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 steelĀ 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.