Rules for Scrap Metal

gleisschrauben image by Karsten Fischbach from

Recycling scrap metal is not only good for the environment, it can also be a great small business opportunity. Not much capital is required and barriers to entry are low, but as in any business activity, there are established ways to do business and pitfalls to be avoided. Many small entrepreneurs learn the business by trial and error, but it can definitely pay to learn a few rules of the game.

Types of Scrap Metal to Collect

Study the metal market. Not all types of metal scrap are recyclable or worth collecting. Contact local scrap dealers to find out what's in demand. Aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, silver, stainless steel and titanium are common scrap metals that are salable as scrap.

Scrap Metal Pricing

Shop different dealers in your area to find out what they are paying for various types of scrap. Often this is a matter of negotiation based on the amount of metal you have to supply and demand for the metal in the marketplace. Know what metals are trading for on international markets so that you have a point of reference for the prices you are being offered.

Developing Sources of Supply

Develop your sources of supply if you want to be a successful scrap recycler. Find out "junk" collection dates for your local towns and arrive at dawn to cherry pick big items like stainless steel sinks and copper plumbing. Liase with local businessmen to cart away scrap metal from construction sites. Set up a collection center with a local charity and split profits.



About the Author

David Pepper is a Los Angeles-based writer, teacher and filmmaker. He has been writing since 1990. His publication credits include articles for the "Los Angeles" and "New York Times," fiction for journals like "Ends Meet" and "Zyzzyva," and a computer book for Prentice Hall. Pepper holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

  • gleisschrauben image by Karsten Fischbach from