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Most people know about recycling things like newspapers, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans and how it can help the environment, but they might not think as much about what to do with scrap metal. Recycling scrap metal is just as important as recycling anything else, and it can make you a little bit of money. Many scrap metal yards will pay cash for scrap metal you might have lying around, even if some metals are worth more than others. If you want to get rid of some scrap metal you have lying around, consider some of these helpful tips.

Finding a Metal Recycling Facility

Depending on where you live, there might be a metal recycling facility near you that will gladly take any scrap metal off of your hands. All you need to do is find it. You might have some luck if you enter something like “metal recycling facility NJ” into Google, but you can always speak to someone at your other local recycling centers if you’re looking for a place that specializes in metal.

Ferrous vs. Non-Ferrous Metals

A good first step when sorting metal to be recycled is separating the ferrous metals from the non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals will stick to magnets, while non-ferrous metals do not. Ferrous metals are more common and include materials such as iron and steel. They also are not worth that much compared to non-ferrous metals, but recycling centers will gladly take them anyway.

To determine if you have a ferrous metal, simply take a magnet and see if it sticks. Any magnet will do for this test, including one from your refrigerator.

Knowing Your Metals

We don’t have the time to go through all the metals that you might find while searching your home, but we can go over some of the more common ones. After all, it pays to know what you have before you cash it in. Gold is obviously valuable, but it generally can be sold elsewhere, so focus on bringing other metals to be recycled, such as copper. Copper is a highly versatile metal that is used in electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, and in electronic devices. It’s easy to come by, and it is fairly valuable.

Brass and steel are other metals that you will probably come across in your search. Brass is a heavy alloy of zinc and copper, and it is used in everything from plumbing fixtures to house keys. It can get you a lot of money if you have a lot of it, but it isn’t as valuable as copper. Meanwhile, steel a very common metal that rusts easily and usually isn’t worth much. Still, recycling centers will gladly take it if you have it. Just make sure you have some copper or brass if you really want to be paid well for your efforts.