You might be surprised by how much scrap metal is actually worth something – everything from cables and wires to old alloy wheels, fridge motors, and much more can be sold to a scrap metal dealer for cash.
We mean “cash” in the metaphorical sense, of course – it’s illegal to sell scrap metal cash-in-hand these days, but some common items can see you receive a tidy electronic payment.
If you’re working with scrap regularly, or are perhaps just doing some renovations at home, then these are the items to look out for.
The most valuable metals
It’s hard to give a general price for different kinds of scrap metal, as they fluctuate all the time. Generally speaking, though, the most valuable types of metal (setting aside the obviously expensive gold, silver and platinum for a while) are, from least to most:
Although, again, this isn’t set in stone. Lead is worth more than stainless steel, but other kinds of steel can be worth far less. Alloys can affect the price too, as can the condition – corrosion and contamination can make a certain kind of metal much less valuable.
But one thing’s for sure – copper is almost always going to be top of the pile, so hang onto it, rather than taking it down the tip.
For a proper quote, you can always get in touch with us – we’ll be happy to help.
Where are they often found?
It’s not always obvious what metal something is made of, so here are a few things to look out for on your hunt for scrap…
So many items contain steel, making them ripe for the scrap yard. Old ladders, coat hangers, beams and pipes could all contain steel.
As mentioned earlier, keep a particular eye out for the more valuable stainless steel, particularly in the kitchen – catering equipment, old cutlery and even parts of old fridges could be well worth scrapping. Handrails and countertops in more modern buildings could also be stainless steel.
Lead is nowhere near as common as it once was because of the health risks involved. However, larger batteries, particularly car batteries, still contain lead.
Old lead pipes – hopefully long-removed – may still be lurking in basements. Lead weights are another household item that might be knocking around, and are well worth bringing in too.
Aluminium could be found in gutters, awnings, sidings, signs, and many more building materials. The light weight of the metal also sees it used in electronics – so anything old that can’t be resold intact might be best sold for scrap.
Metal furniture is also often made of aluminium – everything from tables and chairs to lamps. Television antennae and satellite dishes are another good source, and aluminium wires are also common.
Titanium’s not quite as common, but electronics may contain this lightweight – but very strong – metal. Its properties also mean it’s regularly used for sporting equipment, such as bikes or golf clubs. If they can’t be sold on as they are, they may be worth scrapping!
Got a lot of old trumpets lying around? If not, taps, lamp fittings and doorknobs may be made of brass – particularly at the more decorative end of the spectrum.
Brass is often used in plumbing components – you might find that some of the fixtures connecting things like dishwashers to the pipes are made of brass. Mechanical bearings and gears might also be made of brass.
It’s well known that copper always gets a good price as scrap – it’s why it’s so often stolen. We absolutely do not recommend stealing copper wires, because it’s not just illegal but highly dangerous as well, but if you have copper wires or pipe left over from a plumbing or electrical job, then you should definitely bring it to a scrap dealer.
Old boilers and building gutters are often made of copper, while copper wires can be found in everything from washing machines to dishwashers, cameras, blenders, computers and much more.
If you can’t resell this stuff, then taking them apart to have a look for any sellable scrap is always a good idea before you get rid of them for good.
Just bring it all down and let us sort it
While it’s best to keep an eye out for the above, there’s no need to be picky – our scrap metal drive-in service means you can bring a job lot of everything down to us and we’ll sort it all for you.
We’ll also test your scrap metal on-site, giving you a proper analysis of what you’ve actually got, so you know you’re getting the best price.Back to all blog posts