Scrap Yard Near Me [2022 Guide To Best Scrap Metal Prices]

By Rory Ackerman •  Updated: 10/21/22 •  13 min read
Filed under: Side Hustles

Walking down your street or driving around your neighborhood, you’ve probably seen abandoned pieces of metal just laying out by the curb. However, did you ever stop for a second to think about picking those items up and selling them for scrap metal? The next thought will probably be: where is a scrap yard near me and how do I find it?

We’re going to cover all things scrap yard and metal related, including some of the materials that are popular to scrap along with how to find a scrap metal yard that is nearby so you can get to earning some extra money!

Let’s get into it!

What Is Metal Scrapping?

Metal scrapping is the process of collecting old and unused pieces of metal and selling them to the scrap metal yard. Of course there’s much more to it than meets the eye.

Scrap Metal Yard

What’s important for you is that metal scrapping can be a legit way of making some extra cash legally. With the right guide and some essential knowledge about metal values, you can turn abandoned stainless steel sinks and similar items into cash.

Moreover, by doing so, you will in fact be doing a favor to the environment as the scrap metal is usually recycled and used again in production. 

So, it’s just collecting old metal and carrying it to local scrap yards for money, right? 

Well, in a nutshell, yes. 

But there are numerous things to keep in mind to make this process more efficient and worth your time and effort. First, you need to know about the different metals and how much you can earn by collecting a specific amount of them.

The scrapyard won’t offer you the same price for a pound of aluminum vs regular steel. Steel is often considered the lowest-priced metal you can sell to a scrapyard. However, it also depends on the amount of metal and knowing the current scrap metal prices.

Before you get into it as a way of earning extra income on the side, let’s take a look into the most important factors of scrapping metal.

Finding The Nearest Local Scrap Yard

Once you figure out your plans to start cashing in on scrap metal, you’ll probably wonder the following – is there a scrap yard near me? The truth is, it might be a bit hard to find a scrap yard at first, especially if you haven’t noticed any in your area before.

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to find a scrap yard nearby, all you need to do is enter your zip code below and we’ll pull up a search for you in a new tab:


Scrap Metal Near Me Map Locations

The first thing you want to do when looking for scrap yards near you is to look for one on Google Maps which is what the above search form will help you with. 

This is one of the best options as you will be able to see the nearest scrap yards based on your current location and the distance.

However, these places might be tough to find at first, and you should use related searches to find the nearest scrap yard if nothing comes up at first. 

Sometimes, the yards will be called scrap metal recycling centers, or just as a junk yard without scrap in their name.

Metal Recycling Centers

You can also search for car junk yards if you have an old car you want to get rid of because you might actually get better value going that route.

Another way to find a scrap metal yard nearby is to try a phone app, such as: iScrap 

Not only can you use iScrap to find the nearest scrap yard where you can sell used metal, but you can also use it to see the current scrap metal prices and other useful selling info. 

There are a few other apps you could try out, such as one called ScrapIt! which has a handy calculator built in so you can try to figure out how much money you have coming to you before you make the journey to the scrap yard.

Finding Scrap Metals To Sell

As we mentioned, selling scrap metal can be a significant side income for you and you could earn more than you initially expect. However, the biggest hurdle in this side hustle that you’ll have to overcome is finding used metals.

Don’t let it discourage you if you simply don’t know where to look, as scrap metals are easier to find than you may think. 

You just need to know where to look, and these are a few of the best places to visit if you’re looking for scrap metal:

These locations are the ones you should aim for when looking for scrap metal that can be obtained legally. Of course, you can’t always just pass by and simply collect the metal as you please, so let’s discuss each situation in further detail.

Finding Free Scrap Metal Online

You might not even realize it, but it’s easy to find free scrap metal without moving a finger. Well, not literally, as you’ll just be scrolling down online portals such as Craigslist or even Facebook for listings about free scrap metal, without moving from your comfy chair.

Craiglist is the logical place to start, as you can list your location and find listings near you that people create to give away free things, and old metal items amongst others. You can also search for tags related to free metal objects on Facebook.

As it might sound too good to be true, some people just want to cut the effort without bothering to throw away this stuff on their own. So, you can jump in and do both the seller and yourself a favor by taking their objects into a local scrapyard.

Another option for finding free scrap metal online is the FreeCycle portal. People use this portal to give away their old stuff for free and have them recycled, rather than throwing them into the trash.

So, you can receive free scrap metal on this portal, but there’s a small catch – you can’t keep getting free scrap metal without offering some donations of your own. The FreeCycle transactions work both ways, so you should be aware of this before you start your search for free scrap metal

Finding Rusty Metal At Local Muffler Shops

You can contact your local muffler shops to see if they would be up for an arrangement regarding their disposed rusty mufflers. You can offer to pick it up at the designated spot and take it to a nearby scrapyard.

Rusty Metal At Local Muffler Shops

There are many car owners that get their exhaust system removed and replaced, and they might leave the rusty old mufflers in the shop. As much as you might need to offer a percentage to the muffler shop, this is a great way of getting some free scrap metal to sell.

Neighborhood Scrap Metal Lookouts

One of the best places where you might be able to find scrap metal and even scrap aluminum is in your very own neighborhood. Maybe your neighbors have set something old and rusty aside on their curbs, just waiting for you to pick it up.

If you see something set out by the road you can generally assume it is free for the taking, especially if it is set next to their trash can on trash day.

If you want to be extra safe you can always ask the owner for permission to take the items.

I’ll give you an example, I went to throw out an old office chair one time on trash day. I simply set it next to my trash can and was going to let the trash company pick it up. A short while later someone in a pickup drove by and grabbed the chair and threw it in the back.

To be honest, I didn’t even think about scrapping it because it was just a chair that had a lot of plastic parts. But anything that has any sort of metal at all (such as the base) is valuable to scrap yards.

Machine Shops And Repair Shops

While you’re in pursuit of scrap metal to sell, don’t overlook the holy grail of scrap metal – machine shops and repair shops.

Machine Shops And Repair Shops

These are always filled with old metal parts that they can’t use anymore or perhaps metal shavings from drilling new metal, and you’d be surprised at how many of these materials actually end up in the trash.

A lot of these places do not have the time to take the old metal to scrap yards so you can offer a valuable service to them. You take the scrap metal and then offer to give them a percentage of the cash haul. 

Maybe they use the money to buy pizza for the workers one day and everyone wins from the deal.

What Kinds Of Metal Can Be Scrapped?

If you want to sell scrap metal, you’ll need to know about the common metals you can run into and the prices they bring in return. In essence, there are two main categories of scrap metal – ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals.

Processing Of Ferrous And Non-Ferrous Metals

While ferrous metals contain iron, non-ferrous metals don’t. That places the latter as more valuable and therefore harder to find.

Some of the usual ferrous metals include steel and cast iron. The metal prices depend on the exact type, and you will probably get the lowest cash price for these. 

On the other hand, you’ll get a much higher price for more valuable metals like copper and aluminum.

So, you might not even realize it, but finding copper pipe can be extremely valuable. But you know what else is also copper? Insulated wiring. Like the stuff used for electrical in your house or car. While not as valuable as pure copper tubing, this will still bring a significantly higher amount per pound than steel.

Collecting aluminum cans might pay off in the long run, if you can pile up pounds of aluminum. It will just take a very long time to collect enough, and I’d definitely recommend crushing them down. These will bring less than half of “clean aluminum” though because of the extra work to process them.

You might also want to consider storing the cans somewhere far away from your house since they may start to smell after a while. Think of stale beer, for example. Or they’re going to attract a lot of ants if you don’t rinse them out first.

As for metals that contain iron, you will usually find cast iron as part of engines or machinery. 

It’s widely used in all industrial ventures, so you will get the worst price for it.

A lot of pricing will depend on the scrap yard near you, since not all scrap yards offer the same pricing.

Why Should You Sell Scrap Metal?

You can sell scrap metal to get some additional income on the side and finding scrap yards with the best prices can put even more money in your pocket. However, there are even more reasons why you might want to sell scrap metal.

It’s also an environmentally friendly thing to do since bringing metal to a scrap yard will only help use it again once recycled. Anytime you can recycle metal and save it from being buried in a landfill seems like a win to me.

Items like copper wiring shouldn’t just end up in a trash can, as it’s fairly hard to mine copper. The same goes for other metals that are valuable and hard to mine, so you can get more money and do a good deed at the same time.

When Is The Best Time To Scrap Metal?

Most scrap yards offer the best prices during the warm months. It’s only natural since the construction season is often paused in wintertime, and the demand for scrap metal is then the highest in the spring and summer.

With the higher demand also means higher scrap prices that you can get from a scrap yard near you. 

Even so, handling used metal on hot summer days isn’t an easy task. Especially when it comes to collecting it, I would definitely recommend a heavy duty set of gloves so you don’t burn yourself or cut yourself.

Man In Metal Scrap Wearing Gloves


A lot of scrap metal can be very sharp and getting cut with some rusty metal could turn into Tetnus if you’re not careful.

Requirements And Permissions

Anyone can sell scrap metal, as long as it was obtained legally. Also, you might have to show an ID before you can sell to a scrap metal yard, depending on the value of your load of scrap.

That’s due to an obligation of the scrap yard owners to keep a record of all the sales and the sellers mainly because of theft (think if someone steals an A/C unit from someone’s house…or tries to scrap a stolen car.) 

You might also need to report your income from selling scrap metal as the IRS could be able to track the transactions back to you. There is probably a slim chance of that happening but it is still something you need to consider.

What Happens To The Used Scrap Metal?

Regardless if you sell an old car chassis or other scrap metal items, you might want to know a little bit about what happens next.

Metal Area Of Old Cars

Once you bring the items to the scrap yard, scrap metal is first sorted and then melted down. This burns off any impurities like dirt or plastic so it gets down to the pure metal.

Then from there the recycling process will usually form sheets or coils of new material that you played a small part in with your contribution of bringing the metal to the scrap yard.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all the details on how selling used metal works, you can start collecting scrap metal pieces for some side money. Follow our lead on finding the nearest scrap metal yard based on your location, and the most valuable metals to sell.

Since selling a particular metal might pay off much more than others, make sure to pay special attention to non-ferrous metals like aluminum and copper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How can I find a scrap yard near me?

Since it might be a bit more difficult to find a local scrap yard than you expected, you can use Google Maps, scrapyard websites, and apps like iScrap.

What scrap is worth the most money?

You will usually earn the most by selling scrap aluminum and copper. Other valuable metals to sell include used brass and lead.

Is it profitable to sell scrap metal?

Given the recyclable nature of metals, manufacturers are always willing to reuse scrap metals. So, there’s a steady market, and the most stable one is the scrap copper market which can truly be profitable.

Is it legal to sell scrap metal?

While it’s not illegal to sell scrap metal that you find, you shouldn’t just take metal items from most places without asking for permission first. You may also need to provide an ID to local scrap yards if the value is over a certain amount because they do track the transactions in case there is ever a question of theft.

Rory AckermanRory Ackerman

Rory Ackerman

Hi, I'm Rory! I've worked in the banking industry for quite some time and wanted to help provide my expertise with all things credit related. In my spare time I like to play video games and collect sports cards.

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