Tips for Preparing for Industrial Metal for Recycling

Tips for Preparing for Industrial Metal for Recycling

From metal fabrication to industrial plant ownership, cost reduction within many industries continues to be a priority, even when there are booms in the economy overall. At the end of a commercial build or a site clean-up, many manufacturers and associated businesses are utilizing the benefits of recycling metals to reduce costs. The demand for ferrous materials continues to increase in production and manufacturing while the role of non-ferrous metals is playing an increasing role within architectural design due to their lightweight durability. So, when the final job is over how do you get your metals ready for recycling while preparing for the return on investment?

Four Things to Prepare for When Taking Industrial Metal Recycling

When preparing for industrial metal recycling there are four key things to consider: separating your scrap metals, knowing what types of metals are in your possession, cleaning the metals, and estimating the market price of your metals. These are simply a starting point to be added to a checklist for scrap metal recycling. It is helpful in these preparation stages to remember when prepping metal to be recycled from your industry that your scrap can lead to increased revenues. Many industries recognize this and are not only recycling but also reusing their materials, which is, again, a cost reducer. Waste from a job site, or post production, is no longer just dumpster worthy.

  • Separate your scrap accordingly. Prior to heading for the scrap yard near you, it is important to ensure that your metals are separated into nonferrous and ferrous materials. To do so will encourage a faster turnover time when purchasing your load, as it will be considered a cleaner load to process. Additionally, it is suggested that the job site, or manufacturing plant, set up a system with containers for sorting the types of metals out, as well as the items that cannot be taken to recycle. Label these containers clearly for all to see, so that all on the site will be able to utilize the system. Over time, this will become easier for everyone involved.


  • Have an understanding of the metals you have to be recycled. Local scrap yards near you may not be able to take advanced industrial powders, residues, and sludges; therefore, it is important that you can identify the parts and pieces of metals within your material to be recycled. A list of accepted metals for recycling can often be found on local scrap yard websites. Misidentifying your metals can lead to an estimate mistake, as well as the expectation of prices turning out poorly for you. To learn the various types of metals and their properties, start by categorizing your scrap as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as these are the two main categories of recyclable metals. A simple test to distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous materials is to use a magnet. Most ferrous metals are magnetic, and therefore can be easily separated by this method. Another way to correctly identify metals is to use a spark test. A spark test typically involves taking a piece of scrap metal and applying it to a grinding wheel in order to observe the sparks emitted. Once the sparks emit, they can be compared to a chart or to other sparks from a known test sample to determine the metal classification. This method is quite simple, inexpensive, and does not require any formal preparation.


  • Be sure to thoroughly clean the metal that is going to be recycled. Oil, lubricant, and other containments tend to mix with metals during builds or when they are left on jobsites. Prior to taking metal to the scrap yard, be sure that it is free of residue, insulation, or superfluous materials as much as possible. By removing these containments prior to driving the metals off your lot will guarantee that your metals will be accepted easily. When cleaning metals, often there are specific considerations that need to be made such as corrosion protection requirements in cleaners, as well as certain sprays or immersion techniques which are preferred to clean each specific type of metal. It is also important to note that as you clean various types of metals, you may remove some of the weight, which could reduce the price that you initially estimated. One example of this would be when you remove the outer coating on copper wire, the weight will be changed, therefore weighing metals after they have been cleaned is the best option for receiving the most accurate weight and price estimate.


  • Check the current market prices on scrap metals. Checking the fluctuating market of scrap metal prices will ensure that you are able to get as close to an accurate estimate of the monies that will be received from the recycle. Knowledge of the market will help you understand the frequency and type of common fluctuations in prices for each type of metal. Prices for scrap metal are also related to local demand, as well as local quantity. Checking with your local scrap yard can help you estimate your return on scrap metal, and when giving them a call, have the weight and type of metals that you are wishing to recycle available will ensure that your prices will be as accurate as possible.

Recycling Industrial Scrap Metals in Tennessee

From metal clippings and turnings to stampings and manufactured steel, the highest industrial scrap metal prices can be guaranteed at your local scrap dealer, Roane Metals, in Tennessee. Aluminum smelters, brass and copper foundries, and steel and stainless-steel mills all benefit from a long-standing relationship with Roane Metals. Scrap management services for industrial and manufacturing companies has never been easier. We create, implement, and manage scrap and metal recycling to maximize the value for our commercial and industrial partners. We buy, sell, and recycle materials which then go back into the production of aluminum, copper, electronics, steel, and more. It’s a win-win situation on both sides of the scrap metal process. For convenience, we have two Tennessee locations, which are convenient from I-40 and have easy access from Knoxville, Morristown, and Chattanooga, as well as to the north in Cumberland County. Schedule an appointment today to start lowering your manufacturing, construction, and production costs.