Scrap materials are valuable leftovers from the consumption and manufacturing of products, Such as surplus material, vehicle parts, and building supplies. (1)

Common Scrap materials

Mostly scrap materials come from residential or industrial things. Some of the common examples are

  • Fabric
  • Automobiles
  • Bridges
  • Bicycles
  • Elevators
  • Electric wires and Appliances
  • Aerospace and aeronautical equipment
  • Aluminum windows, doors, and sidings
  • Mattress springs and bed frames
  • Cast iron bathtubs and sinks
  • Cooking pans and pots
  • Frames of eyeglasses
  • Computers
  • Beverage and food containers
  • Farm equipment
  • Industrial cuttings
  • Hospital equipment
  • Doorknobs and locks
  • Industrial machinery
  • Playground equipment
  • Pipeand Frames of steel buildings
  • Subway cars and railroad
  • Ships
  • Roofing
  • Telephone wire
  • Toys and tools

 Benefits of recycling scrap material (2)

A bit of scrap material tends to become a massive economic and environmental drain. On average 150 million metric tons of scrap material are produced in the U.S. and 85 million tons are steel and iron. The rest of the materials include zinc, lead, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum.

These materials are havoc for the environment unless they are recycled. Recycling of scrap material is getting in trend now. This process provides profit to industries and removes waste from the environment. Some benefits of recycling scrap material are as follows:

  • Scrap material can provide profit to companies in the form of money. Companies use the material of choice and sell the scrap instead of throwing it. They transformthe trash into cash.
  • Companies buy the scrap material cheaply which reduces the cost or investment. Keeping the profit high, the company tries to make things more affordable for the consumers. Rich people usually spend more that ultimately enhances the economy of the country.
  • The trend of recycling scrap is growing day by day. This leads to the establishment of recycling industries. More industries mean more employment opportunities.
  • Purchasing and selling of scrap material have established a business, which is generating high revenues for the state. In some states, scrap recycling creates 14 billion of annual revenue. This means such states are surviving due to scrap recycling.
  • In some states, the reason for the decline of the economy is more imports and less export. But some states, such as U.S., exportscrap materials and related products at a huge level. This has increased the state of their economy. For instance, The U.S exports scrap materials having worth 14.5 billion dollars.
  • Recycling scrap material reduces the toxic burden on the environment. Usually, these materials occupy the space and leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Recycling such materials gives a healthier atmosphere.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency has made a research, which stated that use of scrap metal as an alternate of iron ore yields:
    • Energy-saving up to 75%
    • Raw material saving up to 90%
    • Air pollution reduction up to 86%
    • Water usage reduction up to 40%
    • Mining wastes reduction up to 97%
    • Water pollution reduction up to 76%

Scrap steel is used to made new steel. That saves

  • 1115kg iron ore
  • 625kg coal
  • 54kg limestone

The energy that is saved from recycling other metals includes

  • 95% energy is saved on aluminum
  • 85% energy is saved on copper
  • 65% energy is saved on lead
  • 60% energy is saved on zinc

Where to take scrap material

The disposal of scrap material can be done in 6 ways.

  • Route no. 1

Route no. 1 for the disposal of scrap material is feedback. It includes the circulation of scrap material within the industry to its various departments and units. This circulation figures out the demand for surplus material in various units.

  • Route no. 2

Route no. 2 is about delivering unusedscrap material back to the supplier at its actual cost.

  • Route no. 3

Sometimes the material which is surplus for one firm is useful for the other company. In this situation, attempts are made to sell such material to the companies where it is in high demand or the company is making related products. That is how to scrap material turns into a useful raw material. Categories of such material include used paper, packing materials, stainless steel, nickel chrome, scrap lead, tin scrap, zinc scrap, brass scrap, scrap having copper, punching scrap, plate scrap, steel scrap, and so on.

  • Route no. 4

This route includes the selling of scrap to a broker or dealer through an auction. It may be a tender or open auction. In the Annual rate contract system, dealerscollect the surplus material from the specific unit of a production house. The legal formalities and contract procedures adopted in purchasing are also applied in the sale of scrap material.

  • Route no. 5

Some companies sell surplus or scrap material to their employees at a very low cost. Employees gain profit by selling thematerial further at a relatively high price. Some employees use that material for domestic purposes.

  • Route no. 6

Various polytechnics, colleges, schools, scientific laboratories, medical schools, research centers, universities, engineering, and technology institutes require different equipment and tools for research. Some companies dispose of their scrap material to academic institutes. This is how such companies enjoy tax benefits.


When talking about metal scrap, great potential for accidents exists. The scrap with harmful material causes environmental damage, injury, and death. For instance, Mayapuriradiological accident and the Goiania accident involve radioactive materials. Toxic substances like asbestos, and harmful metals such as cadmium, mercury, and beryllium cause personnel damage. Some specialized tools such as scrap metal shredders, compactors, and alligator shear are used in scrapyards. These tools pose hazards to the environment and employees.

Prices of scrap metals

In North America

  • Aluminium radiator: $0.34/lb
  • Copper bare bright: $3.52/lb
  • Copper tubing and wire: $3.42/lb
  • Yellow brass: $1.83/lb
  • Red brass: $1.99/lb
  • Copper radiator: $1.80/lb
  • Electric motor: $0.28/lb
  • Copper transformer: $0.36/lb
  • Old sheet: $0.54/lb
  • Old cast: $0.53/lb
  • Alternator: $0.31/lb
  • Zorba 90% NF: $0.56/lb

In China

  • Aluminum radiator: ¥8550/MT
  • Copper tubing and wire: ¥54700/MT
  • Yellow brass: ¥34000/MT
  • Copper transformer: ¥11150/MT
  • HMS: ¥1630/MT
  • Aluminum transformer: ¥8100/MT
  • Brass radiator: ¥30750/MT
  • Cast iron: ¥1730/MT
  • 201 SS: ¥7050/MT
  • 304 SS turning: ¥12900/MT