You probably accumulate a lot of aluminum around your home from soft drink cans, food cans, and household items. You may dispose of most of it in your curbside recycling bin, although it's a good idea to find out the rules about recycling. Your city may not want small things like aluminum lids, or big pieces of scrap aluminum put in the recycling bins.
If you want to make money with aluminum scrap recycling, you'll need to collect scrap aluminum from other people and businesses. Here are three tips for aluminum scrap recycling to make extra cash.
1. Keep Aluminum Separated From Steel
Don't mix types of metal. You can always test metal with a magnet to find out whether it's aluminum or steel. If a magnet doesn't stick, the metal is aluminum. If it does stick, the metal is steel or something else that contains iron.
Recycling centers pay different amounts for different types of metal, so that's why you need to separate them. You may need to collect metal for a few weeks to get enough to make a trip to the recycling center worthwhile, so have a place to store the scrap aluminum so you won't get a code violation.
2. Collect All Kinds Of Aluminum
Once you start looking for aluminum, you'll see it everywhere. You can find large pieces of it in construction debris and old appliances. You can advertise that you'll haul metal junk away for free so you can get people to call you to pick up their large pieces of aluminum. Aluminum cans are also popular for recycling, but people tend to throw those in their curbside bins.
Some aluminum may be covered in plastic or rubber. It may have other types of metal bolted onto it. This is known as dirty aluminum. It pays less than clean aluminum, but you can collect and sell it separately from your clean pile. You could also take time to strip the scrap and dispose of anything that's not aluminum so you get the best price at the recycling center.
3. Learn How The Recycling Center Operates
Depending on the amount of scrap aluminum you take to the recycling center, the workers may pile the aluminum on a scale or they may weigh your truck when you pull in and then when you leave to get the weight of the aluminum you left behind.
This is why it's important to keep metals separated. If they're mixed together, the center may pay for the entire load at the price of the lowest-cost metal. You may want to call ahead before you go to the recycling center for the first time so you can learn their procedures.
Once you've been working at aluminum scrap recycling for a while and have a system down, you'll develop your own tricks for finding aluminum and preparing it to get the best price. The larger the volume of aluminum you process, the more you'll make, so you can decide how much time and effort you want to invest in aluminum scrap recycling.
To learn more, contact an aluminum scrap recycling center in your area.