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Sell a Catalytic Converter - Dallas, TX

CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT IN THE DALLAS-FORT WORTH METRO AREA

Catalytic converters are important environmental components found in every car sold today. They contain very rare, valuable metals such as platinum and rhodium. These metals consistently fetch very high prices on the recycling market because they are not only rare, but also heavily in demand—especially from the auto industry.

This means that stripping and scrapping an old car you legally own can be more lucrative than selling it as a complete vehicle. It also means that the auto industry can continue to acquire these rare metals at more affordable rates, and therefore continue to turn a profit without drastically raising car prices.

However, it also means that thousands of people in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the rest of the country (and the world) have their catalytic converters stolen almost every single day. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from this type of theft, and for selling a catalytic converter you legally own.

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How to Ask for Scrap to Recycle for Cash - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

HOW TO ASK FOR SCRAP TO RECYCLE FOR CASH

Most scrappers start out by getting rid of some of their own personal scrap or scrap materials from their own business or job site—but when you get bitten by the scrapping bug, you might want to bring in scrap more often. Eventually, you may come to a point where you want or need to ask for scrap from other people or even businesses.

This can be an awkward interaction for many scrappers, especially at first, but it can turn a small hobby into something truly lucrative. Here are a few tips for success.

Presentation is Everything

Presenting yourself as a professional is often tantamount to success when you’re asking for scrap. Wear business casual clothes like a polo and khakis, and consider having some flyers or business cards printed. These will both make you look more professional and help people remember you.

Part of a good presentation isn’t just looking good, though. You also need to do a little research and have some facts and figures to back up any claims you make. For example, if you’re approaching a small plumbing business for its scrap, consider talking about the money the company can save not doing their own recycling, and the positive environmental impacts of recycling.

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E-waste: why recycle it for free when you can be paid for it? - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

E-WASTE: WHY RECYCLE IT FOR FREE WHEN YOU CAN BE PAID FOR IT?

Here in Dallas, recycling electronic waste, or e-waste, is easy to do. Recycling electronic waste (including laptops, TVs, cell phones, and similar devices) is good for the environment and for business—but not all ways to recycle e-waste are created equal. Read on to learn why recycling e-waste is the right thing to do, and how it can benefit you now as well as the environment and business in the future.

Why Recycling E-Waste in Dallas-Fort Worth Matters

Recycling e-waste is good for the environment and for the economy. It keeps harmful materials that are used in the manufacture of electronics from leaching into soil and water, and also allows rare materials like gold and lithium to be reused.

The reuse of rare materials is also the major reason that recycling electronic waste is good for the economic world. Because these materials are valued highly, recovering gold, silver, lithium, or other rare elements from electronic waste is a way to keep the wheels of business turning.

In fact, it is actually far easier and more efficient to get gold and other rare metals from recycled materials than from natural deposits in the earth. According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, as much gold can be extracted from a single metric ton of old-model computers as from seventeen tons of ore.

It’s easy to see why such an efficient process would be better suited to protecting the environment and keeping the economy thriving. Furthermore, recycling does not entail the extremely high environmental or financial costs of mining—and environmental impact and monetary cost are continually dropping as new innovations in recycling are made.

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Scrapping Cars and Car Parts in Dallas, TX - Encore Recyclers in Garland, TX

SCRAPPING CARS AND CAR PARTS IN DALLAS

Do you have an old car you no longer need? Have you had work done to your car that’s left some disused parts lying around? Getting rid of a scrap car or auto parts can be easy, and net you a bit of cash to boot, if you take them to a professional recycling center like Encore Recyclers.

In addition to taking junk off your hands and getting you paid for it, recycling cars and car parts is also great for the environment. Many car parts contain rare metals, and these metals can often be recovered almost completely—which reduces the environmental impact of mining and keeps the overall supply of these metals higher.

However, getting the best value for your car scrap takes a little bit of time and expertise.

What Scrap Yards Pay For

Your car is made up of a wide variety of components that are themselves composed of a variety of metals and other scrap-friendly materials. The majority of your car’s weight comes from steel, and there is a large amount of other, lighter metals as well (such as tin). The rarer (and therefore more valuable) metals are often used in the moving or otherwise functional parts of your car.

If you scrap your entire car, the price at most scrapyards will be based on weight. A scrapyard feels safe betting on your steel, but doesn’t have the time and labor available to fully inspect your car for other metals. If you want the most value for your car, you’ll have to dismantle it.

This is generally true of all appliances and machines that can be scrapped. However, dismantling a car is much more difficult than taking apart a washer or dryer or even a computer.

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How to Sell a Washing Machine or Dryer for Scrap - Encore Recyclers - Dallas and Garland, TX

HOW TO SELL A WASHING MACHINE OR DRYER FOR SCRAP

Recycling a washer or dryer in Dallas or Garland can be a difficult but rewarding task. Here at Encore Recyclers, we want to help you get the most money for your scrap metal—so here are some tips on how to get the most out of an old or broken washing machine or dryer.

Should you dismantle a washing machine or dryer before scrapping it?

Taking a washer or dryer apart is no easy task, but many scrappers think it is worth the effort. At Encore Recyclers, we take in both dismantled and complete washers and dryers regularly, and we can confirm that we pay quite a bit more for dismantled appliances.

Therefore, if you’re physically capable of dismantling an appliance like a washer or dryer, and if you have or can easily acquire the tools for doing so, it will always be worth the effort.

What are the advantages of dismantling an appliance before scrapping it?

Although most scrap metal recycling companies accept all forms of metal with a few exceptions (usually for safety or legal reasons), companies in the scrap metal recycling industry do not and cannot pay the same amount for different types of metal.

This is because some metals are rarer and/or more useful in manufacture than others. For example, aluminum is a great metal to use in general manufacture, but it is very common and not good for extremely specialized uses. That means that recycling companies cannot pay a huge amount for scrap aluminum.

Metals like copper, on the other hand, which are both a little less common and a bit more useful in more specialized kinds of manufacture (such as use in electrical wire), are inherently more valuable. That means that a scrap metal recycling company in Dallas or elsewhere can pay quite a bit more for copper and similar metals.

When a full appliance comes into a recycling plant like Encore, recyclers essentially have to estimate what combination of metals will make up the components inside the appliance. Some washers and dryers, for example, use valuable copper in their motors, while others do not.

Because estimating the value a given appliance will have is a gamble for the company, they tend to pay a bit lower. On top of that, the company will have to pay employees or contractors to dismantle the appliance—which further eats into your pay.

How do you get the most for your broken appliances and other scrap materials?

The best way to consistently get the highest value for your broken appliances and other scrap metals is to dismantle appliances and machines and to sort the metals. For example, keep all your steel with other steel, your aluminum with other aluminum, and your copper with other copper.

Doing this makes things easier and cheaper for the scrap metal recycler, which means they can afford to pay you more. Having your metals pre-sorted also helps promote worker efficiency and in some cases safety.

While it may not be worth your effort to take apart very difficult or dangerous appliances or parts such as air conditioners or engines of any kind, taking apart a washer or dryer may well be within your reach.

If you have confidently assembled or broken down furniture, you can probably take apart a washer or dryer as long as you put forth your best effort and remain patient and calm.

What are some of the best tips for dismantling a washer or dryer?

Although every washer and dryer is a bit different, there are some general tips to follow for successfully dismantling any washer or dryer before selling it for scrap.

  • Do the simplest tasks first. For example, take off doors and covers before getting into activities like stripping wires or taking out a motor. This will give you better access to the inner workings of the machine, and will also give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going.
  • Sort metals as you work. It’s much easier to sort different metals into tubs, crates, or piles as you work than it is to break the appliance down and do the sorting later.
  • Use online resources. There are many great online resources out there. If you find your appliance’s model number, you can most likely find a YouTube video instructing you on dismantling that particular appliance. There are also great general tips on scrap metal recycling forums.

Above all, be safe. Ensure that the appliance is not plugged into power when you begin to dismantle it. Wear work gloves, safety goggles, long sleeves, and long pants. Do not disassemble any parts before you recognize them and understand what they are.

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How to Recycle AC Units in Dallas, Texas

HOW TO RECYCLE AC UNITS IN TEXAS

Whether it’s a huge rooftop air conditioning unit for a multi-level building or a small portable AC, any kind of HVAC appliance is worth scrapping. However, there are some difficulties with this category of scrap material that stymie many new scrappers, so read on to learn the best way to recycle AC units.

There are two major categories for these difficulties to fall into: legal and mechanical. Anyone can solve the legal difficulties with just a bit of time or effort, and most people can get past at least a few of the mechanical problems. Because the legal issues are a bit simpler, let’s look at those first.

Legal Difficulties of Recycling Air Conditioning Units

Texas state laws are tough on unscrupulous scrappers who steal metal to sell to scrap yards, and unfortunately these tough laws often end up affecting honest scrappers as well. This is particularly true when it comes to scrap items that are often stolen—a category that air conditioners definitely fall into.

If you’re only recycling a single air-conditioner unit, such as one you’ve replaced yourself with a newer model, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, some scrappers who work in HVAC or do related activities like refinishing roofs (where many of the largest, most valuable AC units for businesses and apartment buildings are located) want to sell AC scrap in bulk because it can be so lucrative.

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Start Recycling Scrap Metal - Dallas, TX

START RECYCLING SCRAP METAL: SCRAPPING 101

So you want to start recycling scrap metal for extra money? This can be a lucrative venture, and many of our customers here at Encore also consider it a fun hobby. The best way to get the most out of scrap metal recycling is to understand a bit about the process before you start recycling metal, so here’s a quick primer just for you.

What to Look for When You Start Recycling Scrap Metal

Almost any scrap metal is worth something, but different metals bring different amounts of money. Aluminum and copper are particularly profitable for many of our regular customers, as these materials are used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes. Steel is not worth as much per pound, but is very easy to find virtually anywhere.

Before throwing out any car parts, electrical or plumbing components, or electronics like computers and cell phones, try bringing them by our facility. If you own a business that produces a lot of scrap metal, you may want to make regular visits to our facility or learn about our free recycling container pickup and dropoff program.

Even if you don’t own a business, you may be able to make extra money by offering to help clean up construction sites and take scrap metal—just be sure to get explicit permission from the site owner or construction company, in writing if possible.

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Safety Tips for Scrap Metal Recyclers - Dallas, TX

SAFETY TIPS FOR SCRAP METAL RECYCLERS

Recycling scrap metal can be lucrative and even fun, but it is important to know of the possible dangers and risks associated with scrap metal recycling as well. Knowledge of the risks allows you to better prepare yourself to gather, clean, and transport metal in the safest way possible—for you and those around you. With these safety tips (and perhaps a quick look back at our post about radioactive scrap metals) you are ready to hit the road.

Recycling scrap metal safety involves using the proper materials and equipment and knowing the right techniques to handle metal as safely as possible. Once you have the right equipment and the right technique, you’re ready to safely recycle scrap metal with Encore.

Safety Tips for Scrap Metal Handling Materials and Equipment

In order to recycle scrap metal safely, you’ll need a few important pieces of safety equipment. One of the most important pieces of safety equipment is a good pair of protective gloves. To maximize your safety, it’s best to use gloves of a heavy material (such as leather) that protect your forearms as well as your hands.

Protective gloves are especially important when dealing with sheet metal, especially very thin sheet metal, as this can cut you very easily—however, proper safety equipment is even important when dealing with something as simple as aluminum cans. Any metal can hurt you if handled improperly.

In addition to protecting you from cuts, wearing protective gloves will keep you from getting potentially harmful materials from dirty scrap on your skin. To fully protect from these materials, adequate clothing and eye protection are also needed.

If you’re going to recycle large amounts of scrap metal, you’ll also certainly need a dolly to help with the weight. Lower back injuries are common among scrap metal recyclers, and can easily be prevented with the right equipment and proper lifting techniques.

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Radioactive Scrap Metal - Dallas, TX

RADIOACTIVE SCRAP METAL

Because of various factors, including oil processing equipment use and nuclear waste disposal, some scrap metal can become contaminated with radiation. Most scrap metal recycling facilities in Dallas, including Encore, cannot recycle this type of material—and even those rare facilities that can recycle radioactive scrap metal have special procedures in place that often affect the value of the metal.

Although radioactive scrap metal, also known as “hot” scrap metal, is rare, it’s important to be aware of the concerns around radioactivity if you plan to recycle scrap metal.

Why Radioactive Scrap Metal is Harmful

Radioactive scrap metal is harmful in the way that all radioactive material is harmful: it can cause cancer, as well as more immediate injuries such as burns. It can also significantly damage metal recycling equipment.

In addition to these effects, a single piece of radioactive material in a load of scrap metal can contaminate the entire load of scrap metal. This is why scrap metal recyclers employ a variety of sensitive radiation checking equipment before allowing scrap into the facility. If a load of scrap metal displays any signs of radioactive contamination, the entire load will in all likelihood be rejected.

Sometimes radiation sensors will go off even when there is not significant contamination, which will be resolved by closer investigation. For example, if you have recently received an x-ray and handle scrap metal, your metal may set off a sensitive sensor, but should not be significantly contaminated.

Although radioactive scrap metal is relatively rare, especially when compared to the huge amounts of radiation-free scrap metal out there, this is another reason that it is always of the utmost importance to use common sense safety practices when handling any scrap metal. The side effects of exposure to radiation can be very serious.

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Penny Scrapping Controversy - Dallas, TX

PENNY SCRAPPING CONTROVERSY

One of the biggest areas of contention in the scrap metal community involves the collection of copper pennies. Here’s some background on the subject to help you form your own opinions. But let us state clearly at the very beginning: scrapping or melting down a copper penny to be scrapped is currently illegal.

Why People Collect Copper Pennies

As many scrap metal enthusiasts know, copper is a fairly valuable metal. Because of this, older pennies that contain copper are often considered to be worth more than their face value in scrap metal. Many estimate that each copper penny is worth about one and a half cents, though this fluctuates every day with the market value of copper.

However, melting these pennies down is illegal, meaning that they are not viable for scrapping at this time. Despite this, many scrap metal and coin collecting enthusiasts collect copper pennies, hoping that the ban on melting them down will be lifted in the near future.

Because of the significant enthusiasm around the collection of copper pennies, many collectors end up paying a premium on copper pennies. This is not worth the money in most cases for several reasons.

The first is that copper pennies are readily available at face value. The second is that there is no guarantee that the ban on melting pennies down will ever be lifted. The third is that copper pennies are not pure copper; rather, they consist of 95% unrefined copper.

While paying a premium for copper pennies is not a good idea, you may think it’s worth your time to get copper pennies in other ways. Simply picking up a roll or box of pennies at your local bank could net you a few copper pennies, for example, if you take the time to sort them.

While there is no guaranteed return on this investment because the ban may never be lifted, you also cannot lose money “buying” pennies at face value. Some scrap and coin collectors don’t think sorting through the pennies is worth the time, while others think it is a fun hobby and a good way to find rarer pennies that fetch good sums of money on the open market.

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