Think that all scrap metal is the same? Think again, and think hard. Specific types of metal fetch for more than others. You just have to know what to look for, whilst also using the right tools. Before visiting local scrap metal buyers, you have to know the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
The Ferrous/Non-Ferrous Divide
Ferrous metals are alloys (mixtures) of iron. These metals usually stick to a magnet; contrary to popular belief that only steel sticks to magnets. In truth, any metal with enough iron, nickel, and cobalt in it will get attracted to a magnet.
If you’ve got some ferrous scrap metal in your possession, you’re in for a potentially good payday. While iron is pretty cheap and very common, nickel and cobalt aren’t. Enough amounts of these in an alloy can drive the price of the scrap up. And of course, more ferrous scrap means more money at the end of the day. Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, doesn’t have enough interesting components in them for them to fetch a mint.
Ferrous metals have rare components in them, that’s why they’re bought for good prices. Industries would rather reuse these metals than mine for them, all for practicality purposes. Statistics show more than enough proof: about 40 percent of the world’s steel production is due to scrap. Furthermore, the constant recycling of ferrous refuse uses as much 75 percent less energy, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 58 percent.
It’s good that ferrous scrap is valuable for recycling. Left behind to disintegrate, these materials can pose harm to the environment. They’re likely to contain various toxic chemicals that leech into the surroundings over time. Not to mention, they can also pose fire and safety hazards — leaking oil/petrol and other substances, as well as sharp edges.
Do what you can to help the environment. Look around your home and your neighbourhood, try to find if there’s enough ferrous scrap to sell for a profit. It’ll be a two-way street, really: you help clean up and protect the surroundings, and you earn money in the process. Just bring a piece magnet with you and you’re good to go.