Published on July 3, 2023, Updated on July 4, 2023

Metal referred to as “scrap” is not merely waste. Modern technology makes it possible to recycle scrap metal and turn it into new products, minimizing the negative environmental and social effects of mining and conserving landfill space. Unlike plastic, most metals can be recycled endlessly without sacrificing quality.

Most of the metal items in the municipal solid waste stream are “ferrous metals,” also referred to as iron and steel. Steel is regarded as the most recycled metal in the world, with over 19 million tons of ferrous scrap produced in the United States in 2018 and 50 million metric tons of iron and steel scrap consumed there each year. Appliances, furniture, and tires are the biggest source of metals in municipal solid waste.

Brass, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, aluminum, and copper are some additional typical scrap metals.

Metal Recycling from Scrap

Scrap metal recycling options range from curbside pick-up and take-back programs to donations that benefit artists and craftspeople.

Approximately 56 million metric tons of scrap metal were recycled in the United States in 2019. Here are some suggestions for where to recycle scrap metal if you have a broken appliance or leftover materials from a home improvement project.


Check for nearby scrap yards that accept metal from individuals as well as businesses that frequently produce scrap materials.

Keep in mind that some scrap yards might require a minimum quantity of metal for recycling, and keep your driver’s license close at hand because many recycling facilities demand identification to avoid the collection of stolen materials. Any non-metal components should ideally be taken out before delivery.


You can send your scrap by mail, especially if it contains precious metals like silver, gold, or platinum. Any high-value shipments should have tracking, insurance, and a signature to protect your delivery. For simple processing, sort and clearly label each metal type.

Home and curbside pickup

Contact nearby junk removal and hauling services if you’d prefer to find someone who will collect scrap metal from your house or place of business. These companies have expertise in the efficient and secure transportation of scrap metal.

Along with the usual curbside recycling items, some city-operated solid waste authorities also collect scrap metal. Look for special collection days, and keep in mind that you might need to schedule a pick-up by calling in advance. Sharp-edged scrap metal should never be left out because it can easily hurt sanitation workers.

Which kinds of scrap metal are recyclable?

The size of scrap metal varies greatly, from soup cans and copper wires to big ship and airplane components. Appliances, furniture, construction materials, automobiles, and tires are typical sources of metals in municipal solid waste.

Appliances: A lot of common household items, including washers, toasters, dryers, and refrigerators, contain metal that can be recycled and used as scrap.

Lead-acid batteries: These rechargeable batteries, like the ones in your car, are dangerous if not disposed of properly. Lead-acid batteries are typically accepted for recycling at auto supply stores. One of the most typical sources of scrap lead is lead-acid batteries.

Electronic waste: E-waste includes items like cell phones that can frequently be sold or recycled as scrap metal. To protect your security, some facilities offer data destruction as one of their services.

How Much Scrap Metal Costs

One of the main reasons people recycle is to earn more money, in addition to the obvious environmental advantages. So, what is the value of scrap metal? The type of metal, stage in the life cycle, and quantity are typically what determine the price. Copper is regarded as the most valuable scrap metal, while aluminum, tin, and cast iron are near the lower end of the price range.

Larger quantities of any metal might bring in a more appealing price from scrap buyers who favor making bulk purchases. As with any commodity, market value based on supply and demand as well as the location of the recycling facility is an additional factor that affects the price of scrap metal.

Industries Served

Methods for Reusing Scrap Metal

Consider donating these items or repurposing them as part of a home project before looking up where to sell scrap metal or locate a local recycling facility. Donations to the studios of jewelers, metalworkers, and other artists may be welcome. Scrap metal is frequently used to create charming yard and garden art, and there are numerous DIY furniture projects with detailed instructions online.

Metal is a non-renewable resource since there is not much ore that can be accessed by humans over a reasonable geologic time frame. As a result, when scrap metal is not recycled or used, it increases demand for mining, a practice that is well known to be unsustainable. This extraction method may cause landslides, deforestation, and waterway contamination.

By lowering air pollution caused by improper burning in the unlicensed sector, recycling scrap metal in authorized facilities can also enhance public health.

1 Green Planet recycles a variety of e-wastes, including scrap metal of any kind ferrous and non-ferrous in a secure manner. Call them now to schedule a pickup from the service locations we serve.