Should You Recycle or Sell Your Scrap Metal?

Some waste has value, but there generally needs to be a minimum amount of said waste before its value will be considered. Sure, it's possible to get money for scrap metal, but some companies that process the stuff won't necessarily be interested in smaller amounts. Can the amount of scrap metal produced by the average residential property have any value, or should it all just go straight into the recycling bin?

General Waste

There's little use in holding onto metal food cans and other forms of metal packaging and household waste—other than aluminium drink cans, which have value under the Australia-wide container deposit scheme. Although this waste metal may have some value as scrap, the drawback is the minimum amount (in kilos) that must be provided before a scrap metal company will be interested. Having said that, some companies may be interested in smaller amounts—even though you can't realistically expect too much cash in return.

Scrap Metal Dealers

If you find yourself with a reasonable amount of metal waste at home, look online at scrap metal dealers in your area. Some of them have an online calculator which can provide you with an estimate of how much cash you're likely to receive. It's pretty simple, and all you need to do is enter the type of metal (stainless steel, aluminium, copper, etc.) along with the approximate cumulative weight of the metal. As mentioned, you're unlikely to receive much compensation given the amounts involved. But there are some instances where your household might generate a larger amount of scrap metal.

Renovation Projects

Renovation projects can sometimes generate a considerable amount of scrap metal. With a kitchen renovation, you might end up disposing of your sink (or sinks), metal splashbacks and even your old oven, fridge and cookware, depending on how much of an overhaul you're planning. It's these larger deposits of scrap metal that can lead to compensation that will be worth your while. Again, many scrap metal dealers have an online calculator, and you use this to determine the approximate value of your metal. Feel free to shop around, because you might find a dealer willing to offer more. And with these larger amounts, many dealers will pick the metal up, which saves you the effort of transporting it.

In terms of daily waste generated by a home, any metal isn't going to have much cash value. But when there's a specific project that creates a lot of waste metal, you can (and should) get paid for your unwanted metal.

For more information about scrap metal, contact a local company.