Yes, it’s possible to make money by gathering thrown-away metal from scrap yards. However, you can’t just proceed to a junkyard and start collecting items you think are worth selling. There are things you need to bear in mind.
or in other towns or cities in the UK, take the time to build your knowledge about scrap metals and prepare a few tools. It’s not going to be as easy as picking up things from piles of trash and taking them to a buyer.
Sort your collection
Some scrap metals are worth more than others. In general, non-ferrous metals have higher selling prices as compared to their ferrous counterparts. To determine if a metal is ferrous (contains iron) or non-ferrous (does not have iron), the easiest thing you can do is to get a magnet. It does not have to be a U magnet or a large rectangular piece. The one you have on your fridge or an old speaker/earphone is enough. You just need the magnet to determine if the metal is ferrous (sticks to the magnet) or not (does not stick to the magnet).
Metals such as aluminium, copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel are non-magnetic. They are known to fetch prices higher than what you can get for iron, nickel, or cobalt. This does not mean, though, that heavy scrap iron pieces and other ferrous metals don’t have any value. You can still sell them, but the amount you get will be lower in contrast to what you can receive if you focus on non-ferrous metals. Also, take into account the effort you have to exert to haul heavy iron or nickel scraps.
Clean your scrap metals
To get even higher prices, it is advisable to clean the metals you have collected. You don’t necessarily have to wash or disinfect them. You just need to make sure that there are no unwanted materials attached to them. For copper, for example, be sure to remove the wire or insulation before going to the junk shop. If you find aluminium or stainless steel removed from old vehicles or appliances, take away the components that add unwanted weight. Junk shops buy scrap metals according to their weight, so they don’t want anything that does not have value mixed in with the metal being weighed.
You can turn it into a business venture
Salvaging scrap metals is a feasible business idea. Many have found success doing it. It does not work for everyone, though. You need to have the patience to go through the tedious processes and to come face to face with trash on a regular basis. It’s also important to be savvy about the pricing and in negotiating with scrap metal sellers and buyers.
Collecting and selling scrap metals is far from glamorous. However, there’s no doubt that you can make money from it. You just have to be knowledgeable about the trade and to exert the effort in dealing with the labour-intensive tasks and less-than-pleasant work environment.