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Archives for Scrap Metals

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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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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Recycling Tin in Dallas and Garland, Texas

What is Tin and How Do You Recycle It?

Tin is a material we see frequently here at Encore Recyclers in Garland, but it’s also something that confuses a lot of people in the scrap industry. Luckily, we have all the answers regarding tin right here on our blog.

The name “tin” is misleading. Almost any “tin” material you’ll find at Encore or any other Garland scrap metal recycler isn’t the element tin, but actually very thin strips of steel.

But What About Tin Cans?

Yes, tin was historically used in tin cans, which were ubiquitous in much of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, even these cans were not actually made of tin.

Most often, they were made of steel, which was then covered (or plated) with tin. The reason for this is simple: tin does not corrode, but steel (especially cheaper, lower grade steel) does. It was cheaper for the canning industry to make cheap steel cans, then coat them with tin to make them weather-resistant.

This advancement of engineering was important to both the military (which used tin cans to feed soldiers on the move) and to the rise of major industry and mass production more generally.

Today, most “tin cans” of soup, beverages, and other canned goods are primarily made of aluminum.

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Recycling Titanium - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Recycling Titanium

Like other recyclable metals, we’re happy to take titanium materials here in Garland at Encore Recyclers. However, there’s a lot people don’t know about this metal. Here’s some important (and even fun) information for all you scrappers out there.

The Uses of Titanium

Titanium is an amazing metal for several reasons, especially its durability, low weight, and extremely high melting point. It’s used in a variety of both everyday and highly specialized tools and pieces of equipment, including things like

  • Frames for eyeglasses
  • Bicycle frames and components
  • Airplane engines
  • Replacement hips
  • Ballistic armor
  • Watches and jewelry
  • Motorcycles and automotive parts

As you can see from the wide variety of uses it’s put to, titanium is quite versatile. This can also make it a valuable metal, especially if it’s clean and otherwise in good condition. It can be easy for scrappers to find, too!

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Recycling Zinc - Dallas and Garland, TX

Recycling Zinc

Zinc is one of the most often overlooked scrap metals. However, with the right know-how and a little hard work and experience, you can easily turn zinc into cash with Encore Recyclers. While you’re making money, you’ll also be helping the planet!

The State of Zinc Recycling 

Zinc is a widely-used metal. Its most common use is in treating steel through a process called galvanization, which essentially involves coating the steel with zinc. This is done to make the steel more durable, especially protecting it from the effects of environmental changes.

Zinc is also a widely-used material in many alloys (blends of different naturally occurring metals to create a new metal), most commonly in brass.

Zinc is fairly widely recycled. Somewhere around 80% of used zinc is recycled. However, that’s still much less than some other metals! Steel, for example, is virtually 100% recycled—no reusable structural steel goes to waste.

On top of this discrepancy, there’s another problem. Although 94% of structural steel is made from recycled material, only about 30% of zinc is. That means that a lot of energy is being expended on mining zinc, instead of using more environmentally friendly (and otherwise equivalent) recycled zinc.

However, new recycling technologies are making it much easier to separate zinc from other metals, so both the amount of zinc recycled and the percentage of new zinc made from recycled materials should go up soon. This change will be good for the environment and economy—and you can be a part of it!

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Top 5 Places to Find Copper for Recycling - Dallas, TX

Top 5 Places to Find Copper for Recycling

There’s a reason copper is one of the most frequently recycled metals at scrap facilities like Encore Recyclers. It’s pretty much the most valuable per-pound metal that you can frequently find in large quantities. However, it’s a lot easier to find if you know where to look—so here are the top five places to find scrap copper.

1. Construction and Demolition Sites

This might be the best place to find scrap copper—but it’s also the one you most often hear about people stealing copper from. Whenever you see a pile of copper—even if it’s in a Dumpster—be sure to ask the owner’s permission to take it. It’s often best to get them to sign the copper over to you, too.

One of the best ways to easily and legally get scrap copper from construction and demolition sites is to offer yourself up as a haul-away service. This is especially effective when it comes to small construction businesses, who may not have the resources to haul a lot of copper themselves.

That’s where you come in—by offering to haul away their scrap for free or very cheap, you can help a small business while also making some money yourself. You can often get other kind of scrap metal, such as steel, the same way!

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Copper Recycling - Dallas, TX

Why Is Copper the Most Sought-After Metal for Recycling?

If you’ve been scrapping in Dallas for a while, you likely already know that copper is in high demand—meaning that you get more money per pound for your copper recycling than for almost anything else when it comes time to bring your materials into the yard.

Even if you aren’t yet a scrapper, you’ve likely heard at least one off-the-wall story about copper thieves stealing materials, especially copper wire. In two different cities, copper thieves actually succeeded in tearing out parts of underground power lines, leaving thousands of residents without power.

Whether you’ve been scrapping for years or you just hear about copper prices, sales, or thefts now and again, you’ve likely wondered why copper is so valuable and sought-after. We have the answers—and tips on how to recycle copper easily and legally yourself!

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Scrap Metal Hidden in Your House - Dallas, TX

Scrap Metal Hidden in Your House

The easiest way to get started as a scrapper is to start scrapping materials in your own home. You can learn many of the skills necessary to becoming a successful scrapper, without the added difficulty of looking for and asking permission to take recyclable materials.

Most people are surprised when they find out how much potentially valuable recyclable scrap metal is in their own home—and love making a positive impact on the environment while also earning a little extra cash.

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Recycling Magnesium in Dallas - Encore Recyclers Scrap Metal

Recycling Magnesium

Recycling magnesium in Dallas might seem difficult at first, but it’s actually quite easy once you have the right information. It can be very profitable as well!

Recycling magnesium is also very important for protecting the environment. It is one of the most recyclable metals, and recycling a material containing magnesium alloy (a metal compound made with magnesium) uses only 5% of the energy it would cost to produce new magnesium alloys.

Because magnesium is a widely used material in die-casting, even for structural purposes, it is important that scrap magnesium does not go to waste. Industries that use magnesium do a lot of work to encourage recycling, and many manufacturers that use magnesium actually recycle it themselves.

All of this is good for the environment, but recycling magnesium can also be good for you.

We do not accept magnesium chips for recycling, as they have been known to spontaneously catch fire.
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How and Where to Recycle ANYTHING in Dallas!

Where to Recycle Anything in Dallas

Luckily for all of us who live in the city of Dallas, it’s easy to recycle here. It’s also free—and in fact, you can even make money recycling, depending on what materials you have and how you recycle them.

On the other hand, recycling rules can be complex in any city. On top of that, many people recycle the wrong things, or throw out things they could in fact recycle.

This article will teach you how to recycle anything in Dallas (or nearly anything!)—and how to help protect our environment by doing so.

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What Happens to Your Raw Scrap Metal When it is Recycled? - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

What Happens to Your Raw Scrap Metal When It Is Recycled?

If you’re a current scrapper or you’re interested in bringing some scrap to Encore, you’ve probably read or heard a good deal about the ways in which recycling scrap metal helps the environment and the economy. On top of this, you know how it can be lucrative to you directly. However, you may not know how all this works. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to raw scrap metal during the recycling process.

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How to Identify Steel Scrap Metal Recycling - Dallas, TX

Know Your Steel to Make the Most Money from Scrap Recycling

Steel is an essential material that scrap yards are constantly seeking. In fact, as much as 50% of the steel created in the United States ends up being recycled to make new steel components. This is good for the environment and the economy because steel can easily be reused to create new steel products.

However, not all steel is the same—and different steels fetch different values. To make the most money when recycling your scrap with Encore Recyclers, you should learn a bit about different types of steel.

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How to Get the Best Scrap Metal Price - Dallas, TX - Encore Recyclers

Factors That Affect Your Scrap Metal Price

When a scrap yard like Encore Recyclers buys scrap metal or other recyclable materials from a customer like you, there are many factors that go into determining your scrap metal price.

Understanding these factors can help you consistently get the most for your scrap every time, by bringing in the right amounts of the right materials, as well as preparing in various other ways.

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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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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% 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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Scrap Metal Recycling Costs and Benefits - Dallas, TX

Do Recycling Costs Outweigh the Benefits?

Many often wonder whether or not recycling costs may actually cancel out the environmental benefits. This is especially true for scrap metal recycling, which is more difficult for individuals and expensive for industry in most cases, than plastic or cardboard recycling is.

A true cost-benefit analysis that takes all factors into consideration, though, will always show that the benefits of recycling, including scrap metal recycling, truly do outweigh recycling costs—for individuals, the recycling industry, and the planet.

Let’s take a closer look at this by focusing on the costs and benefits of recycling in great detail, so you can decide if scrap metal recycling costs—or the cost of any other form of recycling—outweigh the negatives.

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Top 3 Things You Didn't Know About Scrap Metal Recycling on Construction Sites

Top 3 Things You Don’t Know About Scrap Metal Recycling on Construction Sites

Every responsible construction business has two goals: make a profit and limit its negative impact on the environment. The same goes for demolition crews.

One of the best ways to protect the environment while offsetting the cost of equipment and labor on a given job is to recycle scrap metal with a local Dallas scrap recycler.

Most construction crew leaders know about scrap recycling, but many worry about cost, quality, and time. Here are some of the top things most construction and demolition business owners don’t know about the scrap recycling industry—and some of the ways having this knowledge can benefit you, your team, and our planet.

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Recycle Steel Scrap Metal in Dallas, Texas

How to Recycle Steel In Dallas, Texas

Recycling steel is great for the environment, and it’s also one of the most valuable metals to recycle. If you want to make some extra money recycling metal, or you’re just interested in how scrap metal recycling works, steel is a great place to start learning.

What is steel?

 Steel is a highly versatile metal made by mixing iron with materials such as carbon. Because it is an alloy, or a metal made from a chemical mixture, it can be made in a wide variety of ways for different applications. It’s used in everything from household appliances like refrigerators and washer-dryers to cars to firearms to aviation and manufacturing equipment. There’s even plenty of steel being used under the ocean and in space right now!

Steel is also one of the best materials in the world to recycle. Because steel is so widely used, it is always worth something—and because it consists of so much iron, very little material is lost during the recycling process. This means that used steel appliances and components can easily be recycled into new steel appliances and components, which helps offset the environmental impact of mining new iron and producing new steel.

Because it’s one of the most valuable and eco-friendly metals to recycle, it is also the most widely recycled material—metal or otherwise—in the world. In the United States in 2000, over 60 million metric tons of steel were recycled. As recently as 2008, 83% of US steel was recycled.

Even though there’s a high supply, though, there’s an even higher demand for steel. This means that recycling your scrap steel can make you money while you help protect the environment at the same time.

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Scrap Metal Recycling Benefits For Small Business - Dallas, TX

Scrap Metal Recycling Benefits for Small Business

Dallas scrap metal recycling facilities offer huge benefits for small businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. No matter what kind of business you own, you probably have some recyclable scrap metal—meaning you can make some extra money while improving the environment.

Dallas Aluminum Can Recycling

Aluminum can recycling is often the simplest and fastest of the many recycling services offered at Encore. Whether you’re a restaurant or bar owner who goes through thousands of cans a day, or you’d just like to get a bit of extra money for the cans employees use in the break room, recycling aluminum cans is a great way to make extra money for your business quickly.

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What determines the value of scrap metal? Dallas, TX

What Determines the Price of Scrap Metal?

Scrap metal price is determined by the type of metal, location, quantity, and current market value. Copper sells for more than aluminum; scrap metal sells for more here in Dallas than in Mumbai, India; and a ton of scrap metal will sell for more than a few pounds.

As for current market value, you can follow the “spot price” of a given metal. Spot price is the price that companies pay for pure ingots of a metal. Kitco offers several helpful charts showing the current and historical market spot price for various popular metals here: http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/copper.html

Scrap metal categories determine price

Copper, lead, stainless steel, and most of the other metals we recycle fall into various categories that are used to determine value. Copper can be subcategorized into Bare Bright Copper, Copper #1, Copper #2, Copper #3, for example. Aluminum can be subcategorized as Cast Aluminum, Sheet Aluminum, Aluminum Cans, Extruded Aluminum, and the list goes on. Sometimes these subcategories are obvious, but sometimes there can be some controversy. One scrap metal recycler may classify your copper as Bare Bright Copper, while another classifies it as Copper #1. One may grade your metal as cast aluminum, while another grades it as “pot metal”—which is worth about 40% less!

For more information about scrap metal categories, take a look at our “Metals We Buy” page.

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How to Get Started as a Scrap Metal Recycler - Dallas, TX

Looking for Extra Income? Think About Scrap Metal Recycling

Not only is scrap metal recycling a responsible thing to do as natural resources become depleted, it can also be a profitable endeavor for scrap metal recyclers. Businesses often find it more profitable to create products from recycled materials, and a scrap metal recycler forms a valuable link in the supply chain to divert these materials from landfills back into the manufacturing cycle.

First, find your scrap metal:

In most cases, you’ll be looking for metal—anything from aluminum cans to old pipes to electrical wiring. But Encore Recyclers also takes e-waste, such as cell phones, computer circuit boards, and other electronic materials. We also accept neoprene, a rubbery product manufactured by Dupont to make scuba suits, cases for electronics, and medical braces.

If you’re a business, think about collecting unwanted objects from your offices or clients to recycle. Plumbers, general contractors, and carpenters will often find used appliances, metal pipes, discarded siding, and other pieces of metal that are suitable for recycling. As an individual, think about recycling broken bicycles, metal tools, and old appliances. In Dallas, it’s popular for people to pick up scrap materials on bulky trash pickup day. You can find the bulk trash pickup day for any given neighborhood here: http://dallascityhall.com/departments/sanitation/Pages/brush_and_bulky.aspx

Encore Recyclers will accept almost any metal object, as long as it does not contain dangerous chemicals or is radioactive.

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How to Recycle Your Scrap Metal for the Best Price - Dallas, TX

Getting Ready to Recycle Your Scrap Metal

After you’ve finished a demolition or other project, you may wish to recycle your scrap metal. Scrap metal is not biodegradable, so it’s ideal for recycling. And while Encore Recyclers will buy your metal when mixed together, you may be able to achieve a better price for your scrap by separating out your scrap metals and doing a little prep work, such as removing plastic, rubber, or other contaminants. Read on to learn how to best separate and prep your scrap materials.

Clean your scrap metal

First, remove any contaminants, such as dirt, plastic, rubber, or other metals. The consumer mills that we sell to in bulk will only take clean, uncontaminated scrap metal that they can put directly into their furnaces. If we receive scrap that is free of contaminants, we are better able to pass the labor savings onto you.

For cars and other vehicles

Most scrap companies, including Encore Recyclers, will accept entire battery assemblies and entire catalytic converters. Electric motor parts can also be recycled. The field windings (parts with copper wire wound around) should be separated out from the iron and steel for the best price (armatures are very difficult to separate and might need to be chiseled out). The same goes for starters and alternators. Copper or brass radiators from older cars are valuable for scrap; you can identify copper by its bluish-green patina or by scraping the flanges of the radiator and looking for the reddish hue characteristic of copper. Aluminum radiators common in newer cars are not as valuable as coppers ones, but are still worth recycling. Heater cores are brass or aluminum radiators that can be recycled as scrap metal. With all of these parts, you can maximize the value of your scrap by removing pieces of plastic, insulation, and extraneous metals.

Separate ferrous from non-ferrous metals

Iron, steel and other ferrous metals are magnetic. For smaller pieces of metal, you may even be able to lift them out of piles of scrap metal with a large magnet.

Separate non-magnetic, stainless steel

Stainless steel is alloy containing chromium. It has a dull shine and is heavier than chrome- or nickel-plated steel. Sometimes, it may be slightly magnetic. If you do find stainless steel that’s magnetic, you should add it to your ferrous metals.

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Selling Insulated Copper Wire Scrap for the Highest Price in Dallas, TX

Should You Burn Your Copper Wire to Earn More Money For Scrap?

Spoiler alert: NO!

We saw a disturbing video of a man advocating the burning of insulated copper wire, purportedly to qualify the wire as Copper #2, which brings a higher sale value when sold as scrap than insulated wire. Please don’t do this.

Burning insulated wire in Texas is ILLEGAL under the federal Clean Air Act.

Burning copper wire is not a safe way to release the copper inside it. Burning copper wire releases carcinogens and toxins into the air and into the ground around the burn site, including “dioxins, furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particulate matter, heavy metals (such as lead, arsenic, selenium and cadmium) and other pollutants.”

You might wonder how burning copper wire yourself is different from the industrial process used to reclaim copper from insulated wire. It’s true that heat is also used to strip copper wire in a commercial setting. There is a big difference between holding copper wire over a flame, as an amateur might do, and a factory that uses the intense heat of an industrial incinerator and appropriate venting procedures. Burning insulated copper wire yourself releases toxins that can damage your nervous system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system, not to mention increasing your risk of cancer.

Fines and punishment for not following this code are steep. You could face fines in the tens of thousands of dollars or even jail time. If someone should catch you burning insulated wire, they can report you for a reward.

This blog post from Scrap Metal Junkie breaks down the foolishness of burning copper wire for economic purposes.

Say for example that #1 copper scrap is worth 2.60 per pound, scrap insulated wire is worth $1.20 per pound, and burned wire is worth $2.20 per pound… For a pile of wire that weighs under 100 lbs, there is NO reason to burn it.

If you burned 100 lbs of insulated copper wire copper wire, and you end up with less than 60 pounds of burned copper, then that means you have broken even…(When you burn copper wire, it loses about half its weight, depending on the type of wire.)

On the other hand, if you were to strip the same wire, you would make at least $31!

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Best prices for aluminum cans and scrap metal - Dallas, TX

Recycling Aluminum Cans

Did you know that aluminum used to be considered such a rare and precious commodity that Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, had a rattle and other toys made of aluminum, as a status symbol? Even though aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, at the time it was extremely difficult to produce. In fact, aluminum was selected as the material to use for the 100-ounce capstone of the Washington Monument in 1884, a time when one ounce cost the daily wage of a common worker on the project. The capstone, which was set in place on December 6, 1884, was the largest single piece of cast aluminum  at the time.

When you think of recycling, aluminum cans are often the first item to come to mind. It makes sense, since aluminum cans are perhaps the most sustainable beverage container available. Not only are they extremely lightweight and easily stacked (try stacking glass bottles!) for efficiency in transport, but they are easily reclaimed. According to the Aluminum Association, approximately 70% of every aluminum consists of recycled aluminum.

Here are some additional facts about aluminum cans that you might not have known:

  • More than 50 percent of the aluminum cans produced is recycled.
  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days.
  • Every minute, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
  • Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline.
  • Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: Two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

Other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.

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