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How Much Is Scrap Metal Worth?

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Whether it’s the job site, a home renovation, or material just lying around, there’s a good chance your scrap metal can be traded for cash. Many different types of metal are considered suitable as scrap. But we’ll discuss some of the exceptions, too.

Recycling scrap metal does more than just pad your pockets. The environmental impact of recycling metal products is immense. Responsible disposal of your scrap metal frees your home of debris while benefiting both your bank account and the natural world.

So what’s scrap metal worth? Let’s find out! And if you have specific questions about scrap metal you’d like to sell, you can contact our experts at Federal Metals for more answers.

What Qualifies as Scrap Metal?

Scrap metal describes a wide variety of metal materials that can be reused and recycled. This includes items that have already been used like aluminum framing or siding, and extra metal material that you might just consider waste (think tin trimmings). Some metal that has been contaminated or used in certain appliances may not be suitable for scrap.

Nuts, bolts, rods, bars, sheets, and wire all qualify as scrap metal. Most metals used for construction and in your home can be categorized into ferrous and non-ferrous metals. When you turn in your scrap, the metal is cleanly recycled and turned into new products.

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals are magnetic metals used in heavy construction. Iron and steel are the most common ferrous metals. Steel is the most recycled material in the world and can almost always be sold as scrap. Ferrous scrap metal items include:

  • Structural steel
  • Beams & Columns
  • Channel pieces
  • Metal plates
  • Cast iron
  • Wrought iron

Non-Ferrous Metals

Most of the metal items around your home are non-ferrous (non-magnetic). These materials are often made out of metal alloy (mixture of metals) and can also be used as scrap metal. The price of each alloy depends on the exact substance being sold. Non-ferrous metals include:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel
  • Carbide
  • Tungsten
  • Insulated wire
  • Copper

High-Value Copper

The copper scrap market is particularly strong and deserves a special mention. Copper is found in most homes in the form of wiring, plumbing, and electronics. The chemical and physical properties of copper do not degrade during the recycling process, which bolsters the 2nd-hand copper market.

Copper remains a valuable scrap metal in Canada, with copper wire and copper material always worth scrapping.

A collection of assorted scrap metal including copper and steel laying on a white surface

Scrap Metal Trends

As industries become greener and our world’s natural resources deplete, the metal recycling market continues to grow. In fact, the global metal recycling market is expected to grow by $25 billion before 2025.

There are several trends, both globally and in Canada, that make recycling metal more profitable and give scrap metal a higher value than ever before. Every year, it’s becoming more worth it to sell your scrap metal. And our bin service adds total convenience to profiting off your recycled metal.

Demand for Steel Is Increasing

The industrialization and urbanization of developing countries (ie. China) continue to push the global steel demand. Because steel can be recycled over and over again, scrap products retain high value.

As the demand continues to rise, so does the percentage of recycled steel. 69% of North American steel uses recycled products. Keep trading in that scrap steel!

Steel Production is Greener

Industry leaders and national governments have been trending towards greener metal production for some time. This means more efficient steel production methods that emphasize the input of recycled material. So the value of your scrap steel remains high for the foreseeable future.

Recycled Aluminum Demand is Rising

Aluminum is taking a bigger chunk of the metal production market. In line with global emission regulations, car and airline manufacturers are looking to get green with lightweight materials. Phone manufacturer Apple is also moving to more recycled aluminum material in their production.

Recycled material makes up about 50% of total aluminum production. This means that along with other recycled non-ferrous metals, aluminum demand is on the rise.

Copper Prices Continues to Soar

Copper prices have been surging for almost a decade. Some economists are predicting copper will reach an all-time high in the coming year. Because of copper’s tremendous conductivity, it continues to be in demand for home electrical circuits.

The growing prevalence of electronic devices also keeps copper relevant and valuable. Copper is used as a conductor in cell phones, tablets, and other emerging technologies.

Make sure you are retrieving copper from job sites and old appliances. And make sure you are profiting by selling your copper for cash.

Understanding Scrap Metal Value

Trends in Canada and abroad are certainly bolstering the scrap metal market. Recycling metal is not only a social mandate but is generally more efficient and more profitable for manufacturers. But the worth of scrap metal is ever-changing.

Relatively speaking, scrap metal prices are currently high compared to the last several years. Supply, demand, and changing industry factors keep the price of scrap metal in flux. At this time, however, scrap prices are favourable for sellers.

Understanding how much scrap metal is worth also requires an understanding of your material mix. Each type of metal has its unique value and will affect the bottom line of your scrap heap’s worth.

Keeping up to date on national indexes can give you a general idea of the going rates for selling scrap. But keep in mind that local factors and micro-markets can influence the exact price of any scrap metal.

And remember, our scrap metal experts are always ready to discuss your recycled metal. One thing is for sure — your scrap metal is worth more being sold than it is on your garage floor.

It’s Worth Selling Your Scrap

The monetary worth of scrap metal changes year by year. But global production methods and the direction of metal demand are increasing the value of recyclable metals. Now is as good a time as ever to inventory your scrap and start making a profit on your metal waste. Aluminum, copper, brass, steel…the list goes on of recyclable metals that can be sold as scrap. Federal Metals takes scrap metal off your property and takes the environmental onus off your plate. Recycling your scrap metal is the right thing to do and a way to add value to your bottom line.

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