The collection and sale of scrap metal is a common practice in New Zealand, more so than many other countries around the globe. Scrap metal trading can be a good source of extra income, given the proper tools and knowledge. By reading this guide we hope to help you make what other people throw away into a nice lump of cash for yourself.
Here are the three general steps to scrapping, as outlined by professionals from Macaulay Metal Group:
Unless you have free reign over a metal repository somewhere, you would need to do some scavenging to come up with a saleable cache of metals. You do not need fancy tools to get started –just a magnet, a pair of gloves, a knife and a large container for the pieces you collect. A junkyard is a good place to start, or the local council dump. People used to be able to go hunting in the inorganic collections drop off, but some councils don’t allow this anymore. You can also approach houses and building sites to ask for permission to have a look around. Otherwise it’s just outright stealing. Never skip this step, unless you want to be labelled a thief and jailed. Magnet in hand, container ready, vehicle nearby and permission to scavenge granted, you can now begin picking out what will be cash from the landscape.
You cannot just waltz into a junkyard and load up on as much metal as you can. You need to actually sift and sort your materials before you leave to ensure you aren’t carting away worthless metal or materials. Ideally you should take your time and identify the composition of every single piece you pick up. This allows you to maximise revenue according to the amount you can deliver to your scrap buyers in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch or anywhere else.
The first thing you need to identify is whether a certain piece is ferrous or non-ferrous metal. Ferrous metal are metals with lots of iron (Fe) in them. Since they are quite common, ferrous metals sell for much less compared to their counterparts. Still, if you can get your hands on new surplus ferrous metals, those that were not just part of broken appliances and vehicles, you can receive a fairly hefty payment for them. Non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, copper, brass and lead are still the most valued and sought after scrap metals and are visibly distinct from ferrous metals.
The amount of money you stand to make by scrapping depends on the amount of useful scrap you are able to find sifting through heaps of metal. If you have a connection with a business that regularly trades high-value scrap metal it’s even better. Just remember that price fluctuates with every single commodity, and metal, new or old, is no exception. Scrap metal is generally valued less than new metal but if you bink quality scrap to trade, there shouldn’t be a huge price difference.
When collecting scrap, knowing where to look, having patience and a keen eye for metal will help you find the scrap you need to get some extra cash.