Scrapping copper, aluminum, brass, steel, and other metals can be very rewarding to your wallet if you do it the right way. While your scrapping can be rewarding with money, it can also be rewarding with your family and children especially. Teaching the rights and wrongs of the industry and how to make money recycling metal can be very rewarding for a family.
Scrap as a Family
Some items for families to scrap together can start with the basics and common items that can often be found for scrap. Some of the following are good places to start to teach your children about what they are worth and that they can be recycled for money.
- Aluminum Cans – A very common household item and often can be found on the side of the road, aluminum cans are a good place for children to start to collect for scrap. While they may only be worth a less than a $1 a pound, they can really add up if they are constantly being collected.
- Wires – Regular house wires and electronic wires can be clipped off of the back of old and broken electronics and electric items like lamps, computers, old video game consoles, and more. They will usually be around a $1 a pound to scrap yards.
- Steel – Steel is the most common metal used for things and you can teach your children to easily identify it with a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the metal, it is going to be steel or iron. This can be collected and sold to a scrap yard for $0.05-0.15 per pound.
- Computers/Electronics – If you want to scrap some more complex items with your children, computers and electronics are a good place to start. Today’s youth are so used to playing with electronics, this will be a good way for them to recycle the items they used to use. Computer boards, wire, aluminum, and copper can often be found inside of them. Be sure to watch the video of taking apart a computer.
Now that you have a few good items to scrap with your family, now comes the next rewarding part of teaching your children good working skills and saving their money, all while helping the environment. Teaching your children about the importance of scrapping and recycling metals, not only relates to the money they will be able to make and save but also the good they are doing for their own future.
By recycling the metal items they are collecting, they will be directly affecting the environment and helping conserve energy and raw materials from being used to produce more metals. Recycling steel requires 60% less energy than producing steel from iron ore (ISRI, 2013). An aluminum can has the ability to be recycled and put back on the grocery store shelves in as little as 60 days.
After your children have the green knowledge of the help they are doing with recycling metals, they will also be able to learn some quality working skills when taking apart materials and separating the metals the right way to be recycled. Once they have learned to sort correctly, the money they earn from scrapping can be made into a savings bank for something special that they may want to buy in the future.
With Earth Day coming up in a few weeks, Spring is a great time to get the family together and start clearing out the garage or shed. Many families will be able to find a good chunk of change in scrap metal lying around the house, that can be collected and brought in for recycling. So start teaching your children about scrapping and recycling metal to earn some green while going green.