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.
Renovating Your Kitchen or Bathroom?
The easiest place to find valuable scrap-ready material in your own home is in the kitchen or bathroom. Any time you have plumbing work done, or if you find yourself completely remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, you’ll likely have plenty of extra material on hand.
For example, most plumbing pipes in your home are made from copper tubing. Any time you replace pipes, don’t throw the old ones out! Copper is one of the easiest and most valuable metals to recycle.
Brass fixtures and faucets can be valuable too—but be sure to remove plastic parts, or parts made of other metals, to get the most cash for your scrap. Metal that is cleaned and sorted is always worth more than a jumble of metal.
A harder item to clean, but a potentially valuable one, is a stainless steel kitchen sink. The difficult part is removing any plastic, rubber, or non-stainless steel parts, as well as getting the main material clean. However, putting in a little bit of work can net you extra cash! If you do sell a stainless steel sink to a scrap yard, be sure to keep it separate from other metals.
Electronic waste, often called e-waste in the recycling industry, can be easy and lucrative to recycle as well. Have an old power strip or mini-transformer (the block on the end of a cell phone charger)? You can sell these to a scrap yard as “copper-bearing materials,” and although they’re not worth much money on their own, getting even a little cash is better than simply throwing them out.
Old desktop and laptop computers are some of the best things to recycle. You can either bring them into Encore Recyclers fully recycled, or take them apart yourself to earn even more.
As long as you ensure that the power to the unit is disconnected (meaning you should unplug computers and take batteries out), most computers can be safely and easily broken down even by people without much experience. There are plenty of tutorial articles and videos to help you along the way, too.
Similarly, electronics like printers, scanners, and fax machines can either be disassembled or recycled as general e-waste. These will need to be taken to one of the Dallas e-waste recycling facilities, as we do not accept these items at Encore.
Other Home Recyclables
Almost anything made of metal—from unusable pots and pans to aluminum lawn chairs—can be recycled at Encore.
If you’re not sure about whether or not your item can be recycled, call ahead and ask anytime! Even though most of these small home items won’t be worth much, they’re worth more to us (and to the environment) than to the landfill—and if you bring in enough at one time, you might net more cash than you expect.