3 Tips For Sorting Scrap Metal

The scrap metal collection business can be a nice side business and a way to earn some extra money. If you get the right setup going and develop the right partnerships, collecting scrap metal can be turned into a full-time occupation. First, though, you need to have a good system for collecting and sorting the scrap metal that you find.

Have Different Types of Containers for Each Type of Metal

Start by getting together containers for all of your different scrap metal. When you take your scrap metal to scrap yard, you are going to be able to get more money for the metal you have collected if you have separated the metal. When you mix metals together, you generally only get money based on the lowest priced metal in the mix. That is why it pays to sort your metals, so you are paid for what each metal is really worth.

Set up buckets or baskets that you can reuse for all of your scrap metal. If the scrap metal you collect tends to be larger, you may want to set up separate areas for putting all the larger pieces.

The key is to keep things organized and break things down into the main metal as much as possible before you sell it.

Clean Up Your Scrap Metal

Next, make sure that you clean up each piece of scrap metal that you collect. To clean up a piece of scrap metal, you need to remove any attachments that are not related to the core metal. For example, a pure copper pipe will get you more money than a copper pipe that has paint on it, or one that has other non-copper parts attached to it. Removing all parts that are not related to the core metal will increase the value. You don't have to scrub the metal clean that you collect, but you want to remove all non-metal or other-metal parts to make the metal as purse as possible.

Know the Difference Between Ferrous & Nonferrous Metals

You also need to know the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals. These two types of metals fetch different prices, and circle back around to the idea that you should properly sort and clean all of your metals.

The simplest way to tell the difference between these two types of metals is that ferrous metals are magnetic and nonferrous metals are not magnetic. Nonferrous, or non-magnetic metals, usually pay more than ferrous metals at the scrap yard. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't collect ferrous metals, just that you should be aware of the value of both types of metals when deciding how to spend your time and what to collect.

If you collect scrap metal as a side-job or a full-time job, you need to know the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals, you need to know how to clean up and break down the metals you collect, and you need to make sure that you properly sort all metals based on their metal type.