6 Money-Making Tips for Organizing Your Scrap

We always mentioned how important it is to separate your scrap metals before heading to the yard. We can’t stress that enough for many reasons. It makes the operation of unloading and weighing up easier, usually will make you more money by separating your metals, therefore you make more money! Win-win for everyone!


Knowing Your Materials Can Pay Off

Knowing what scrap you have and organizing it before you head to the yard not only makes it a quicker trip, but will also most likely make you more money. If you need help separating or identifying your metals, you can use our scrap metal guide with pictures, videos, and descriptions.

Suggested Reading: Complete Scrap Metal Guide

  1. Box Materials: Be sure to have bins and other containers ready when you come back from scrapping at your business or home. Having your scrap separated at your central-hub will help you collect and see the quantity of each material as you collect. It will also make it easier to load into your truck when you are ready to make your next trip to the yard. When you are collecting your metals from taking items apart, you can have pieces of various metals like copper, brass, aluminum, or steel that can be placed in separate containers. This is easy for you to weight them before going to your yard and knowing how much you are collecting if you decide to hold onto the material until prices are where you want them.
  2. Should Your Strip Wire: Be sure if you have various types of wires you have those separated as well. If you have bare copper wire or other bare metal wires that you keep them separate from the other wires that still have a insulation on them. If you have enough insulated wires that you think you can strip them to make more money, be sure to keep the left over insulation separate. One of the rules we try to encourage scrappers to use is the “pinky wire rule”. Whenever you have a wire that is thicker than you pinky finger, it is a good gauge to think about stripping it for the copper inside. Also take into the account how much of the wire you have if you want to save it to collect more before stripping it all.
  3. Collecting E-Scrap: When scrapping electronics you will come across different types of computer board, like low-grade boards, motherboards, harddrives, CPU’s and more.When taking these out of your electronics be sure to keep them separate, some boards can be worth 10x more than others. It is especially important to separate your e-scrap when taking apart materials. The smaller pieces like CPU’s and RAM boards can be mixed up easily but are valuable materials. Making sure to separate them and stock up before you sell is important. Check with your local scrap yard to see what boards they accept.
  4. Collect Your Copper: Copper is a scrapper’s gold so making sure to separate this hot commodity is important. Making sure to keep your #1 and #2 copper tubing and wires separate is important. #1 copper wire/pipe is clean and has no solder, paint, or rust on it, the #2 copper wire/tube will have a tin-coat, solder, brass fittings, or other impurities on it. Be sure to know the difference in copper wire types your yard buys so that when you get there you have everything separated so that they don’t mix it together and you lose out.
  5. Separate Your Steel: Make sure to keep you steel and iron metals and objects separate from your other metals. Steel is a very common metal to come across and can degrade other metals if it is mixed in or attached. To easily see what is is steel or iron (ferrous metal) check it with a magnet. If it sticks it is a ferrous metal like steel or iron, if it doesn’t stick it will be a non-ferrous metal. If you have pieces of materials like aluminum or stainless steel with magnetic steel attached, do you best to remove it. That can downgrade the material significantly losing money.
  6. Know Your Containers Weight: Not that we’re saying your scrap yard won’t do it, but make sure you are aware of the weight of your containers before heading to the yard so you know what thee tare weight is. Sometimes you just want to make sure you are getting treated right and getting the amount of scrap weight you deserve. When you are aware of the weight of your containers, that helps when you look at your receipt after you weigh in with you yard. If they they shaving off several pounds from your tare weight than maybe it’s time to check with them or try another yard.


Separating your materials will generally make your trip to the yard quicker and easier. You will know what materials you have when weighing up and the scale manager will have an easier time paying you the proper prices for the materials you have.

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