Machinists, fabricators, small shops, and makers that work with metals are often located far away from major industrial centers and know the challenges of rural recycling. If you work with metal in any capacity, you probably have lots of scrap metal and broken and used tooling, and you may be unsure of how to dispose of it and whether it is worth recycling.
The answer is yes—even small amounts of scrap metal and machine tooling can be profitable to recycle for hobbyists and home machinists in rural areas. The problem is that rural recycling centers can be difficult to find. When local rural recycling isn’t an option, you can still recoup significant costs by shipping recyclables like scrap metal and tooling to a metal recycler.
Below we detail rural recycling options for machinists and hobbyists as well as one of the most in-demand materials that can be valuable for recycling.
Rural Recycling Options for Scrap Metal
Rural areas often don’t have many recycling facilities, and those that exist may only accept certain types of scrap metal. If there’s not much local demand or competition, they may not be able to pay enough for scrap to make the trip worthwhile.
When facing these rural recycling challenges, you have a few options:
- Take scrap metal to a recycling or disposal center yourself.
- Pay a haul-off service to remove and dispose of scrap metal for you.
- Ship your scrap metal by mail to a recycling center for compensation.
When rural recycling facilities are far away, delivering scrap yourself isn’t always feasible. Between fuel costs and lost time, you may end up spending more than what the scrap is worth. Often, rural recycling customers save their scrap metal until they have large enough quantities to justify the trip. However, this means storing containers of useless scrap metal for long periods. For rural home machinists and small-scale manufacturers, floor space can be scarce, and most would prefer to use it for something other than storing scrap metal.
Paying someone else to haul your scrap metal to a rural recycling center is a simple solution but not a cost-effective one. Scrap metal can be worth quite a lot of money, especially valuable metals like copper, titanium, and nickel alloys. If you aren’t getting compensated for your scrap metal, you’re missing out on a potentially significant source of revenue.
Fortunately, there is another option for rural recycling: shipping. This will also cost you, but by sending scrap metal directly to the recycling center, you can more than make up for the shipping costs by getting paid directly for your scrap metal. You also have the option of shipping anywhere in the country, so you can make sure you’re dealing with an experienced, trustworthy metal recycler that will give you a fair price.
Whether it makes sense to ship scrap metal to a recycler for payment depends on the type and quantity of scrap. Low-value scrap like chips and swarf may not return enough money to justify shipping, but more valuable metals and larger pieces are likely to be worth it. Flat-rate containers are often cost-effective for shipping relatively small amounts of high-value scrap metals.
Recycling Tungsten Carbide Tooling
Tungsten carbide is an exceptionally hard ceramic material that’s used throughout the manufacturing industry as a material for drill bits, end mills, and other inserts and cutting tools. Tungsten carbide tools are more expensive than steel but perform better and last much longer. When they are no longer useful, they can be easily recycled by a professional metal recycling service.
Tungsten carbide is a valuable material, but many machine shops and home fabricators don’t know what to do with it when their tools wear out or break. Some smaller machine shops and home machinists assume they don’t produce enough tooling scrap to be worth recycling. However, even small amounts of tungsten carbide have significant value. Plus, tungsten carbide is very dense—twice as heavy as steel—so even if you’re only running a single machine, it doesn’t take much for the pounds and value to start adding up.
The tungsten carbide waste metal recycling process is simple and cost-efficient, and tungsten carbide is always in demand, so metal recyclers pay great rates for scrap tungsten carbide tooling. For rural recycling, shipping is ideal because scrap tooling can easily fit into a flat-rate box. Using this method, tungsten carbide recycling can easily provide a good return relative to shipping costs, even in small, parcel-sized quantities.
Your Professional Metal Recycler for Any Location
Industrial Metal Service has been supplying and recycling metal for two decades. In addition to our local pickup service, we are happy to receive tooling or other scrap metal by mail from anywhere in the U.S. Flat-rate boxes through USPS are an excellent choice for small, valuable pieces of scrap like tungsten carbide tooling.