common mistakes that are made when recycling scrap metal

4 Common Mistakes That are Made when Recycling Scrap Metal

Metal recycling isn’t an easy process. In fact, it’s quite complex and requires a lot of due care and attention, especially if you have a large amount to turn in. Therefore it’s absolutely fundamental that no mistakes are made in the early stages, as this could cause a much bigger problem later on.

Unfortunately, however, mistakes do happen. More often than not, this is because people aren’t properly made aware of potential errors, or aren’t sure of the correct processes involved in recycling metals. It’s not common that people completely understand the necessary steps they should be taking in order to render their scrap metal suitable for recycling.

We know that correct recycling is vital for the survival of our environment, the prevention of pollution and the reduction of fossil fuel usage. Because of this, we’ve created this quick run-down of the mistakes that are commonly made when recycling scrap metal.

1. Failing to Separate Your Metals

Your scrap metals may not be processed correctly unless you have separated them.

For larger quantities, it’s a good idea to start sorting through your metal and dividing it by type before its journey to sell-in. If you turn up to a scrapyard with a collection of disorganised metal, it’s going to prove a highly onerous task for the dealer, as they will be required to sort through every piece. This could actually lead to a lower rebate on your metals.

The best way to sort your scrap metals is by first separating them into collections of ferrous and non-ferrous material, and then into groups of specific metals. One of the simplest ways to do this is by using a magnet. For example:

Ferrous (Magnetic):

  • Iron
  • Steel

Non-Ferrous (Non-Magnetic):

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Aluminium
  • Lead
  • Stainless Steel
  • Cables
  • Batteries

You wouldn’t head to the checkout in a supermarket with a bag filled with a combination of tomatoes and carrots to weigh in… So you need to adopt the same etiquette with your scrap dealer.

2. Not Properly Preparing Metals

Preparation is key when looking to receive the best prices for your metal. First start by cleaning your metal making it free of any non-metallic contaminants. For example you will maximise profits by removing all plastic sheathing from copper wire. Although dealers will still buy the cable with the plastic intact you will be paid a much lower price than if the cable was stripped down to bare copper.

3. Confusing Your Scrap Metal Grades and Prices

For newcomers to scrapping, it can be hard to work out what your metals are worth. You may find that your metal is not worth as much as you had hoped – or, if you’re lucky, you may have undervalued your metal and could be in for a nice surprise! There’s a great deal of information online, of varying legitimacy, which might lead to individuals developing misconceptions about the grades and prices of their scrap. Plus, the market changes and fluctuates every day, so the best way to be sure of an honest price is to visit a scrap yard in person or give Maxilead a ring on 0161 790 5105.

If you’re unsure of scrap metal grades, it’s best to ask for advice regarding the material you intend to recycle so you can begin to work out its worth with your dealer. If you’re in possession of any ferrous metals that are ready to scrap, then you can find the standard grades for this type of metal here, while non-ferrous grades can be found here.

Hybrid and non-ferrous metal can be more complex – so it’s always worth asking your dealer for more information and for a valuation.

4. Going to the Wrong Scrap Yard

Of course, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in scrap metal recycling is going to the wrong yard. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act works tirelessly to omit dishonest dealers from our industry, but they’re still out there.

There are plenty of yards that would be happy to pay you less than what your metal is worth if they suspect that you’re not fully clued up on grades and prices, especially if you appear to be a one-off customer. Maxilead works to build up great relationships with our customers, ensuring that they understand our stance as a trustworthy dealer that always offers the best price possible. We offer a cashless membership scheme which currently plays host to over 14,000 users; this helps us to create and maintain ongoing and transparent connections with our clients.

You need to make sure that you’re working with a dealer who’s certified and accredited, and, above all else one you can trust. Maxilead is a long-standing family business with many years of experience within the scrap metal industry. We always have our customers’ best interests at heart, and will offer competitive prices along with a top class service. Contact us today on 0161 790 5105.