Recycling is not just good for the environment, but it can also be good for the wallet as well. When there is a scrap metal recycler in your area, you can take old appliances, cans, car parts, and all sorts of metal waste in and get money. Unfortunately, many scrap yards have minimum weight limits.
When you stop to think about it, it doesn’t make much sense. Minimum weight limits discourage recycling. By maintaining a minimum weight, you are telling individuals with a bed frame or an old lawn mover to throw it in the trash instead. Luckily, there are a few ways of getting around these minimum weight limits to get rid of your metal trash and make some money while you are at it.
Beat Minimum weight limits at the scrap yard by recycling aluminum
When we moved last month, we found ourselves with a bunch of random odds and ends. A couple old bed frames, a reel mower, some poles. I thought make a couple of dollars by selling it to the scrap yard instead of having to pay to drop it off at the dump. Since I was already going, I dug through the recycling bin and pulled out all the soda cans.
It turns out that it was a good thing that I grabbed those aluminum cans. It turns out that it was good that I took that extra five minutes, because it was the difference between getting paid and not getting paid. This particular scrap yard maintains a 500lb minimum limit. I had 115lbs worth of steel. I didn’t realize they had a limit and the scale operator didn’t realize I had so little until I re-weighed. I couldn’t exactly wade into the pile and retrieve my scrap, but they weren’t going to pay me either.
Until the guy realized that I had a bag of aluminum cans as well. There is no minimum of aluminum (well, there is, but it’s a pound) That one pound of aluminum soda cans meant they had to pay me anyway, so they might as well pay me for the steel as well. I went home with $9 in my pocket that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t taken the time to grab that 45 cents worth of aluminum.
Beat Minimum weight limits at the scrap yard by Taking Your Neighbor’s Scrap
Planning a trip to the scrap yard? Ask around with your friends and family if they have anything to take as well. Maybe they have an old satellite dish, bed frame, or engine block sitting in their garage that it was just never worth their time to get rid of.
Craigslist & Freecycle
Another idea is to browse free classified listings. I’ve seen a set of car rims listed for free before. That’s almost 100 pounds worth of metal right there! Satellite dishes are listed all the time, as people upgrade to HD which needs a newer oval dish instead of the smaller round ones. Old computers are good for a pound or two of steel. Filing cabinets, metal shelves, and bed frames are just a few of the things you can find for free and get paid to recycle.
If you know what you are doing, you could try arbitrage. Arbitrage is exploiting inefficiencies in the marketplace by buying something for less than it can be sold elsewhere. A great example is TB from Blue Collar Workman who scouts items at thrift stores for deals that can be sold for a tidy profit on ebay. If you see something being sold for less than it’s scrap price, it might be worth picking up and adding to your load.
Have you ever sold scrap metal? How did you avoid minimum weight limits?