Cash that Trash : A guide to sell scrap metal and make money in 2020



Disposing of the scrap properly is not just a noble deed, it is a huge money-making prospect. 🙂

Whether you are looking to clear your garage or for some legit side hustle by selling scrap, this post will tell precisely where to begin and what to do. Before venturing into this business, I would suggest you start small. Know the basics of the industry, and even if you don’t want to get into this later, you will have that junk cleared from your yard.

All your questions about selling scrap to make money answered right here!

»What can I sell for scrap?

Well, most people would say everything,  that’s why its scrap. But what you don’t know is, mixing the trash which has value with everything else will pay you less. So let’s begin by understanding the industry language and let no scrap dealer fool you.

You can divide the scrap into two types-

New Scrap – This kind of scrap the excess from the production lines of manufacturing warehouses. This is not for ordinary people like you and me; this is a large scale and probably a high-risk job. So even if you are an individual enthusiast, I would suggest you to stay away from this in the beginning.

Obsolete Scrap –   This is the manageable scrap. It includes everything from appliances, lawnmowers, cars – anything that’s old.  I’ve listed some everyday items below with approximate pricings that found.

1.Home appliances

Home appliances have a limited lifespan. Mostly even if they are in working conditions, they become slow and extremely difficult to use (Remember giving a kick to your washing machine to make it work). That’s why the number of appliances you will find for scrap will bein plenty. I have listed down for you some appliances and their approximate scrap value.

Let’s have a look at the appliances which will pay you good money.

  • Dryer (100lb to 150lbs): $10 – $15
  • Refrigerator (175lbs to 200lbs,compressor removed): $16-$20
  • Two-door refrigerator (250lbs to 300lbs, compressor removed): $24 – $28
  • Freezer (100lbs to 175lbs): $16 –$18
  • Washing Machine (200 lbs to 250lbs): $18 – $22
  • Gas BBQ Grill (180lbs to 220lbs): $15 to $25

They will pay you anything between $20- $50 depending on their condition.

2.Electronic Gadgets

The problem with electronic gadgets is that they get damaged easily, but you never know how to dispose of them. That’s probably good for you because even when electronic gadgets are broken, they provide good value as their spare parts can be used for repairs. Checkout eco cell; you can cell all your electronic items here.

Their list includes Cell phones, Smartphones, iPods, pads, tablets, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems, and the accessories that come with them. Ecocell is a no landfill company.

scrap phone


Scrap it as a whole or just scrap the replaced older parts. Scrap dealers give you money as their spare parts contain many metals such as rhodium and coltan, production of which is expensive.

Rockway recycling is one such site that takes car scrap. Common items that sell are:

  • Lead wheel weights: $0.12/lb
  • Car Batteries: Upto 10$ gift card
  • Starters and Alternators: $0.15/lb
  • Aluminum Rims: $0.34 /lb
  • Catalytic Converters: $80- $250

scrap car


4.Bottles and cans (Containers)

These are produced in tonnes daily. It’s easier and cheaper for manufacturers to use the recycled materials, the scrap dealers will buy almost any amount. Bottles and cans will always be in demand.

However, selling them for scrap won’t pay much money so first collect them in bulk before giving your time and energy is transporting it. This is technically a bottle deposit. Most people don’t bother to collect the deposit,  so this is a great way to generate some income. Round up the bottles, whether from work, friends, and family and consider selling them in bulk. This is what is usually paid.

  • For most plastic bottles: 5 cents per pound
  • Glass bottles  and aluminum cans (less than 24 ounces): 10 cents per pound

5.Scrap metal

Selling scrap metal is the most profitable form of recycling.

This is a huge business opportunity in itself and, Scrap Metal are metals that are left from a product that can be melted and recycled back to another usable form. Scrap metals come from a lot of commercial products that we use today: car parts, appliances, furniture.

The value of scrap metal is dependant on the weight, form, and type of metal that is there. Usually, fewer efforts it takes to recycle the metal the more value it has.

You can sell the scrap metal for more money if you know its composition correctly. Refer to our Recyclopedia to learn more. Here is the list of some common metals sold. This can be divided into ferrous and nonferrous metals.

Ferrous and nonferrous metals are sold separately.  Non -Ferrous metals have higher value.

Prices of ferrous metal- between$5to $10 per 100 pounds.

  • Steel – $0.03 to $0.05 per pound



Prices of non-ferrous metals

  • Copper – $2.47 per pound
  • Brass – $1.42 per pound
  • Aluminum- $0.30 per pound
  • Stainless Steel- $0.25 per pound
  • Carbide – $6 to $6.75 per pound

»What should not be sold?

There are two things you should not sell,  scrap which is stolen and products with toxic leftovers in it. Do you want to know why? When you are out to sell, scrap dealers will note down your identity verification. If the goods are found to be stolen or toxic, you could get into huge trouble.

Hers a list of some toxic scraps you should not sell.

  • Airconditioning with freon
  • Metals with paint on them.
  • oil tanks with grease, etc
  • Metals with mixed alloys and other materials stuck in them

»Where to find free scrap?

Now that you know what all items sell and if you are in this for a long haul, then you need to find places to source scrap regularly and also places to sell.

Finding scrap looks like an easy task. Its everywhere around us, right? You may be correct, but it is your way to look for scrap efficient. Does it provide as much monetary benefit as the time and energy invested in it?

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I have listed down some sources from easy to quirky for you to check out.

Neighbors and friends: Because why not? They like you would also be looking to get rd of the waste or perhaps too busy or old to do it. Round up all your friends and relatives and collect the required scrap. Just hunting around the neighborhood will solve your problem. There are many posts on craigslist for taking away the scrap. People won’t know you’re willing to pick up their scrap if you don’t tell them. A quick listing or two on Craigslist posted on a regular (but staggered) schedule is a great way to get the word out. Frequently visit Craigslist in your area. The chances are that you would find people who are asking for someone to clean metals out of their yard.
Freecycle:  It is a free nonprofit group 5,318 groups with 9,234,523 members around the world, and next door to you. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
 Local repair shops: This is a good source to find spare parts. The technicians and the electricians usually do not have the time to scrap it directly into the scrapyards. So they are always on the lookout for someone to it for them.
Clinics and centers:  Basically, places that regularly change their appliances.

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»How to increase the value of the scrap?

There are ways with which you can increase the value of your scrap.

Sort the scrap: Just collecting the scrap is not enough; you can very easily increase the value of the scrap. Usually, people bundle everything and get paid a flat price. Be proactive and sort your scrap into different metal categories to get the most value.
Clean your scrap: Scrape that paint of the metal or clean the grease of the oil tanks, The bottom line is the less work the scrap dealer has to do, the more he will pay you.
Save it before you sell it:  The more quantity you have, the more you will get paid. So instead of selling a small amount at short intervals. Collect the scrap for long intervals to see it in bulk. There is no limit to how much the Scrap yards will accept.
Keep your scrap safe: This one is not for you to get more money, but trust me scrap thefts are on an all-time rise, and so you need to ensure its safety. A spare room or garage in the yard would do the task.
Get specific tools: If you are in this for a long haul, you will need particular tools to scrap metals, especially if you are going to scrap large appliances such as cars. Also, get something to collect your scrap in depending on your requirements. A truck, a barrel, a cardboard box will do. 



»How to keep track of prices?

The prices fluctuate on a daily basis.  And different scrapyards sell different items for money. So you should always keep an eye on the sites where you want to sell.

Take my advice and instead of dumping all your scrap in one place. Look for scrap yards that will pay the most money for that particular product. I have listed down for you some of the popular sites. There are many more.

Scrap prices screen shot



Let’s evaluate the pros and cons of selling scrap to make money. Though the pros outweigh the cons, there are a few to consider.


  • This is hugely beneficial for the enviorment. The scrap gets disposed of in the proper manner in this way.
  • You are contributing to the recycling of metals and materials.
  • Your contribution reduces the need to excavate the resources.
  • Economy benefits as recycling is cheaper than accumulating virgin materials.


  • This process is slow and manual. You need to separate the scrap manually.
  • Increased pollution due to, transportation of the scrap.
  • If toxic elements get disposed along with scrap, it is harmful to the soil.

At the end of the day, the benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks far. If you have some old scrap that you no longer need,  dispose of them off while making money.

If you already knew the money-making potential of this gig, I hope after reading this article, you have a better understanding of this business.If you like to earn  money from home then check out this scopist jobs to make passive income.

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2 thoughts on “Cash that Trash : A guide to sell scrap metal and make money in 2020”

  1. How would it work for those outside usa, like those in in africa, maybe Nigeria cos some may not have dollar account. 2. Hiw truthful do yiu think one can trust you to pay


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