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Where to Find Scrap Metal for Recycling

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Recycling scrap metal can be a great way to earn a few extra dollars and help the environment. Here's a helpful guide to finding scrap metal that you can sell to your local recycling plant to earn a little, or a lot, of spare cash.

Look in the kitchen

If you don't already separate and save your aluminum and tin cans for recycling, you really should start. Not only does it keep these space-hogs out of the landfill, it can also put some weight in your wallet. Tin cans, like soup cans and pet food cans, don't usually earn you any money because they aren't as valuable as aluminum ones, but recycling aluminum ones can earn you a pretty penny, especially if you crush the cans first and wait until you have a very large amount. It can take around thirty 12 oz. aluminum cans to make up one pound, so crushing them makes it easier to gather more in a smaller space.

Save your own drink cans, ask friends and neighbors to save them for you, and collect them from your workplace. With very little effort, you can save a large number of cans and add a few dollars to your wallet. Don't forget to recycle those pet food and soup cans, too. They may not earn you anything, but recycling them is much better for the environment than just throwing them out.

If you plan on replacing your old pots and pans or cutlery, don't throw them out. Recycle them as scrap metal instead, and you can put the money you earn towards the purchase of the new set.

Check in your garage

Your garage can be a great place to find scrap metal for recycling. If you have old, broken gardening tools hanging around in there or scrap car parts that you'll never use or need, you can take them to the recycling center and exchange them for some cash. You could even recycle and entire car, if you don't want to (or can't) sell it. 

Don't forget to recycle old, rusty bikes and power tools that are past their prime. All of these have scrap metal parts that could be worth money if recycled.

Peruse construction sites

If your town has a lot of construction taking place, consider stopping by one or more of the construction sites and asking the site manager whether you can collect their scrap metal for recycling. Many construction companies do their own recycling, but if the job is fairly small or if the site manager doesn't feel that the amount of scrap metal they have is worth recycling, you could be in luck. Some common construction materials that can be recycled for money include copper wiring and pipe as well as aluminum products like siding and shingles.

Never take items from a construction site without express permission from the site manager. Unfortunately, theft from construction sites is very common, and this can make many construction companies wary of sharing their scrap materials with you. 

Look to your community

If your community doesn't offer a recycling service, offer to start one. Your local government may even offer to provide the collection bins if you agree to split the money that you make from scrap metal recycling. Put collection bins in public places, or offer to collect recyclable scrap metals from individuals willing to recycle them. Getting the entire community involved in your efforts to recycle may not put as much money directly in your pocket, but the reward of knowing that you are helping your community is priceless.

Look around and you'll find that there is more scrap metal than you probably realized. Recycle it for money, or recycle it for the environment; either way, everyone benefits. For more tips or assistance, contact companies like Pure Metal Recycling.