Tips for Sorting Scrap Metal

Maximising The Value Of Your Scrap Metal

Metals do not biodegrade in the same way as organic materials, but as they can be melted down and reused, the ideal way to dispose of any scrap metal is to take it to a specialist recycling centre. To ensure the most efficient recycling, it is recommended to sort the metals into different types before taking them to the scrap yard.

To help you maximise the value of your scrap metal, we have put a simple guide together on how to boost the revenue you generate from selling your metal. With over 30 years of experience in the scrap metal industry, we offer some of the best prices for scrap metal in the local area.

You can drop off your scrap metal or utilise our variety of skips and services to make the processes simpler/easier.

At Brown Recycling we are environmentally responsible in all our operations, adhere to strict policies and regulations, and provide hassle-free scrap metal collections.

Here are our tips for sorting scrap metal that will make recycling quicker and easy, ensuring that you get the most from your scrap metal.

Scrap metal

Please note:
At Brown Recycling, we take a wide range of metals and metal components, but there are some items that we do not accept. For example, we do not accept anything with an internal or external nickel cadmium (ni-cad) battery power source, such as cordless power tools, children’s scooters as well as certain fluorescent light fittings, which can also contain an internal battery.

Also, we do have some limitations of the acceptance of fridges and freezers as well, as their hazardous components require additional fees for disposal.

If you have any of these items to be collected or any others that aren’t listed, get in touch with our customer support team on 01782 816 520 and find out more about services.


Ferrous and non-ferrous metals

The main metal groups are made up of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the former contains iron while non-ferrous metals do not.

The most useful tool to use in separating and collecting the materials is a magnet. If the material has a magnetic pull, then it is of a ferrous origin, however, if the magnet isn’t attracted to the material, then it’s likely to be of a non-ferrous grade.


Separating your metals

Separating out the different types of metals for processing can ensure you get the most from your recycling service.

Once you have separated your ferrous metals from your non-ferrous metals, you can separate these into types of metal. Some types of metal are more valuable than others, so further separating them out ensures you get the best return.

Examples of ferrous metals:
Copper is an abundant non-ferrous metal often found in wire, cables, piping and plumbing, but do keep your eyes open for brass. Plumbing is often made of this copper-brass mixture, and it should be separated from pure copper. Brass is much more yellow in colour so it should be easy to separate it from your copper once you know the difference.
Brass is a yellow non-ferrous metal, as is gold, and again you will be able to see the difference, as brass has a far yellower tone.
Aluminium is of a dull silver colour, and it weighs much less than other metals, as you will be able to feel simply by picking it up. The aluminium found in metal furniture and drinks cans is considered lightweight. The rest is considered heavy.
Stainless steel is heavy and will be rust-proof. Be mindful not to confuse it with a ferrous steel.

Scrap copper.Scrap brass.Scrap aluminium.Scrap stainless steel.


Examples of non-ferrous metals:
Steel is typically magnetic, and if it’s ready to recycle then it may have started to rust. It is usually accepted if mixed with iron but keep them separate if it is your first visit to the scrap yard and ask staff for guidance.
Lead is on the opposite end of the spectrum to aluminium. It is extremely heavy for its size, as well as having a dark grey hue.
Tin is a ferrous metal that you should be able to bend. Put under enough pressure, it will crack.

Scrap steel.Scrap lead.Scrap tin.


Sorting your metals into different containers

Metals must adhere to strict quality standards, which means they cannot be contaminated by other metals or materials. For this reason, it is important to keep metals grouped together.

Keep metals contaminated with rust, mud, etc. separate from other metals as they will need extra processing. Also, separate out metal pieces that are a combination of more than one type of metal, for example, an aluminium pipe that has steel screws affixed.

You can get more money for your scrap metal if you do some of this work ahead of time and dismantle things that are made of mixed materials.

If you regularly collect scrap metal – for example if you’re a tradesman and often dispose of old fixtures and appliances for your customers – it may be worthwhile installing onsite containers to keep your ongoing collection tidy and organised.

However, if this is a one-off job, perhaps if you’re clearing a house, it is still worthwhile identifying and separating your metals to ensure they are recycled effectively.


Bring your scrap metal to our recycling centre

Our scrap metal yard is based on Florida Close, Sneyd Hill in Stoke-on-Trent. Our onsite team are always happy to provide with guidance, quotes on the current value for scrap metal, and to take your scrap metal off your hands.

All of the scrap which we collect and receive is processed and recycled to ensure the most environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective service.

If you would like to find out more information about our scrap metal recycling services, simply contact our Customer Support team on 01782 816 520 or send us an email at [email protected].

Please be aware that the minimum value for scrap metal that we can take is £10.00. This is to cover our administration and operating costs.


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