Scrap metal is a colloquial term to describe any unwanted or unused metal, including scraps from aluminum production, iron ore processing, recycling plants, oil rigs, ships, trains, air bags, jewelry, nails, discarded automobile parts and more. Because metal is non-biodegradable, it’s considered “scrapped” or “recycled.” This can include gold, silver, platinum, copper, zinc and many other elements. Unfortunately, many metals that have high value like gold, silver, platinum, and copper, as well as the non-precious elements can be difficult to find and have high processing costs making them very expensive to purchase outright or to simply burn or clean and sell.
Unlike hazardous waste, scrap metal-containing wastes are not pollutants in and of themselves. In fact, they can be used again by other industries, such as refining, chemical companies and others. Unlike hazardous waste, scrap metal-containing wastes are reusable materials, particularly recovered metallic metals, non-metals, and alloys. In addition, unlike hazardous waste, they don’t pollute the environment and can be recycled endlessly.
Because the material is reusable, scrap metal auctions provide an excellent source of income. It’s also a perfect way to make some extra money at home or take care of some unwanted items in your home. The U.S. scrap metal industry is worth billions of dollars annually. In a country that produces close to one million cars every year, this cash flow is invaluable. If you have old scrap metal lying around or need to sell scrap metal at auction, then this is a great way to make some extra money, get rid of unwanted items in your home, or clean up your yard and give it a great, new look.
For most homeowners, one of the main attractions of scrap metal-containing wastes is its potential for being turned into something else: metalworking equipment, recycled furniture, even houses! However, because scrap metal is such a valuable resource, it is kept in a variety of locations. This is especially true for larger recycling centers. Major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles both have large waste management departments that manage and contain the huge amount of scrap metal-containers and landfills that exist throughout the two cities.
Although there are a number of different methods for collecting scrap metal from a given area, the most environmentally friendly are those that use landfills. This is because landfills are not only unsightly but also a continual source of pollution. As people continue to throw away items as their discard, these unwanted chemicals and toxins will inevitably leak into surrounding areas and contaminate groundwater supplies. Water is especially contaminated by the emissions from garbage generators, making it doubly important to dispose of hazardous waste properly. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency encourages communities to create “reusable waste containers” so that their citizens can make use of these containers rather than throwing their trash in the trashcan.
Many people also turn to professional scrap metal recyclers to help them recover scrap metal that they may have previously disposed of without thinking about. Although there are many different companies that claim to specialize in this particular field, it is still best to keep an eye on the local newspaper for any classified ads that may advertise a junk removal service. Another great option is to check the phone book under “scrap metal recyclers” or look for a local branch of the Better Business Bureau. Once you find a company that you feel comfortable working with, you can always schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your project and receive an honest, no-obligation quote.