If your machine shop doesn’t have a comprehensive metal recycling plan, you may be missing out on a significant untapped revenue stream.

It’s often assumed the cost for shipping recyclables is cost-prohibitive. While this is true for many recyclable materials, metals are an exception. Recycling metal almost always provides a good return relative to shipping costs, even in small quantities. Almost any type of scrap metal has significant value, ranging from around $0.05 per pound for cheaper ferrous materials to as much as $4.00 per pound for copper (depending on market conditions).

In this post, we’ll look at the cost benefits of saving various types of scrap metal for recycling and how it can be very profitable to recycle even small quantities of valuable metals like tungsten carbide. We’ll discuss how a local scrap metal pickup service can minimize the cost for shipping recyclables and make it a convenient source of extra revenue for your business.

The Cost Benefits of Recycling Steel and Aluminum

Some of the most commonly recycled metals are aluminum and ferrous metals like iron and steel. Steel is by far the most recycled metal in the world, mostly because industries use so much of it. While it’s not usually as valuable as non-ferrous metals, it’s difficult to run out of steel scrap, as it’s found in just about everything. Aluminum is also great for recycling because

it can be recycled over and over again without degrading the material.

Recycling even small batches of steel and aluminum can be profitable. To maximize your profit margins, look at your packaging and shipping costs. To help ease these costs, a local recycling pickup service can provide bulk containers for your shop. Simply fill them up as scraps are produced, and the recycler will handle the rest. The cost for shipping recyclables is easily offset by the value of even cheaper metals, but even better value can be found in rarer non-ferrous metals.

Recycle Other Non-Ferrous Metals for More Cost Benefits

Non-ferrous metals make up a much smaller volume of metal recycling than ferrous metals, but many, such as copper, brass, bronze, and tungsten, are worth much more per pound than ferrous metals.

One of the most valuable recyclables that virtually all machine shops have is tungsten carbide tooling. Though referred to as a metal, it is a composite material of tungsten carbide particles in a metallic cobalt matrix. Tungsten carbide’s extreme hardness renders it invaluable to the manufacturing industry as a material for cutting and forming tools, abrasive wheels, and wire drawing equipment. These tools are easy to recycle or rework, and manufacturers can sell their worn or broken tungsten carbide tooling to metal recyclers for significant returns.

How to Recycle Scrap Metal

If you have scrap metal lying around in the form of chips, machining remnants, or old tools, contact a local metal recycler to see if they accept it. Some metal recyclers offer scrap metal pickup, or you can ship it to them yourself. A regular pickup service is the most cost-effective option for most shops, but the cost for shipping recyclables is typically low enough to provide significant revenue even when shipping them yourself.

To get the best prices to offset shipping or pickup costs, collect different types of metal in separate containers. For example, a container of mixed aluminum and copper will usually be priced according to the cheaper metal—aluminum—while the copper is much more valuable if collected and priced on its own.

Talk to local metal recyclers and find out how they price different grades of metal. Some dealers may offer better pricing based on demand, logistics, or other factors.

Reduce the Cost for Shipping Recyclables by Partnering with a Local Metal Recycler

Industrial Metal Service has been providing commercial waste metal recycling services to San Francisco Bay Area manufacturers, fabricators, and machine shops for over two decades. We recycle ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, high-temperature alloys, precious metals, and tungsten carbide.

We want to make metal recycling as easy and profitable as possible for your business. We provide the containers—55-gallon barrels, 4x4s, 4x6s, roll-off bins, and more—designed for easy collection and pickup from your shop, warehouse, or yard, and we can customize a pickup schedule to match your production needs. When you have increased production runs, we’re conveniently local to handle on-demand recycling requests.

We’ve earned our reputation as a reliable and trustworthy metal supplier and recycler in the Bay Area. We’d welcome the opportunity to learn more about your business, discuss your specific recycling requirements, and make it easy for you to do business with us. Give us a call and we’ll get it done—quickly.Contact Us

IMS Team

IMS Team

Industrial Metal Service has decades of experience and over 1.1 billion pounds of metal sold and recycled. Our founder, Jeff, has spent his life in the industry and prides himself on offering fair, efficient, trustworthy, knowledgeable, outstanding customer service. We offer metal salesmetal recycling pickup service, and other associated services, such as precise metal sawing, machinery teardown, and warehouse cleanupGive us a call and we’ll get it done.