Scrapping Can Be A Fun Hobby That Earns A Side Income

Scrap metal recycling can be a fun hobby that earns extra money in your spare time. While you might not be able to compete with full-time scrap metal recyclers that drop off metal by the ton, you can still find ways to pick up metal trash that others throw out. Here are some tips for finding metal to recycle and how to process it.

Where To Find Scrap Metal 

Homeowners often place metal trash at the curb or put it in garbage cans for the city to pick up. If you drive around the neighborhood on trash day, you may find old metal fans, appliances, wires, exercise equipment, and other junk sitting by the curb that you can take freely. You can also post ads on popular websites or your local paper that you'll haul away metal items for free. Homeowners often use this type of service when they need to get rid of old appliances and other metal junk they've accumulated but don't want to pay to dispose of or haul away. Also, advertise your service by word of mouth so your friends and family know to call you and refer you to others who need to get rid of junk metals.

How To Prepare Metal For Recycling

Metal should be identified and separated before you take it to the junk yard. You can use a magnet to tell steel from other metals. A magnet sticks to steel and iron while it doesn't stick to brass, copper, or aluminum. You can usually tell brass, copper, and aluminum apart by their color and weight with brass being a yellow color and heavy compared to aluminum which is lightweight. Copper can be a shiny copper color or tarnished green. Copper is the most valuable metal so you want to keep it separate from all the other metal you take to the scrap yard. Steel often pays less so you want to separate it so it doesn't drag down the price you get paid for other metals. Steel is common though, so you'll probably be able to accumulate more of it than other metals.

Metal prices change constantly, so you want to follow the prices and sell when you'll get the most money. In addition to sorting out the types of metals the best you can, also get rid of plastic, wood, rubber, and other parts that are attached to the metal. You may find this the most enjoyable part of your hobby when you get to dismantle things and strip them down.

When you take up selling scrap metal, you have to find the perfect balance between how much effort and time you put into collecting the metal and preparing it against how much you'll make. Unless you get a lot of enjoyment out of finding metal items and breaking them down, you may prefer to sell what you find as-is and accept less money for them.