Ways to Store Your Scrap Securely
Collecting and recycling scrap metal is a popular side hustle. However, finding bits of valuable metals is only part of the puzzle. You have to consider how and where you’ll store the scrap finds. (If only to stockpile your metal pieces awaiting better prices in the scrap market and get a chance to turn in your collection.)
Here, we talk you through different ways you can store your scrap finds safely.
By Safely We Mean: Avoiding Common Risks Associated with Scrap Metals
Bits and pieces of metal are associated with a few risks. And it’s vital to avoid them if you are to make the most out of your collection. Such risks include:
Scrap metals such as cable, wire, copper, brass, silver, and gold are valuable, making them prone to theft. Thus, your storage location should have a good lock – think of chains, locks, and heavy-duty combinations – as well as measures to keep thieves at bay. That means open places like your yard are inadvisable.
Suggested Reading: Scrap Metal Thieves Give Industry A Bad Name
Your scrap metal may not be in pristine condition; nonetheless, you should preserve its value as much as you can. That said, ensure your finds are stored in a dry space.
In case the storage unit is humid, invest in a dehumidifier. Similarly, ensure any scrap metals stored outside are well protected from weather elements.
Scrap metals may be a valuable treasure trove to you but an unattractive eyesore for your neighbors and community at large. That’s particularly true when you put them in a way that makes the area untidy or obstructs your neighbor’s view.
Many municipalities and neighborhoods have regulations that prohibit scrap from being stockpiled in open places. Sure, you can cover the collection with a tarp, but that may fail to meet the local regulations or eliminate the neighbor’s concerns.
To keep your backyard grass looking healthy and in good condition: avoid placing scrap metals in your yard.
If you do, the scrap will block the sun from reaching the grass – interfering with its development and eventually leading to its death.
Moreover, chemicals from the metals may leak, contaminating the soil and the groundwater water below.
How to Best Store Your Scrap Metal
There are multiple options for storing scrap finds on and off your property. (With the method of choice varying with the volume of your collection.)
So once you figure out the amount of space you need to devote to your finds, here are some convenient yet safe storage ideas you can try. (And no, none involve tossing your scrap in a nondescript corner of your boneyard.)
Storing your scrap metals in a barn is both convenient and safe. Not only is the space large accommodating more oversized items. It also protects your collection from thieves, weather elements, and eyesores.
For best outcomes, enlist a building professional when constructing a barn on your compound.
If your metal pieces are not bulky and don’t have a sprawling collection, consider storing them in a cellar – an underground storage space.
Being hidden from the view: your collection may be safer in a cellar than in a barn.
You can rent a used dumpster at a low price for long-term storage. Or rent one for relatively shorter storage periods. As usual, rental rates will vary based on i. the size of the dumpster and ii. the rental duration.
Secure and well-monitored storage units are a popular option among scrapers for reasons.
One, you can store different types of scrap finds.
Two, you have short or long-term storage options.
Three, you can access your collection whenever you need to. (Especially if the storage unit is near your residence.)
Four, the storage unit’s rent is tax-deductible as a business expense.
On the downside, some storage units do not allow for the storage of scrap metals. Therefore, study your rental contract beforehand, lest risk fines and harsh consequences.
If you can’t find a storage unit, consider paying for warehouse space. Especially if having large volumes of scrap finds.
You can also rent any other commercial property to store and process your scrap – so long as the property allows the same.
Or gauge whether there’s some viable storage space at your workplace – where you can store large items for a week or two without inconveniencing your colleagues.
DIY Scrap Metal Storage Ideas
- Consider building a shed or a storage garage. Add built-in shelving with Rubbermaid containers clearly labeled for different scrap metals.
- Store smaller items up high to save floor space and keep your finds organized.
- Put shelves at the corners of your shed or garage, leveraging existing studs.
- Install a heavy-duty wire shelf in unused spaces between overhead joists in the garage or basement.
- Install attic decking panels to optimize the overhead storage space above the garage or shed rafters – to create accessible and useable storage surfaces. (Consult a professional contractor to ensure the rafters can support the extra loads.)
- Invest in small, stackable boxes to store smaller metal pieces. (Label them clearly for easy organization.)
- Create a storage grove on your property – and ensure it’s safe and secure from thieves and unfavorable weather elements
- Create a low-cost hole in your wall storage unit between your home and yard – well within your scavenging area.
- Buy a cheap privacy fence and use it to create a storage space between it and some bushy trees.
- Buy a trailer or a shipping container. Be sure to weld a lock that’s hard to break.
- Rezone some of your structures to commercial properties – allowing you to store scrap collection without municipal complaints.
- Leverage large buckets or drums with removable lids for e-scrap and nonferrous metals
- Use rows of garbage cans for smaller items
- The list is endless.
If you cannot secure a safe storage space:
- Keep your scrap acquisitions tightly controlled
- Breakdown large items fast (within two days)
- Wait for calls (instead of driving around looking for scrap metals) and make sure you can move the finds on the same day
As you can see, there are many safe ways to store your scrap finds both in the long and short term. Whatever method you go for, it should shield your collection from thieves and weather elements. It should also comply with the local and city regulations.
Other Valuable Resources
- When Scrap Prices Drop, Hoarding Goes Up
- 4 Factors Choosing The Right Scrap Yard
- 6 Ways To Maximize Your Scrap Metal Profits