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Scrap Aluminum

The great thing about scrap aluminum is that it’s all money in your pocket. Everything from an old aluminum boat to random chunks of aluminum siding can be profitable. At the same time, a collector has to be astute - solid aluminum car rims will fetch a different price than residential aluminum siding. So it’s important to collect wisely, based on weight, because that’s the measure that dealers use. And depending on availability, your collection approach may vary: one good load of aluminum screen doors and window frames might be far more profitable than collecting loads of aluminum drink cans (even though these are the number-one source of scrap aluminum).

Whatever the source, collecting has to done smartly in order to make good money. Flattening cans can definitely save space - but do you purchase a special machine, or do you flatten manually? Old car radiators contain valuable amounts of aluminum - but do you have an ongoing supply? Those aluminum door and window frames have glass in them - are you properly set up to safely remove and dispose of the glass? Not only that – do you have any idea how many aluminum cans you have to collect to make even $100.00?

Building a good relationship with an established scrap yard will provide you with a good number of benefits: you’ll have a reliable customer; you’ll get good industry advice; you’ll be getting the best possible price; and you may even get collection leads. Bottom line - the most important thing, is getting the scrap to begin with, and that all depends on how serious you are as a collector, and if you want to make pocket money or big money.

Collecting scrap is always relative to volume, and for scrap aluminum, it’s the weight that counts. Cast aluminum parts from automobiles (wheels and radiators) are ideal, but you must be set up to remove those parts, and have a good access source on an ongoing basis. Major construction sites and demolition projects are also excellent sources of scrap, but again, access and availability are critical. Another good source of aluminum content would be HVAC units (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) which contain high quality aluminum, and in good quantity. It may be in the form of a furnace, an air conditioning unit, or even ductwork, but as mentioned before, the dismantling and prep time must be considered. But although these items are heavy and bulky, the value of the scrap is likely worth the work and effort preparing for the scrap yard.

For the serious collector, hooking up with local home builders, electricians and various contractors has great benefits - when they have quantities of scrap, they advise you, and you collect, at no charge to them and at no cost to you. And when your preferred scrap dealer provides a pick up services, that’s less hassle for you, and cost effective at the same time.

Finally, it’s vital for the collector to be doing regular price research (even on a daily basis) in order to always secure the best possible price for your scrap – this is a supply and demand enterprise, and price fluctuations are ever-present.

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