One of the most common questions we receive at CAC Recycling’s front desk is “how much can I get for my scrap metal?”. The first step in getting an accurate estimate is to determine first what it is you have. In the metal recycling industry there are three main determinants of value: type, size, and condition of scrap metal.
Ferrous scrap metal are materials that contain iron or iron alloys. This includes steel and pig iron. Some examples of ferrous scrap metal include: steel pipe, chain-link fencing, car bodies, steel machinery, tanks, and I-beams.
Ferrous scrap metal is classified in two ways: by thickness and length. “#1″ refers to scrap greater than 1/4 inch think while “#2″ is less than 1/4 inch thick. Scrap metal that is greater than 4 feet in length is referred to as “oversized” while material less than 4 feet is called “prepared”.
A steel pipe that is 1 inch think and 4 feet long = #1 Prepared
If a load of steel contains #1 and #2 it is called ”mixed”. If a load of steel contains both prepared and oversized, material is typically separated.
Non ferrous scrap does not contain iron. This includes copper, aluminum, nickel, tin, titanium, gold, and silver among others. Some examples of non ferrous scrap metal includes: copper wire, tin siding, and aluminum sheets.
Non ferrous scrap metal is typically classified as either “clean” or “dirty”. Dirty scrap metal has non-metallic objects attached to it while clean scrap metal does not.
Copper is classified as either “#1″ or “#2″. #2 copper has erosion or painted parts while #1 copper does not.
So, next time you have scrap metal to sell, try using these terms for quicker and more accurate scrap metal rebate quotes.
For a quote on your scrap metal, please contact a yard near you.
If you would like to learn more about the scrap industry, check out the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ website.