If you want to start recycling metal to earn some extra money, you'll need to learn the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous steel. The ferrous variety has iron in it, so it's stronger and a popular choice for use in a variety of industries. That means ferrous steel is plentiful and you'll come across a lot of it when you collect metal. Here's how to identify ferrous steel and how to start recycling it.
Magnets Stick To Ferrous Steel
When you collect different kinds of metal, you can tell many of them apart just by their appearance or weight. However, ferrous and non-ferrous steel look alike, and they even look like aluminum. One sign steel has iron in it is when the metal is rusty. A more reliable way to tell if metal is ferrous steel is to test it with a magnet. A magnet sticks to steel with iron in it and it slides off non-ferrous steel and aluminum.
Ferrous Steel Should Be Kept Separate
It's usually best to separate the different types of metal before you take your haul to the recycling center. This ensures you get the most money for your metal collection. If you mix metals together, you'll be paid for the lowest priced metal in the bunch. Your vehicle is weighed before unloading the metal and after, and you're paid by the weight of the entire load. If you have valuable metals, such as copper, you want them separate so you aren't paid for it at the ferrous steel price.
Since ferrous steel is so plentiful and it's easy to recycle, it doesn't pay as much as other types of metal. However, you might be able to make more money with ferrous steel simply because you'll find more of it. Also, the price for ferrous steel doesn't fluctuate as much as some of the rarer metals, but you can always call the recycling center to see what the daily price is before you take in your haul.
When you know the price you'll get for your haul, you can decide when it's worth it to make the trip to the recycling center. You don't necessarily need a full truck load if you want to make more frequent trips. If you run ads offering to pick up junk metal items from people who don't want to pay to haul them off, you can collect quite a bit of metal over time. You should prep it first by stripping off metal, wood, and fabric so bare metal is the only thing in your load.
Recycling metal could turn into a fun and profitable hobby or even a side job. You'll not only earn extra cash, but you'll also be doing something useful since metals, especially ferrous steel, can be reused, and this cuts down on waste in landfills. To learn more about ferrous steel recycling, contact a recycling center in your area.