They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and I happen to agree when it comes to scrap metal. As a frugal experiment we began saving up our household metal and e-waste and taking it to the local scrap yard for cash. We are not getting rich off this scheme, but it helps fund the occasional indulgence. It brought an extra couple of hundred bucks into our house last year.
Last week we took a load to the scrap yard and left with a *tax-free $47.20. Not a fortune, but it was free money for things we were going to get rid of anyway. We mainly scrap the more expensive metals such as aluminum and copper. If the metal does not draw a magnet it goes in the scrap pile in our garage.
Many people do not realize that electronics contain gold, aluminum and copper that has scrap value. And don’t throw out those Christmas lights. Christmas lights and power cords are full of copper and if you have time on your hands you can strip off the insulating plastic you will get more per pound.
If you are interested in scrapping Scrap Metal Junkie offers a Scrapper’s Handbook on how to identify different metals and scrap common household items.
Before you start scrapping household metal you should ask yourself:
- Do I have the space to store my scrap? It is not nice to look at and your neighbors may not appreciate the view of your scrap pile in the backyard.
- Do I have a way to transport my scrap and where is the nearest scrap yard? You need to factor the cost and effort of transporting your scrap pile and after factoring your gas and time it may not be worth it.
Remember, some people even turn scrap metal into a profitable hobby or full-time profession. I know I look at trash in a whole new light.
* Because tax laws vary by jurisdiction, you may want to investigate if there are any tax consequences based on your own situation and location.