I remember as a kid helping my father go around to different places picking up and gathering scrap metal and scrap items that people didn't want anymore. Sometimes it was a lot of hard work, but mostly I found it to be rather fun driving around to see what we could find. Recycling scrap metal is like a scavenger hunt, but much like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you're going to get.
There is a huge demand for recycling scrap metal, and here are several ways that you can go about collecting it. You might be surprised at just how much scrap metal is out there just waiting for you to scoop up and fill your pockets with cold hard cash. The first step is to open your eyes and pay attention to your surroundings. Often we get so caught up in our daily lives and routines that we neglect to see the dollar bills just sitting on the side of the road.
The easiest way to get started is to find out when the neighborhoods in your area pick up bulk waste items like tree limbs, furniture, appliances, etc. You will be amazed at what you will find. Often times you won't find junk at all, but usable items that you can use yourself or resale for big profits. Of course you will want to get there before the trucks do, so check for pickup times too.
Next, look in your garage, back yard, storage shed or storage unit. Chances are you will find a nice little stash of scrap metal right in your lap. Don't forget to check for old electronics, monitors, and computers. Most of them contain precious metals like gold, platinum, and copper than can fetch a nice price. After you have scavenged your own junk, make a list of everyone you know that lives nearby; family, friends, co-workers, people from your church, school, or other organization. Once you have your list, approach each one of them individually and ask them if they have any scrap metal, junk, old appliances, or old computers lying around that they want you to haul away for them. This little trick alone will keep you plenty busy for a long time, and should be a gold mine. Check the newspaper classifieds and Craigslist often. There are always people who are moving or leaving town that are giving away stuff free to anyone who will haul it away for them. Some people and businesses will actually pay you to haul their junk away. It's a double windfall for you.
Lastly, check construction sites and businesses that maybe remodeling. Often times they will be thrilled to have someone haul away their scrap, and as I mentioned before, in some cases they may even pay you to do it. Just make sure to get permission from the business or construction site foreman before removing anything from their property.
The amount of money you can earn recycling scrap metal greatly depends on your market area, but in general the value of most metals are trending up. This is largely due to the demand of the consumer wanting to support recycling projects and products. Aside from the money that can be had collecting and selling recycled scrap metal, it's a fun and rewarding activity that you can get your whole family involved in, just like my dad did so many years ago.