As the winter chill sets in across North America, scrappers face unique challenges in finding and recycling scrap metal. We all know that winter adversely affects the scrap industry, but the cold weather and snow-covered landscapes make the task more demanding than the warmer seasons.
However, with strategic thinking and adaptability, scrappers can still turn a profit during the winter months. In this article, we hope to offer some insight into the most commonly scrapped items during this chilly season and how you can put yourself in the best possible position to profit during this slow season.
Easy Ways To Make Money on Scrap During The Winter
Tip 1: Holiday Season Clean Up & New Appliance Gifts
As soon as Christmas and New Year’s are done, you will see a sizeable boost in the scrap people leave on their curbs. These seasonal items make for great scrap and are easy to access. For example, you may typically find:
- Christmas Lights – A reliable source of copper that typically isn’t worth stripping, but if you have enough, it could be worth a decent amount.
- Tree Stands – Now that the tree is beginning to die, these heavy stands make for great scrap. Usually made of Cast Iron or Aluminum, these can be added to the pile.
- Laptops and Desktop Computers – A favorite in the e-Scrap community; you will see these and countless other electronic devices.
- Speakers – Did Dad ask for a new surround sound system this year? If he got it, several speakers will be sitting on the curb.
- Smaller Kitchen Appliances – Think coffee makers, toaster ovens, microwaves, etc.
- Bigger Appliances – Often, families want to spend money on a new fridge or dryer.
As people slowly unpack their gifts from this season, they will discard their old appliances and electronics. The game’s name for this part of the season is “waiting.”
Tip 2: Winter messes with home air and heat
It always seems like winter is the time for all major appliances to kick the bucket. With this season in full swing, you are more than likely to see the following items on the curb around your neighborhood:
- Air Conditioners – Like other items on this list, ensure the Freon inside is drained properly.
- Refrigerators – The same goes for freezers, too! These hold a ton of scrap copper pipe, wire, and sealed units.
- Furnace – Contains a litany of different metals, from Steel and Aluminum to Brass and Copper fittings. They also typically have a motor that you scrap as well.
Tip 3: Plumbing and plowing get tested during the winter
Another part of your house that gets pushed to the limit is plumbing. Rapidly changing temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes in the winter, and it is an unfortunate side effect of winter that causes expensive repairs. Scrappers can leverage the season by focusing on these specific items commonly discarded during winter repairs:
- Copper Tubing – This will hopefully be what you are collecting a lot this winter season. As pipes burst or need repairing, it may help to befriend a few local plumbers to see if you can get in on their scrap removal jobs.
- Snow Plows – Much like a lawnmower, this will contain a motor, some steel, irony aluminum, and other metal grades.
Tip 4: Take advantage of people being busy
If you’re one of the industrious few full-time scrappers, chances are you’ll notice that most of the other scrappers have hunkered down with the other side hustles or various forms of seasonal employment to stay afloat.
The upside of this is that there are fewer scrappers to compete with when finding projects or jobs. Even for non-scrappers, this may mean hiring a junk removal person for much cheaper (or free if you’re lucky) than usual. This is also a great time to promote your scrapping business, as fewer scrappers will be on the road.
Staying Flexible in the Winter Scrap Business
Winter scrapping requires a flexible approach, considering the changing weather conditions, adjusted hours at scrap yards, and various variables that may affect profitability.
By embracing the unique opportunities presented during the winter, scrappers can navigate the challenges and make the most of the season. So, put on those gloves, don a well-insulated coat, and venture out to turn winter’s scrap into a profitable venture.