How to recycle scrap metal for the best price

  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hey everyone,

    Did you know there were rules and regulations that you should be aware of before you convert your metal into money?

    It's great to earn a little extra money but its also much better for the environment too ♻ 🍃

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    Rules and Regs:
    The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 forces all scrap metal buyers to ask for proof of identity with a photo ID.

    It’s illegal to pay for scrap metal in cash. A scrap metal dealer can only pay for your scrap metal by electronic transfer or cheque.

    What documents do you need to sell scrap metal? To sell scrap metal at a scrap yard, you will need to:
    • Verify your identity with a photo ID, e.g. a driving licence or passport.
    • Show proof of your residential address, e.g. a bank statement or utility bill. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 states that dealers must check your proof of address every three months.

    The simplest way to tick both boxes is to show your UK driving licence.
    Some scrap yards can cash your payment cheque on-site. If you want to use this service, you’ll need to take additional proof of address.

    Where to scrap the metal:
    If you're a Checkatrade member, then you'll get a way better deal with EMR - They're a licensed scrap metal yard... make sure you check that they're licensed!

    Before visiting your local licensed scrappy, make sure your scrap metal is separate from non-metallic items, for example, plasterboard, wood, and aggregates.

    Next, sort your scrap metal into:
    - Ferrous metals, e.g. iron and steel. Generally speaking, if it’s magnetic, it’s classed as ferrous.
    - Non-ferrous metals, e.g. aluminium, copper, brass, household cable, lead, stainless steel, and zinc. Basically, everything that’s not magnetic.
    - Waste electricals, e.g. power tools.

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    How much is it worth?
    Metal is a commodity, therefore the price of scrap metal fluctuates with the worldwide markets.
    Some metals will fluctuate in price more than others. To give an idea of the variance in the value of different metals:
    • Heavy steel and cast iron was worth £0.22/kg in October 2021.
    • Heavy copper was worth £6.30/kg in April 2022.
    • Aluminium was valued at £0.80/kg in March 2022.

    To get the best price for your metal, especially something like copper, clean it up and make it as pure as possible- removing any additional materials.

    When you take your scrap metal to a dealer, they will grade and weigh it and calculate the price based on the current market value. (It’s often best to phone a selection of local scrap yards to get a price comparison before you visit)

    Who here scraps? How did you find the experience?
    Last edited by Lauren; 07-06-22 at 11:14.
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