?
Older appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and dryers, are more likely to have copper than newer ones. Look for copper cables and copper coils used for heating to take to scrap yards.
How much is a dryer worth in scrap?
It depends on your location since a scrap metal yard in a large city like New York or Dallas will likely pay more than a scrap yard located in a rural community.
The average price of a 100-pound dryer is $10 since the price is figured based on weight.
Are magnets worth money?
Most scrap yards only buy magnets that are part of a whole appliance or rare earth magnets.
If you come across other magnets and wonder if there is a scrap yard nearby that will buy them, a quick phone call can tell you if it is worth the trip.
Is steel worth any money?
Stainless steel can be expensive to purchase, but it isn’t worth nearly as much when you take it to a scrap yard.
In fact, it is the least profitable of all the scrap metals at approximately $.05 a pound.
What do I remove from appliances before scrapping them?
Before you scrap an appliance, remove any potentially harmful materials such as freon from air conditioners, mercury from thermostats, and insulation from refrigerators.
You’ll also want to remove any valuable components, such as copper wiring and metal parts so you can scrap them separately. The freon lines can be hazardous and should be professionally drained.
Scrap Yard Near Me Final Thoughts
Scrap metal can be an excellent source of income for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to collect it.
Before loading up your flatbed trailer and heading to the dump with old stainless steel sinks after remodeling a house, window air-conditioners that quit working, burnt-out Christmas lights, bicycles the kids outgrew, or that worn-out cast iron skillet you used to take camping, do a quick search for a local scrap yard near you and make some extra cash.
When you get the extra cash in your pocket a budget will help you spend the money wisely to secure a stress-free financial future.
Starting a budget will make a huge difference no matter how much money you make. If you feel like you have your financial goals going in the right direction and don’t have a budget, that’s great!
However, just think about how much a budget could put even more of your hard-earned money back into your pocket!
The free Budgeting Basics eBook is the perfect resource to get your money under control or fine-tune it in a specific area.
If you need ideas for creating your budget, hop over to 20 free printable budget templates to help you started.
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