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Scrapping Aluminum Wire - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Aluminum Wire and How to Scrap It

If you scrap often, chances are you’ve come across some aluminum wire. Wire is one of the best ways to get the most value for each load of scrap you bring into the yard, because it’s easy to work with and it’s easy to find a lot of it at once.

As much as you hear about copper wire, aluminum wire doesn’t seem to get as much attention. While many of the basic principles are the same as far as scrapping it goes, it’s worth noting the differences to ensure you get the most for your scrap!

What Is Aluminum Wire?

Aluminum wire is electrical wire made from aluminum. It’s become more and more popular in recent years because it runs a bit cheaper than copper wire. Although it’s not quite as conductive as copper, it’s also attractive to electricians and builders because it can be a bit easier to work with. That’s because of its greater flexibility as well as its lower pricetag.

Just like copper, steel, and any other kind of wire, aluminum wire has advantages and disadvantages both for the electricians who install it in the first place and for scrappers who get it when it comes time to recycle. That’s why it’s important to know how to identify aluminum wire and get the most for it at your local yard. 

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Recycling Pewter - Garland, TX - Encore Recyclers

How to Find (And How to Scrap) Pewter

Pewter is a metal you don’t hear as much about as the ever-popular copper or ubiquitous steel, but it can still have some serious value at the scrap yard. That being said, finding it for scrap can be a real challenge sometimes.

Pewter is most often used in decorative objects and silverware, and is most commonly found in antique items. Shopping for potential scrap at antique shops can be tough, because antique dealers usually know what they have and price their items at much greater than their scrap value. However, this can occasionally be a fairly successful way to find this metal for scrap.

That being said, there are better ways to find pewter, and it can net you a fair price at your favorite local scrap yard!

What Pewter Is (and Why It’s Valuable)

Pewter is an alloy consisting mainly of tin mixed with other metals and a metal known as antimony. Tin is generally speaking the most valuable component in this alloy, so pewters made with more tin than anything else are usually the most valuable. That’s because tin is a metal with a wide variety of uses, and there’s a lot of demand for tin in the market.

Of course, as with any alloy, the other metals used in creating a given piece of this alloy play a big role, too. One of the problems with scrapping pewter is that the quality and component metals vary pretty widely, which can mean that one two-pound piece is worth a lot more than another that looks almost exactly the same.

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Scrapping Old Tools - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Scrapping Your Tools

If you’re a scrapper, you keep a lot of tools around—and if you’re a contractor, construction worker, or landscaper, you’ve got even more tools. A lot of businesses keep tools around, too. However, tools don’t last forever, and there’s a much more responsible and economical way to get rid of the old ones than chucking them in the trash.

It can be the start of a bad day when one of your power tools cuts out or a socket gets warped, but you can help those tools do one more good thing for the planet (and for your wallet) on their way out.

Why Scrap Tools?

There are plenty of great reasons to scrap your tools instead of simply throwing them out. Obviously, getting even a few cents for your trouble is better than getting nothing at all. On top of that, recycling tools rather than throwing them out means that landfills don’t fill up as quickly, and it also reduces pollution and the energy cost of mining new metals.

There’s more than that, though! As power tools become more and more technologically advanced, there are some seriously valuable metals used in their inner workings. Also, highly specialized tools, like the carbide bits used in machine shops, can be made of very valuable and interesting metals that are always worth scrapping.

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How Scrap Metal Pricing Works

Scrap metal pricing can be mystifying to many scrappers, especially those new to the industry. The truth is rather complicated, but less difficult to grasp than you might think. Knowing a bit more about how scrap prices work can help you get the most for your scrap!

Supply and Demand

The biggest factors affecting scrap metal prices are supply and demand. When more businesses need recycled metal, demand goes up, which drives prices up. When there is more scrap metal on the market than is needed, the supply is too high for prices to rise.

The best time to sell scrap metal is when there is a high demand for it and a low supply generally on the market. If you check scrap metal spot prices regularly, you can see trends, and notice when the market for certain metals goes up or down.

Of course, the thing that makes this difficult is that the supply and demand of one metal fluctuate without much influence from the supply and demand of other metals. The price of copper and the price of stainless steel aren’t necessarily closely related to one another.

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How to Scrap a Stereo - Dallas, TX

How to Scrap a Stereo

When a car or home stereo goes bad, rather than throw it out, it’s worth the effort to take it apart at least a little bit and get at some of the potentially valuable scrap metal inside.

In this post, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to make the process of dismantling a stereo easier. Metals such as copper and even gold (in small amounts) are often available inside stereos, and even the wiring and motherboards can have significant value.

Before beginning to dismantle a stereo or any other appliance or electronic device, it’s important to make sure it is completely disconnected from all power sources. For a home stereo, unplug it from the wall, and cut the cord—this can be sold as insulated wire! Before dismantling a car stereo head unit, remove it from the dashboard. Stay safe, scrappers!

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How to Tell the Difference Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

How to Tell the Difference Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Stainless steel and aluminum are both worth collecting, but we all know that their values are different—and, of course, you’re going to get more money for each scrap haul if you sort different types of scrap out from one another. However, telling the difference between aluminum and stainless steel can be very challenging, especially when you’re out in the field without a ton of tools to help you in identifying different metals. Here’s a short, helpful article on how to tell the difference.

General Differences between Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Aluminum is a great deal lighter and more malleable than stainless steel, while stainless steel is generally much stronger. The malleability of aluminum, but its overall lower strength, comes from the fact that it is a much softer metal. This will be important later, as it’s the key factor in the handy tip we’ll give you in the next section of this post.

Both of these metals are so useful because they’re so different—each of them is better than the other for a certain application.

For example, stainless steel‘s strength and corrosion resistance make it ideal for use in the construction field. Aluminum, on the other hand, is one of the primary materials used to make airplanes, because it is so lightweight—obviously a big consideration when you’re making something that’s intended to fly!

The challenge when it comes to identifying aluminum or stainless steel, though, is that they look so similar. A lot of scrappers don’t know how to tell the difference out in the field. However, we’ve found a simple test that a lot of our top scrappers use to determine which is which—and the best part is, it’s very easy to do.

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How to Pick a Scrap Metal Yard - Garland, TX

How to Pick a Scrap Metal Yard

Starting out a scrapping enterprise involves a lot of up-front work besides just gathering scrap, and one important part of that work is the process of choosing a scrap metal yard.

Of course, price is always a factor in choosing a scrap metal yard, but prices are often very similar within a given geographic area, and also fluctuate constantly. While it’s easy enough to find the single yard that usually has the best prices, it’s virtually impossible to find a single yard that always has the best prices for every metal, every time.

However, there are a few other factors that definitely stay more constant—and determining which of them is most valuable to you is the clearest way of choosing the best scrap metal recycling facility to fit your needs.

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Where to Find Copper Wire in Dallas and Garland - Encore Recyclers

Where to Find Copper Wire

Scrap copper is one of our customers’ favorite metals to hunt for, because it’s always in high demand. Even non-scrappers know that copper is a consistently valuable material. One of the most common ways to find copper is in the form of copper wire.

The Most Common Places to Find Copper Wire

One of the most common places to find copper wire is along with electronics. Whether you have some old computers you’re taking apart for their e-scrap value or a broken television set you’re having trouble getting rid of, it’s worth the time to do some basic dismantling to get valuable copper wire separated from other materials.

The easiest place to find insulated copper wire is in power cords of electronics. Even if you don’t have many tools or much experience taking apart electronics, you can probably cut a power cord—just be sure to take all the proper safety precautions while doing so.

A single power cord might not seem like it’ll bring a lot of value, but saving your insulated copper wire in a bucket or storage bin can lead to a pretty nice payday when it comes time to take all your scrap down to the yard.

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Where to Find E-Waste - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Where to Find E-Waste

E-waste is a growing market, and plenty of scrappers want to get in. However, beyond your own old electronics, e-waste can be hard to find. Also, many scrappers don’t yet know how to make the most money from each piece of e-waste. Here are some helpful tips to help you take your e-waste scrapping game to the next level!

Finding E-Waste

As more and more electronics are manufactured every year, the supply of e-waste increases. However, it’s not always easy to find. As demand increases while manufacturers find new ways to convert e-waste into usable material, it’s likely to become even harder to find viable sources of e-waste.

That being said, there are of course good places to find e-waste. Yard sales and flea markets can occasionally provide good hauls, so if you already check there for other scrap materials, it’s worth looking over old electronics too. Particularly at garage sales, if you wait till the end of the day, some sellers will be willing to let things go for free.

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Minimizing Transportation Costs while Scrapping

Minimizing Transportation Costs While Scrapping

We scrap because it’s fun and it’s great for the environment and economy, sure, but we also scrap because it makes us money. However, transportation costs can really eat into a scrapper’s income. While it’s impossible to mitigate scrapping transportation costs entirely, there are plenty of ways to reduce these costs.

Reducing cost can be divided neatly into two key areas. Learning and thinking critically a bit about each area can save you a ton of money—meaning that you keep more of what you earn right in your pocket. These two areas are saving money while picking up scrap and saving money while selling scrap. Each is important, and each can be approached in its own way.

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