Why Do Scrap Yards Have Weight Requirements For Steel?

A common question we find among scrappers is why they aren’t getting paid for smaller amounts of steel or iron at their scrap yards. Having a minimum on steel purchases is a common procedure that scrap yards have across the US and Canada. To help scrappers and recyclers understand why scrap yards would do this we have a few points below that can help.

4 Reasons Why Scrap Yards Have Steel Scrap Minimums

  1. Value Of Material – Scrap steel and iron are the lowest valued metal in the world. So when scrap yards are buying it and selling steel or iron, it is more cost-effective to buy it and ship it in bulk. This is why most scrap steel and iron prices are priced per ton and not by pounds because scrap yards prefer to buy those materials in heavy loads.
  2. Cost To Transport – Similar to the reason scrap prices in rural areas are lower due to the cost of transportation, transporting steel and iron is more expensive. Steel and iron are typically bulky and heavier items, so they take more resources to move it. When a scrap yard has to move the steel material from the scale to a container, to a larger container, and then a truck to ship, all those things cost money. Not only are they paying for the equipment to move it, but also gas, truck drivers, yard employees, and the time. If scrap yards are only making a small fraction of the price for buying scrap steel, to begin with, paying for the costs to move it has to be sufficient enough so they aren’t losing money.
  3. Capabilities of Yard – Sometimes scrap yards may have a harder time to move the steel or iron based on the equipment they have on site. Therefore, they know they have to have a certain amount of material to make it worth their investment to use that equipment.
  4. Type of Yards Vary – Some scrap yards are more focused on buying non-ferrous items opposed to ferrous. So if yards are not pulling in a lot of steel or iron, to begin with, they may pay a lower price for it and also have a minimum to ensure they make money on it.

If you are wondering if your scrap yard has a minimum weight requirement for steel and iron scrap, give them a call and ask. If they do, try other scrap yards found on the iScrap App in the area. Otherwise, you may have to work up to collecting enough material to meet that minimum weight.

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