If you have a lot of scrap metal laying around, it could be worth money to you. Scrap metal buyers are always looking for metal, and often pay good money to get it. Small batches can be weighed on a standard scale, but large piles of scrap are weighed differently. Additionally, the buyers have different means of determining what the metal is worth.
When and if you can bring scrap metal in by the truckload, your scrap cannot just be estimated or dumped on a larger scale. The full weight of your load of scrap stays in the truck while you drive onto a truck scale (more commonly used for freight and semi trucks). A person inside the scrapyard building monitors the weight and writes down what the scale says when your truck is parked on it.
Next, you are instructed to drive around the back of the building. Here, there are scrapyard employees who will tell you where to dump the scrap. They will sort the scrap into piles by the type of metal and/or scrap use. When your load is completely out on the ground, you drive back around to park on the truck scale again. This second, lighter weight of you in the truck sans load is subtracted from the first amount. You are paid by the current value of general scrap by the pound.
Determination of Payment
If you follow through on the above method for depositing scrap, you are paid the general scrap per pound price. Usually, most scrap does not have a lot of value, so the general scrap price is an average of the most valuable scrap and least valuable scrap. It is never more than a few cents a pound.
If you want payment for your scrap by specific metal type, there are scrap buyers that will pick apart your scrap based on type of metal, and then pay the price-per-pound for each type of metal you have. Just be aware that if you choose this second method of determining value for payment, you may end up with less money if you have a lot of the least valuable type of metal. Of course, if you have the most sought-after type of metal that currently has the highest value, the opposite is also true.
Weighing Sorted Scrap for Payment
Scrap metal buyers who are willing to presort your load by metal type may have several different ways of doing it. You may have to do the truck scale method for every sort of metal you have, taking as many passes on the scale as necessary to get weights of the sorted piles. The piles may also be loaded into a special crusher that weighs each batch before squishing it into a cube. Whatever method is used, you will have to wait until all of your scrap has been weighed before you can get paid.
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