Where Can You Find Scrap Metal?

Looking for scrap metal can be daunting, especially if you are new to the scrapping world. While it’s easy to say you can find scrap “everywhere,” there are some more common places you can find various types of metal for recycling.

Where Are The Best Places To Find Scrap Metal?

One of the main reasons some people take up scrapping is because they want to make some extra money on the side. Contractors, electricians, plumbers, and roofers often have scrap metal due to their jobs and the leftover materials. But if you have a different job that doesn’t deal with any metal, it’s hard to find a place to start looking for scrap metal.

The iScrap App Team has put together a guide below on common places to find scrap metal around your house, in the neighborhood, and from local businesses. We also recommend getting familiar with the different types of metal to look out for while scrapping and understanding how to determine what kind of metal you have.

Suggested Reading: Basics of Scrapping 101

Where Can You Find Scrap Copper?

If you are searching for scrap copper to recycle, there are several places you can find it. Below are some common places to collect copper for scrap metal.

  • Electronics: Electronics all have to use power. To get their power, they have to use wires. Wires have copper inside. So, when looking for copper scrap, look around your house or the side of the road. You can find many broken or recyclable electronics and make extra money by cutting the wires off. Your local scrap yard will classify Those wires as insulated or regular copper wires. Depending on the current price of copper, you can be looking at a few extra dollars in your pocket.
  • Wire: We mentioned wires above, but you can make even more money on your copper wire. You can make more money with your scrap yard if you have the time and tools to strip the wire. If you can strip the insulation off the wire with a box knife or wire stripper, you will have bare bright copper wire, which is one of the most valuable common metals out there. This takes some time, but this is a good option if you are looking for the biggest payout.
  • Plumbing: If you recently got your bathroom or kitchen redone, you most likely had some copper pipe and brass fixtures replaced. Those items can be sold at your local scrap yard. If you ask your contractor to keep those old materials for yourself (which you can), you can bring them into your scrap yard for a good chunk of change.
  • Decorations: If you are looking around your house or through some old boxes in the attic, watch for copper decorations or other items like pots and pans. If you no longer use them, collect them and bring them to your local scrap yard.
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03/14/2024 12:05 am GMT

Suggested Reading: 6 Most Common Places to Find Scrap Copper Wire

Where Can You Find Aluminum Scrap?

Aluminum is probably one of the most common metals used in generic items. It’s very pliable and is of lower value to manufacture. Using a magnet, test the metal. If it’s silver in color and doesn’t stick, you most likely have aluminum. Below are some common places where you can find scrap aluminum.

  • Kitchens: Aluminum is rust-resistant, so it is used in many appliances and kitchen equipment to prevent rusting. Many may be aluminum if you have toasters with rakes inside, rust-resistant pans, and some cooking bowls.
  • Engines: Aluminum is a lightweight material; therefore, it is used in building engines for cars and other vehicles. The cast aluminum from a car engine can be scrapped at a local yard. They often want the engine block to be clean of plastic, steel, and other materials. So be sure to clean it the best you can before bringing it in.
  • Your Backyard: Any railings or fences you have could also be aluminum, so if you have a broken piece or are replacing it with a vinyl fence, you can bring that aluminum into your local yard. Do your best to remove steel screws or any plastic to make sure to get a clean aluminum price.
  • Pools: Many above-ground pools are made of aluminum. So, if you are replacing one or tearing it down, collect all the aluminum you can from it. You can have a couple hundred pounds of aluminum scrap from an average aluminum pool.
  • Cans: One of the most common places to find scrap aluminum is in beverage cans. Many scrappers collect cans to bring to their scrap yard but remember, it takes a lot of cans to make one pound. So, when collecting, it’s a good idea to rinse them out and crush them to give yourself more space.

Suggested Reading: Different Types of Scrap Aluminum

Where Can You Find Steel & Iron Scrap?

The most common metal throughout the world is steel. So it’s pretty easy to find and come across it when looking for scrap metal. The only downfall is that it takes a lot of steel to make it worth your while. Iron & steel are some of the least valuable scrap metals due to their commonality. So, if you plan to collect a lot of steel for scrap, ensure you have a lot of room and a way to bring it all to your scrap yard to make it worthwhile.

  • Appliances: When removing a fridge, dishwasher, or other appliances, you will most likely get a steel price at your local scrap yard. These items are easy to come across while driving through your neighborhood. When collecting these large items, have the proper lifting technique and safety when moving heavier objects.
  • Pipes & Beams: Because steel is so strong, it is used in many places that require strength to hold things up. So keep a look out for pipes and beams that hold items up. Hit it with a magnet; if it sticks, you have steel. Also, the pipes from fences are sometimes steel, so check them.
  • Electronics: Many times, electronics cases or outside are built with steel. Such items like computer towers and older TVs can have steel cases along the outside.
  • Anything Magnetic: When scraping, always have your magnet handy; it sticks to metal, steel, or iron. So be sure to separate that from other non-magnetic materials to get the best price for them.

Suggested Reading: Difference Between Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Metals

Where To Find Computer Scrap?

When you are looking for more valuable scrap metal to collect, you may start searching for computer-related scrap. Finding computer scrap is difficult, but if you find some places or people who are willing to give you the computers to scrap, you can start making some good money.

  • Computer Towers: Starting with the obvious, computer towers from desktops are easy ways to get started. Inside the computer tower, you will find many materials like CPU chips, motherboards, hard drivesRAM boards, low-grade boards, power supplies, and even copper wire. Taking those items apart the right way and separating them can make you some good money. The downfall is you must collect a lot to make it worthwhile. So save up your materials and bring a bulk amount to your yard.
  • Laptops: If you are collecting computers, you should look into collecting laptops too. You can scrap those as a unit and also scrap the batteries separately. Ensure you are correctly destroying the hard drives from the computers you are scrapping to ensure privacy for their data.
  • Cell Phones: With almost every North American having a phone in hand, scraping cell phones has become increasingly popular. Quantity is the key to gathering more weight, but you can make some good money.
  • Electronics: Other electronics like TVs, gaming consoles, and smaller electronics also have Low-grade Boards inside that can be scraped. While you won’t get top dollar for them, it’s some extra cash for you to save.
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03/13/2024 09:51 am GMT

Suggested Reading: How To Take Apart Computer Towers

Now It’s Time To Find A Scrap Yard

Once you have properly collected and sorted your scrap metals, you must find the best scrap yard to bring your materials to. Shopping for the best scrap prices in the area can be hard, but with the iScrap App, you can check prices online and report any scrap prices you’ve received. When looking for a scrap yard, you want to check out the best prices and how close they are. Also, remember that some scrap yards may buy certain materials and not others. So make sure you ask what metals they accept and if you can bring yours in.

Use the iScrap App to find the closest scrap yards and search for local scrap prices in your area.

*Disclaimer* Do not take items or material from a property or the side of the road if you do not have permission.