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How to Scrap a Microwave - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

How to Scrap a Microwave

Like many other appliances, scrapping a microwave can be tough. However, with the right know-how and just a little bit of luck, your microwave could be worth a lot more disassembled when you take it to the scrap yard.

This is because microwaves can contain sources of valuable metals like copper, and because even the more common metals used to make microwaves will be worth more if taken off or out of the machine before taking them in to scrap.

Getting Started

Before you start dismantling your microwave for scrap, there is some important prep work to do. First, you need to make sure you have the following vital safety equipment:

  • protective eyewear
  • work gloves
  • long sleeves

You’ll also want to make sure you’re working in a clean environment—both to keep your valuable scrap clean and to keep yourself safe.

Also, the first thing you want to do when beginning to disassemble any appliance is cutting the cord. This is a safety measure—and on top of that, you can get a standard insulated wire price for the cord, or strip it down to further clean and separate the conductive metal inside.

Last but not least, it’s worth looking up videos or instructions for disassembling your particular brand and model of microwave online. While disassembling a microwave won’t be described in a standard instruction manual, it’s a pretty common scrapping practice, and a more experienced scrapper might have some great safety or technical advice.

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How to Scrap a Refrigerator - Dallas, TX - Encore Recyclers

How to Scrap a Fridge

Scrapping a refrigerator is one of the more intricate scrapping tasks, but it can also be quite lucrative. Here are some tips regarding scrapping a fridge safely and legally.

Rule No. 1 – Don’t Cut the Refrigerant Lines

The main thing that makes recycling a refrigerator (or an air conditioner, for that matter) difficult is the presence of refrigerant chemicals such a freon. Some of these gases are very harmful to breathe, and virtually all of them are quite damaging to the ozone layer.

Because these lines are made of copper, most scrappers want to recycle them, but before they can legally be recycled, an HVAC professional with the right certification needs to drain them. If you have certification or know someone who does, you’re in luck—but if not, you may not be able to fully recycle the refrigerator without paying a professional to do this work properly.

However, there are some other valuable parts on the refrigerator! Fortunately, these parts are generally easy to access, and can still be worth quite a lot.

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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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