Scrap Metal Sorting – Pre-Sort or Not?

Scrap metal sorting – when customers call us before bringing scrap metal to our yard in Snohomish, a common question they ask is whether or not they need to sort the metals ahead of time. There are many factors to consider when answering this question, including:

  • Quantity of metal
  • Type of metal
  • Customer’s knowledge of metal types
  • Customer’s willingness to dedicate time to sorting

Once the customer shares more information about what they have to scrap, we are able to better advise them on whether or not to sort the materials ahead of time. Here are a few example scenarios.

Situation #1:

A homeowner replaces the windows in their house and has a dozen aluminum window frames (with the glass removed). When they realize they could sell the frames as scrap metal, they dig out a few more items from their garage that they could fit in their pick-up truck, along with the window frames. They have an old lawnmower, several small car parts, a couple broken lawn chairs, a tricycle, 2 laptops and a huge box of strings of holiday lights. These are distinct items that are easily separated and weighed when the homeowner arrives at our scrap yard. VERDICT: NO PRE-SORTING NECESSARY (NOTE: Please make sure glass is removed from the window frames.)

scrap metal sortingSituation #2

A church youth group is raising money to attend summer camp. They hold a cable drive and collect all types of electrical cords and cables, as well as old computers and laptops. They collect enough items to fill the beds of 3 pick-up trucks! The price they will receive for each of the items will vary. For example, the extension cords are worth more per pound than the strings of holiday lights. Also, by cutting off the power boxes from the ends of electronics cables, the amount paid is higher for the cables (and the power boxes are paid at a different rate). Because the items they collect are lightweight, the kids could fairly quickly sort the materials (we can advise and are happy to answer questions). VERDICT: PRE-SORT TO MAXIMIZE FUNDRAISING EFFORTS

Situation #3:

recycle demolition debrisA developer purchases several acres with an old farmhouse, several outbuildings and an old horse arena. The barns and sheds have old building materials and farm equipment inside, and are partially built with metal. There is fallen down metal fencing on part of the property. The developer is planning to remodel/restore the house, but remove all of the extra buildings and brush. The contractor is anxious to remove these from the property. Our sister company, United Recycling & Container, can provide containers for the contractor to load. VERDICT: PRE-SORTING OF METALS IS OPTIONAL. THE CONTRACTOR CAN SORT THE LARGE METAL ITEMS FROM THE WOOD AND YARD DEBRIS, OR THEY CAN LOAD IT ALL TOGETHER IN THE CONTAINERS. CONTACT US FOR DETAILS TO DETERMINE THE MOST EFFICIENT OPTION. 

With scrap metal, there are many variables to consider and not necessarily a right or wrong answer to whether or not to sort metals prior to bringing them to our recycling facility in Snohomish. The best advice we can offer is to call us (360-668-7355) and talk with one of our metals buyers. Let us talk through your situation and needs with you, so you can make the best decision (and the most money) when recycling your scrap metal.