The 4 Core Scrap Metals

When you throw away old building materials, the material ends up in landfills, which are already frightfully crowded. However, much of the material can be recycled. Instead of discarding these items, we can collect recyclable metal to recycle them (and even potentially resell them for money). What materials should you collect? Well, there are four considered the core four. Learn more about the core four scrap metals and where to find them.


Aluminum is the lightest and least expensive of the scrap metals. This means you will get the least money for it, but it's also the easiest to transport. You can find aluminum cans. You can also find aluminum in window frames and car hoods. To determine the difference between aluminum and steel, aluminum does not stick to magnets.


Steel is the most common of the core four scrap metals. You can find it almost everywhere, including piping, plumbing fixtures, plumbing connections, building construction, hardware, and vehicles. Most steel is sleek and undecorated. There are numerous grades of steel, and the price varies based on the grade of the steel. Stainless steel sticks to magnets.


Brass is relatively expensive and heavy. You will find brass on a lot of plumbing fixtures, such as faucets or connectors. You will also find many household items, such as mirror frames, made from brass. Brass may look green if it is old and oxygenized. Brass often includes decorative elements to it. Some items may be brass but have a steel or nickel finish over them if the homeowner wanted the silver look but the brass strength. 


Copper is one of the most expensive scrap materials. You can receive anywhere from $2-$4 per pound of copper. It's also one of the least common due to its price. However, you will find copper on high-end wiring. You will need to strip the wire of the copper before you sell the scrap metal. You will also find copper piping in luxury residential buildings and commercial or public buildings. Some items will have a copper finish but be made of low-grade steel. 

If you plan to return scrap metal, it can be useful to create different bins for each type of material. When you sort the material yourself, it reduces the work the recycling center will have to do. Sometimes, you will get more money when you sort it yourself. Learn the rules at your local scrap metal facility to get the best results.