The 23 Most Profitable Items to Scrap

by Creating Change Mag
most profitable items to scrap

Scrapping can be a great way to make more money and increase your income. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 23 most profitable scrap metal items in order to make the most of your efforts.

From metal and electronics to building materials, you may be surprised at what you can scrap and how much it’s worth. Let’s begin!

The Best Things to Scrap for Money: Scrap Metal Recycling and More!

The scrap metal industry isn’t just about recycling and saving the environment. With mobile business ideas such as how to make money with a pickup truck, junk removal franchises, and manufacturing businesses, it can also be a great way to make some extra cash.

Let’s look at the best scrap metal items and non-metals to scrap for money.

1. Aluminum and Aluminum Cans

Recycling metals like aluminum and aluminum cans can be a great way to make money. It fetches an average of $0.15 – $0.50 per pound.

2. Copper Wiring and Copper Tubing

Copper wiring and tubing are some of the most valuable items to scrap. They can earn $4.00/lb.

3. Brass

Scrapping brass offers a great return on investment at $2.30 to $2.75 per pound. It’s easy to find and durable, making it an ideal material for recycling.

4. Iron

Iron is abundant, durable, and easy to recycle yielding a decent return at $87.00/ton or $0.0435/lb.

5. Stainless steel

Resistant to corrosion and easy to recycle, it’s the perfect choice for money-savvy scrap collectors at $0.23/lb.

6. Lead

Heavy, malleable, easy to cast, and at about $1.00/lb it’s a great choice for scrap collectors.

7. Platinum Jewelry and other Precious Metals

Scrapping platinum jewelry and other precious metals is incredibly lucrative with platinum being over $990/oz, gold at $1,886/oz, and silver over $22/oz.

8. Used appliances

From supplying spare parts to reselling for refurbishment, there are plenty of ways to make money from used appliances.

9. Old tools

Old tools can be good to scrap for money due to their metal content, including steel and iron. If the tools are in decent shape, you may also be able to resell them.

10. Computer Parts

From small parts like cables and memory to entire machines, there’s always potential for profit.

11. Scrap a Junk Car or Car Parts

With metals like aluminum, steel, and copper all able to be recycled for cash, there’s potential for a good return.

12. Car Batteries

Car batteries contain valuable metals like lead, plus you can often get cash for the plastics too. The average price is $0.22/lb.

13. Ballasts

Not only are they worth up to $2.10/lb, but they take up no space, so you can make more money per square foot of scrap than many other items.

14. Nickel

With its strong price-per-pound of $2.50-$3.00 and small size, you can quickly transport nickel to a scrapping yard without much trouble.

15. Electric Motors

Scrapping electric motors can fetch $0.20-$0.25 per pound. All you need are a few tools and patience.

16. Bottles

Bottle scrapping can earn about $0.02 per bottle. All you need are some bottles and an easy-to-use recycling center.

17. Ink Cartridges

Scrapping empty ink cartridges can typically earn between $1 and $5, making it a great way to make a quick buck while also helping the environment.

18. Clothes

Getting rid of old clothes on online marketplaces like eBay, Poshmark, and thredUP is a great way to both declutter and make extra money.

19. Cast Iron Pots and Pans

Cast iron pots and pans are good to scrap for money due to their high steel content and durability, fetching around $0.06-$0.07/lb at scrap yards.

20. Air Conditioner Units

Air conditioners can be lucrative to scrap due to their copper and aluminum components. Taking it apart and selling scrap metal parts is usually more profitable.

21. Plastic Scrap

Scrapping plastic including polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride, is profitable due to the high demand for recycled plastic.

22. Electric Cables and Wires

Electric cables and wires are good to scrap for money due to their copper, aluminum, and brass content.

23. Scrap Electronics (including televisions and cell phones)

Electronics like TVs and cell phones are great to scrap for money due to the valuable metals they contain, such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, and other metals.

Recycling Scrap Metal: What are Ferrous Scrap Metal and Non-Ferrous Scrap Metals?

Separate ferrous metal items (iron or steel) and non-ferrous metal (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, titanium, and zinc alloys) in metal recycling.

Non-ferrous metals generally fetch higher prices, but it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both types to make informed decisions on which ones to focus on.

Collecting Scrap Metal for Money

Scrap metal can be sourced from businesses, home projects, construction materials, and even appliances that are no longer being used. The best places to look are garages, basements, warehouses, appliance stores, and any other place where scrap metal may be found. Don’t forget to check online classifieds as well.

Finding the Best Scrap Yard

Find the best scrap yard by researching online, reading customer reviews, asking for recommendations, and visiting the yard in person to check the quality of their services and prices for metal recycling.

Final Thoughts

Scrapping items is a great way to make money. Doing research ahead of time and having an eye for the most profitable scrap items can help maximize your profits.

Always practice safety and get advice from experts or local scrap yards before starting, so you have the best chance of success.


What is the Best Thing to Scrap Right Now?

The value of scrap metal can vary, but some of the most valuable items to scrap include copper, aluminum, brass, and high-grade steel.

Contact your local scrap yard for current market prices and to determine the most profitable items to scrap.

What Appliance Has the Most Copper in it?

Refrigerators often contain the highest amount of copper, so they can be a great source of scrap.

Copper is used in the coils and electrical wiring in the appliance, often making up to 50% of its total weight.

Appliances like washing machines, dryers, and air conditioners also contain copper but usually in lower amounts than fridges.

Is Metal Scrapping Profitable?

Metal scrapping can be a very profitable activity if you know where to look and what items to target.

Metal prices have been on the rise in recent years, making it an attractive opportunity for those with an eye for scrap.

What is the Easiest Thing to Scrap?

Aluminum cans are among the easiest items to scrap since they can be found in abundance and are lightweight for transportation.

Removing labels from cans is also easy, making them a great target for those looking to get into metal scrapping.

Can I Make a Lot of Money with Scrap Metal?

The amount of money you make scrapping metal depends on current market scrap metal prices, quantity, and quality of scrap.

A manufacturing business has the potential to generate large amounts of valuable scrap metals that can be sold for a profit, while individual scrappers can find smaller opportunities.

Be sure to check places for free scrap metal components like Craigslist or local businesses.

Image: Envato Elements

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