We are closed Monday May 27th for Memorial Day

What is the most profitable scrap metal?


All scrap metal is worth money, but there are definite differences in value between metals.  The basic, general rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t stick to a magnet it’s worth more than if it does.  

Metals that stick are generally, ferrous metals, or iron-based.  Categories that we buy ranking from most valuable to the least include:

Cast Rotors and Hubs

Foundry grade milled steel – cut 18×24 and smaller

Prepared Steel – heavy and under 2×5 in size. Including tools, nails, equipment free of any oil-bearing pans/cylinders/rubber or any closed ends or containers, hardened steel cutoffs.

Unprepared Steel – heavy over 2×5 in size. Including machinery and equipment free of any fluid bearing pans/cylinders/rubber or closed ends or containers larger than 2×5, conveyors free of rollers, steel lengths, racking, etc.

Lite Iron – appliances that do not have freon or have an EPA sticker certifying proper removal of freon, household items, magnetic kitchen utensils, vacuum cleaners, basketball rims, etc

Machinery – full car or truck motors with pans removed, any steel with closed containers, rebar, hard to process steel

Loose wire – wire or mattress box springs free of any cloth or covering.

Steel pricing generally is set monthly and can always be found at https://recycleyourmetal.com/sell-metal/.  Industrial customers can work with us on an established pricing formula so they know the value of the metal as the market changes each month.

Metal that does not stick to a magnet is considered non-ferrous and the list of items we accept and pay for are numerous.  This list is not exhaustive and is generally in order of value, highest to lowest:

  • Bare brite copper
  • #1 Copper
  • #2 Copper
  • Sheet Copper
  • Clean Copper Turnings
  • High Nickel content stainless alloys
  • Copper Aluminum Radiators
  • Brass
  • Insulated Copper wire
  • Clean Brass Turnings
  • Aluminum Extrusion 
  • Aluminum Siding
  • Stainless Steel
  • Cast Aluminum or Mixed Aluminum with low rubber or steel content
  • Electric Motors
  • Sealed Units
  • Insulated Aluminum Wire

Zinc DiecastPrices for metal is updated periodically when the market moves.  Non-ferrous pricing can change daily during highly volatile periods or can be unchanged for months.  We always post our published pricing at https://recycleyourmetal.com/sell-metal/.  Industrial customers can work with us on an established pricing formula so they know the value of the metal as the market changes daily.


Acceptable Materials

Appliances including:
  • Stoves
  • Microwaves
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • FOR A $10 FEE—Air Conditioners

End of Life Items Including:
  • Machinery (all fluids,pans and cylinders removed)
  • Farm Equipment
  • Farm Machinery
  • Lawnmowers
  • Cast Iron Patio Furniture
  • Cast Iron Outdoor Railing
  • Sheet Metal
  • Steel Wheels
  • Steel

Nonferrous Scrap:
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Aluminum Pots and Pans
  • Aluminum Siding/Gutters/Downspouts
  • Aluminum Patio Furniture
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Aluminum Wire
  • Auto Batteries
  • Brass Fixtures/Lamps Decorative items
  • Cable, Fence and Wire
  • Christmas Lights
  • Copper
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Pipes
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Valves and Connectors
  • Copper Tubing
  • Copper Wire
  • Electric Motors
  • Insulated Wire
  • Radiators
  • Screen Doors/Windows (glass removed)
  • Stainless Steel

Prohibited Materials

  • Acetylene Cylinders
  • Asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)- applies to both fibrous and solid materials
  • Any Scrap Containing Refrigerants (CFC or HCFC) (Freezers, Refrigerators)  Air Conditioners are accepted for a $10 fee
  • Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT/tube-style computer monitors or televisions)
  • Closed Compressed Gas Cylinders – high pressure cylinders with valve intact
  • Combustible or Flammable Materials – fuels, paints, degreasers, unpunctured aerosol cans
  • Corrosive Materials – highly acidic or caustic materials (battery acid, caustic soda, etc.)
  • Explosive Materials, Munitions, Shell Casings – includes suspect military scrap
  • Free Flowing Liquids (including water)
  • Hazardous Waste – toxic or poisonous materials or wastes
  • Infectious Materials – blood-soaked or biohazard items
  • Liquids or Scrap Containing Free Flowing Liquids – fuels, antifreeze, oils, hydraulic fluid, paints
  • Mercury Containing Materials – mercury-containing thermostats, switches or fluorescent light bulbs
  • Non-Metallic Items – concrete, wood, asphalt, dirt, debris, tires (more than 5 per auto)
  • PCB-Containing Materials
  • Whole tanks uncut
  • Radioactive Scrap – anything exhibiting radiation levels above background
  • Scrap with Small Capacitors that contain 50 ppm of PCBs