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13 Types of Scrap Metal

The scrap metal industry may not be glamorous as others, but it is just as important. Not only to the environment, but you can recycle, upcycle, and exchange your discarded scrap metals – for cash payments! The key here is to know about the types of metals, what they are used for as well as their value.

Separating and sorting your scrap metal into different types is the first step. A magnet can help you separate the metal into two main categories. One is ferrous (which the magnets attract) and the other, non-ferrous. You want more non-ferrous metals; these are valuable and are worth all the trouble and the money.

Identify and Know Your Scrap Metal

When you know the types of scrap metal you are dealing with, it becomes a lot easier. Just remember though, the value of scrap metal depends on the quantity, the quality, and the type of material you bring to the scrap yard. This quick guide will help you discern the metal and look for opportunities where you can find them.


This is a commonly recycled scrap metal. You can find aluminum in your soda cans, discarded food wrap foils, an entire screen door frame, or storm windows. Check your air conditioning units and old mobile homes, they will most likely have aluminum wiring.


It’s easy to find brass in your home. Your air conditioning unit is a good place to start. Other things such as door knobs, brass-plated crockery, and old bed frames are made from brass.


Carbide is a popular demand these days and that means you can get a good price for it. If you have many tools, you will find carbide in tool bits or drill bits. They are heavy and grayish in color.


Your batteries have cobalt in them! So do alloyed scraps like turnings, filter cakes, and leach residue. Cobalt is one of the most useful types of scrap metal and the demand for it is steadily increasing every day.


After aluminum and steel, copper is the third most used metal in manufacturing. Copper is a valuable metal found in your household plumbing, statues or living room decor, appliances, kitchen sinks, pots old roof accents, and electronic wiring.


Looking for gold to scrap definitely makes recycling fun and profitable at the same time. Gold is not only found in a jewelry box but check old smoke detectors, old VCRs, and cell phones. Heat insulators in cars, embroidery done on clothing with gold thread, and photographic toners are just some of the top places at home where you can find gold.


Don’t be surprised if we tell you that unused patio furniture or your garden furniture is most likely made of iron. Even appliances such as iron pans, lawn mowers, swings in your backyard, and iron railings are acceptable as scrap metal.


Lead is a metal that requires so much energy to mine that lead recycling is a preferred method to acquire the metal. It is a highly toxic metal so be sure to protect yourself and your surroundings.


Other than Canadian coins, you can find the nickel in rechargeable batteries, microphone capsules, and electric guitar strings.


Silver is considered a precious metal and can earn good money. You can get coin rolls from the bank and look for coins minted before 1964; these have over 90% silver content. You can also find this precious metal on jewelry, tableware, and utensils too.


Stainless steel is one of the biggest metals used for manufacturing and is stable when it comes to pricing. If you were renovating your kitchen, scrap your stainless appliances, sinks, trays, and appliances made of steel. Just make sure your material is not magnetic or you may get a lower price for it.


Titanium is used in manufacturing just about everything from jewelry to airplanes and that’s why this metal is so valuable. It can get you a good price at the scrap yard.


There are many places at home where you can find tungsten for example, razor blades, jewelry, and ballpoint pens, just to name a few.

Take a hard look at this metal list to discover scrap metal around your home that could help earn you money. Share this list with others and help protect and conserve the earth’s resources.

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