What Metals Does My Local Scrap Yard Recycle?

What Metals Does My Local Scrap Yard Recycle?

Scrap metals are important, and often are as important after recycling as they are in their original state. From the soda in your hand to the side of your car, the recycled metals industry makes up a huge portion of the metal used in industry today. Have extra scrap metal lying around from a project, renovation, or new build? You can get paid to bring in certain types of metal instead of taking it to a dump. To learn what type of metals a scrap yard near you takes, keep reading.

What is Considered Scrap Metal at A Scrap Yard?

There are two general classifications of recyclable scrap metal: ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are the most common type of scrap metal.  This category includes metals that contain iron or alloys of iron such as stainless steel.  Non-ferrous scrap metal includes aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, titanium, zinc, and alloys such as brass.

Non-ferrous metals are worth much more per pound and thus, and while scrap yards do not require separation of metals, it is helpful to sort to determine approximate pricing. The easiest way to separate out the types of metals is with a magnet. Ferrous metals have iron and iron-based steel and are, therefore, magnetic. Non-ferrous metals, such as brass and copper, are not magnetic.

Once your metals have been categorized as ferrous or non-ferrous, then you can begin to identify which type of metals you have in your possession. Certain metals have distinct appearances and can be easily recognized:

  • Stainless steel – commonly found around the home in cutlery, appliances, automobiles, construction and more, stainless steel is known to not stain, rust, or corrode as easily as traditional steel. This metal comes in various grades and is recognized by its chemical makeup which includes other elements such as nickel, carbon, copper, titanium. In 2017, U.S. industries and homeowners consumed 1.33 million metric tons of home and purchased stainless steel.
  • Copper – touted as one of the most valuable non-ferrous materials, copper is found around your home in cookware, wiring, and electronics. Pure copper has a pinkish hue, while copper that has been tarnished will have a brown, reddish hue, and if copper is oxidized the metal will turn green. Copper scrap accounted for 34 percent of the U.S. copper consumption in 2017, and 40 percent of the world’s demand for copper comes from recycled copper. There are hundreds of varieties of copper and copper containing alloys.
  • Brass or bronze – typically found in decorations, sculptures, musical instruments, and pipes, this material is yellowish in color and is one of copper’s alloys. Brass can be found in heating cores and radiators. To determine if a metal is brass, hold it under a fluorescent light, brass will reveal a yellow-brown color.
  • Aluminum –being rust-resistant and lightweight, this metal is perfect for holding the soda in your fridge. As a non-ferrous material, aluminum is often what consumers think of when gathering metal for recycling, as it is the most widely consumed nonferrous metal in the United States. Recycled aluminum makes up 55 percent of total U.S. aluminum consumption. One fun fact about aluminum is that an aluminum can will make its way back onto a shelf in as little as 60 days!

Why Recycle Scrap Metals?

Besides the obvious value from recycling to create a better environment for the next generation, scrap metal recycling is a huge industry and can yield monetary rewards. The price of scrap metals changes often in the market, and this fluctuation in value is based upon how these materials are consumed and what buyers are willing to pay to consume them. Recycled materials provide the next generation of soda cans, siding for our homes, and more. With the fluctuation of pricing on metals, it is advisable that after you have identified your metals, you place a call to your local scrap yard to get current prices.

Roane Metals in East Tennessee Buys Scrap Metals

If you are still unsure what type of scrap metal you are dealing with, bring it to our trained scrap metal recyclers. We typically buy the following types of metals:


  • MCM Wire
  • #2 Insulated Wire
  • Electric Motors
  • Ballasts
  • Spaghetti Wire
  • House Wire (Romex)
  • Sealed Units
  • CU Transformers
  • #2 Insulated (Low Grade)


  • Appliances
  • Cars
  • Shred/Tin
  • #1 Steel
  • Cast Iron


  • Auto Radiators
  • FE Auto Radiators
  • Yellow Brass
  • Red Brass
  • Heater Cores


  • Clean Sheet Lead
  • Wheel Weights
  • Car Batteries
  • Clean Zinc-Diecast
  • Irony Zinc


  • CD and Floppy Drives
  • Laptops
  • PC Tower
  • Motherboards
  • Hard Drives w/ Boards
  • Hard Drives wo/ Boards
  • Power Supply


  • Bare Bright
  • #1 Copper
  • #2 Copper


  • Clean Stainless Steel
  • FE Stainless Steel


  • Carbide
  • Magnesium
  • Inconel
  • Nickel
  • Titanium
  • Catalytic Converters

Recycle Scrap Metals at Roane Metals in East and Middle Tennessee

At Roane Metals, we offer two convenient locations to drop of scrap metals within minutes of anywhere in East Tennessee and parts of Middle Tennessee. If you are unsure about the process, pricing, or any other question, do not hesitate to reach out to us today!