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Making Tax Free Income From Recycling Scrap Metals, Tips On how To Do It

Scrap Metal and Profit!


Throwing Away Recyclable Metals Is Disgusting

Do you know what disgusts me? I'll tell you, and I won't beat around the bush much either. People who throw away aluminum cans disgust me. In "real time," I'm discussing all of this with my friends on facebook. Recycling is the responsible thing to do, and though it can take a little bit of time out of your day, it can be profitable as well. I've written many times about this topic, but not so much here on hubpages.

Environmentalism is here to stay, and no, not all of it is good for us. Al Gore's environmentalism and policies and hoopla have provided the American consumer some very high priced, and low quality products within the residential HVAC field. Maybe Al thinks that if we all recycled as we should, then we'd earn back some of the money we are bound to loose due to the increased energy efficiency, and low quality of our home appliances. Regardless, Al Gore is an assclown. I wonder if Al Gore cares about the environment half so much as he cares about his bank account.

Anyone who's been reading my mini-essays here knows already that I spent the early part of 2010 in California, but that I'm a Texas Native, and currently reside in my hometown, of Kaufman, Texas. The differences between the two states are tremendous. In Seaside, California-which is where I was staying, the local trash companies picked up your trash, and if you'd separated your glass, paper, and plastic-then they took that to be recycled. What an improvement that is over the situation in Kaufman, or anywhere else that I know about inTexas!

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Maybe in Austin, Texas-where probably the only idiot is the governor, Rick Perry, they do things the right way, like they did in Seaside. When your state's governor is such that he has an man executed when he's got the evidence that he's innocent on his desk-you can't much expect him to be reasonable, or to care in the least about his world, the people in it, or anything other than himself.

I've got huge hopes for Texas, and this next election. The Lone Star State's international reputation, and even it's reputation in the other 49 states depend upon our ending the career of the one who's committed such crimes against humanity as to have so many people killed, to prove to people who may, or may not have killed anyone, that killing people is wrong. It's this same complete lack of logic or conscience that allows big business, and small minds to wreck the planet by not recycling, polluting, and profiteering.

Has there ever been a nation as fat and wasteful as the United States of America? I seriously doubt it-though I'm told that the people of Constantinople had it quite nice during the heyday of the Byzantine empire. Mr. Bob Vercher, my junior year World History teacher once said that if he could live in any other time or place than his current(then) reality-then it was there that he'd want to go.

Listen, I'm a SCRAP MONSTER, and I'm not the least bit ashamed of it. Oh, I see the dirty looks that you give me when I'm riding my bicycle, and standing in the ditch, putting aluminum cans into a plastic bag. Yes, I saw you. You, in that Chevrolet Tahoe, that Ford F-350, and I especially noticed YOU, in that Hummer H-2. How irresponsible you are to be driving those vehicles simply because you can afford them, and not because you NEED them.

Who among you can claim that you NEED a Hummer H-2? Let me tell you a secret-the H-2 is the ugliest fucking thing on the road. It is you who drive the H-2, the Tahoe, the Suburban, and the F-350 without a family to carry with you, or without the type of work that requires you're F-350, it is you who seek to scrap America.

I applauded that young man in California who tossed the Molotov cocktails all through the Hummers at the Hummer dealership.. That young man, though now considered forever a "criminal," that young man is a patriot, and a young man who cares about his world. It is you cowardly "Christians" who blindly follow the rules that your wealthy overlords put in place to ensure their riches-you disgust me equally, when you forever rant and rave about RULES.

Anyway. . . .metal. Mercury is the only metal that I can think of right off that can't be sold for cash. Tin and Iron are the most common metals, and they are worth very little. Still, tin and iron are worth money. Currently, tin and Iron sell for around.2 cents to .5 cents per pound. you don't have to do a lot of figuring to see that these metals aren't where you'll make that buck you need to catch up on your bills. Should you have a bit of back yard, a truck, and a small flatbed trailer-then you CAN certainly make some money with tin and iron. Another real world factor is how far you are from the nearest scrapyard..

I'll be completely honest with you-I became interested in scrap metals when I realized what an access to them I had, and how profitable they are. Tax free profit. Unreported income.

It is the responsible thing to do to ensure that anything that can be recycled doesn't wind up at the landfill. Sure, you won't make a bunch of money off of tin and iron-you can, however, put a lot of it into the trunk of your car, and should you have a scrapyard somewhere on the way to where you sometimes go, etc-then you might recoup a little of your gas money, beer money, etc by a quick stop at the scrapyard.

I've got a little tale for you here, and it concerns aluminum and scrap metal, and untaxed income: There once was an old man who had a pasture, and on that pasture he had a large barn full of building materials. This old man lived and died, and he had no kinfolk in Texas. His land was put up for sale, and was intended to be sold into little lots for trailer houses. Well, a little bird landed on the shoulder of yours truly, and told him about the situation. Yours truly, in the dead of the night drove his pick up truck to the falling apart building, and rescued well over a thousand pounds of aluminum siding from the decaying building, destined to be bulldozed away. Thanks to that little birdie, the pickup, and some local "hoodlums," yours truly made a lot of untaxed, unreported income; and managed to recycle a lot of metal that would have been hauled off to the dump. Aluminum sold for .50 cents a pound at that time, and my little birdie friend is a good friend indeed. There are some local "hoodlums" who are very thankful to little birdies worldwide for such things as well.

Now, it's true that I do not advocate someone raiding a falling apart barn full of building materials in the middle of the night-unless they've called me first, and we happen to know that nobody is going to lose out due to "Midnight Riders," little birdies, and bulldozers. However, life is such that black and white often do not exist, and gray areas abound.

Aluminum is the most common metal that a decent profit can be made from the collection and sell of. Aluminum cans are virtually everywhere, in your stores, laying on your sidewalks, and in your ditches. The price of aluminum fluctuates frequently-and I've seen it as high as .90 cents per pound. Should you crush aluminum cans with the soles of your feet while wearing shoes-then a great deal of aluminum can be fitted into the trunk of any car, certainly, enough to make it not only profitable for you to frequent the scrapyard, but for you to feel environmentally responsible as well. But aluminum is not only found in the venerable aluminum can-it is found in many, many applications.

Here's the trick for you to remember. Take a magnet, and apply it to any metal that you aren't certain of, should the magnet NOT stick to the metal-then you've got a metal that is worth money.

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In the spirit of being helpful, what else shall I say? I'll say plenty. Copper wiring is common, and copper trumps aluminum several times over. Today at the scrapyard copper sold for $2.80 per pound. This price applies to raw copper, or rather, uninsulated copper. Copper wiring is typically insulated.

Where would you find copper wiring? In any of your failed appliances. So you've got an old refrigerator that gave up the ghost? That's great! The condenser coil of your old fridge is composed of copper tubing, and this is the raw copper that I was speaking of, the stuff that sells for $2.80 per pound. simply saw, or break it off, and save it. Besides that, the electrical wiring of the old fridge is all copper wiring, though insulated, and a small pair of wire cutters will do the trick to cut and pull all of the wiring loose for sale at the scrapyard. Looking at my receipt, I can't decipher what my insulated wire sold for-I should have asked. Typically, it's about half of what raw copper sells for, which would be $1.40 per pound.

If you take the time to burn the insulation off of the wire in a burn barrel-then you've got copper that can sell for full price. Please keep in mind that not only refrigerators-but every electric home appliance that needs replacing contains copper wiring. I've never met a woman who wasn't very elderly that couldn't, if so inclined, take the time to take those things apart, and take out the wires.

Finally, as I've about maxed out the word limit that I find wise for hubs, I'd like to say that brass, and stainless steel are common metals of very high value. Stainless Steel DOES have a magnetic pull, but not nearly the magnetism that tin or iron has. Last, but not least-your failed car battery, contains a good deal of lead, and will be happily purchased from you at a scrapyard. I recall an uncle telling me when I brought home a half dozen failed auto batteries,

"I have to pay $2.00 to dispose of those!"

"You are a fool," I replied, "I get $5.00 a piece for them at the scrapyard."

Let's all be responsible citizens and recycle. It's my greatest hope that I've been of some use to you in doing that, and making a buck while doing the responsible thing.

© 2010 Wesman Todd Shaw


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 22, 2019:

That's how I was raised, but only in terms of copper with my parents. Dad was a master electrician. Every scrap of copper was to be picked up off the floor, and put into a box for recycling. Whoever was on the job, they were on the clock to do it, so just do your job.

My dad never felt the same way about aluminum. I learned that one from my maternal grandparents, who were not of a family of electricians.

I was shocked when I found out, many years ago, that you could literally sell a car/truck battery at the scrap yard. I told an uncle I was living with about this revelation. He said, 'no way. I have to pay the tire store a couple bucks for the old one when I buy a new one. Disposal fee.'

What a joke! Disposal fee. At one time dead car batteries were selling for quite a lot, 5-7 bucks, depending on the size, maybe larger for large diesel engine batteries. And at that time copper was hard to find, the dead batteries weren't something you'd steal, folks would be glad for you to just haul them all off.

Rose Jones on March 22, 2019:

Great to profit off of other's waste! Win-win-win

Shri Metals Scrap from 3/4A BESSEMER STREET, BLACKTOWN, SYDNEY (NSW) on January 01, 2016:

Shri Metals Best Scrap & Recycling Copper Metal Merchants Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on July 10, 2014:

Thanks! that reminds me...I've got some scrap sitting around here I ought to go sell for some beer money :)

David Hamilton from Lexington, KY on July 10, 2014:

Nice info. Upvoted and appreciated!

Jason Smith from Bastrop, Texas on July 02, 2012:

Let me start by saying your hub is excellent, and I agree with you on the aluminum can thing. I pick these things up everywhere and make some extra money while doing it. I also scrap other metal items for extra money. I have written a hub also on the subject, and I would like you to give it a read. Thanks

Jason from Indianapolis, IN. USA on March 26, 2012:

You want to get at those hummer driving yuppies? Then take the scrap they discard, turn it into "Upcycled Metal art" and sell their trash back to them for $100! Some of my art is from scrap metal. Check it out!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on March 01, 2012:

HOLY SMOKE BILL!!!! THAT IS A TON OF MONEY FOR SCRAP IRON! Its nothing like that around here, at least it wasn't.

I'm without a vehicle myself right now, but a van or a beater truck will be the way I go whenever I do have some dollars again.

Yeah - you've got a great thing going, and all it takes is some decent wheels with cargo space, some creativity, and the want to!!!

Thanks for telling me about this! It's encouraging!

Bill on March 01, 2012:

Benn srcaoing for 4 years at first i couldn't drive due to license revoked from old case back in 93 now i have a van with seats removed in back scrap iorn if cast iron pays huge now here in PA as high as 14 cents per lb light iron or steel 12,5 cents a lb ! I go around tri county area and serach industrial parks and auto body repair shops and any place that works with steel or iron constrauction hoping that they dumpsters outside the proprty or that the gates are open i'm avaeraging $500 - $1000 a week now. Gave up the aluminum cans because they smell of beer and it stinks up my van ! I go for clean aluminum like in old crutches , wheel chairs walkers canes mop handles broom handles etc... Copper is hard to come buy like the plumbing type because the businesses keep it themselves and turn it in, The Copper wire is plentiful tho just going around ant place under construction or any comtrucyion companies yards ! Many places will work with you and once you hacve 10 businesses allowing you to come and laod up every week YOU rolling in cash ! 1000 lbs pays me 125$ that ican get in one day at any place ! They will not give up aluminum or copper to you but the steel n cast iron they will maybe they take a % of what you get paid i have 5 who are happy with 40% because it saves them money by not using their people or vehicles to truck the iron to the yard i go to which is like 30 miles away !

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 12, 2011:

Hey fpherj48!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Absolutely!!! If I had a beat up old truck - I'd be doing just that. Working for, myself, and I!!!

I've got a bit of an old beat up flatbed trailer around here - and of course that and a winch and a few other things would be about all it would take.

Suzie from Carson City on December 12, 2011:

Wes....scrapping is really big where I live. I know quite a few young men who actually survive this way....and I mean, make a living. They're at it 8 hrs. a day like any job. They place ads offering to pick up your heaps of scrap and junk, etc....I see them driving by with their trucks all loaded up. Makes me happy to know they're not only paying their bills, but CLEANING up a whole lot of our outdoor space!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 13, 2011:

Dude - take a chill pill.

First of all - calling oneself a Christian in no way means that someone is actually a Christian; I doubt you've read enough of my articles to always read between the lines.

James B. on October 13, 2011:

I agree with most everything in here this person has to say...until his crude remarks about Christians. You see sir...I AM a christian, and it is our responsibility to keep the Father's earth that He provided for us. Recycling is the CHRISTIAN thing to do. You with your ludicris remarks about Christians bowing bow to the masters of waste was totally uncalled for. WE are the ones trying to keep the planet "clean" so to speak. I am sorry that you unfortunately ran into a bad mix of "us Christians" and now all your thoughts about us are not nice ones. Forgive them, that is the thing to do. Do not make remarks about them. Anyways, Christian or no, we should ALL be keeping the ONLY home we live on in outer space clean and free of debris, and the only way to do that is.... recycle, recycle recycle, reuse, reuse & more time... reuse. You don't need to buy NEW everytime you go to town.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 03, 2011:

Yes - but I sign "I do not consent" on tax forms. I'm not under any contracts that I do not consent to, and I do not support murders for bankers over seas - or anywhere.

Also - lots of small town scrap yards do not ask for any information at all. They might ask for a driver's license number if you are steadily bringing them a/c condensers - but that's for the obvious reason that you might be selling stolen condensers for scrap.

AllenBradley on October 02, 2011:

Scrap metal is not tax free. Scrap yards are required to keep transaction records and record your license plate number and name. Some want a copy or your driver license too. This is because the IRS can go audit them at any time. When that happens the yard supplies the transaction records to the IRS and somehow your name comes up. Then the IRS decides if you are a big enough fish to bother catching. Want to know something else interesting? If you give blood or plasma they require you to supply your social security number. That is because income for this is taxable.



Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on August 05, 2011:

Hey thanks, jetta17, I'm probably better at digressing and ranting than relaying info - but I is what I is.

jetta17 on August 04, 2011:

Almost thought you got off on a whole other tangent there at first, but great hub and great information. I might be giving this a try

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Thanks John - I get real satisfaction from scrap metal money - mostly because other folks think of the stuff as "trash."

John on July 13, 2011:

It is really a wise decision to earn money through scrap materials specially from junk metals. as those people said, it is tax free and you can find scrap metals anywhere.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 04, 2011:

Hey thanks, Gypsy Willow! Last I checked the price for cans was up a bit, but copper was down to three bucks a pound, always be on the lookout for things made from brass and stainless steel too!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on June 04, 2011:

We always save cans and pick them up whenever we see them. Unfortunately our local park is scoured clean of cans as everyone does it. We still get $50 every month or so and it makes a handy bonus! Good hub

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 06, 2011:

Hey Tina, I wouldn't report scrap metal income - not in my income bracket. The only way I'd report scrap metal income would be for it to benefit me somehow.

I have personal problems with the IRS - not legal problems, but ethical problems. I do NOT want to pay for foreign imperialist wars for oil, and Halliburton contracts, and the billion and one other evil things the IRS helps fund that go on.

But I'm an opinionated person, for a Zombie.

Tina, do you know what you've done here? You are forcing me to bring up the fact that David Mayer De Rothschild owns a boat that he had built from plastic bottles. It's called "The Plasticki" or something like that.

I don't guess I have a reason to NOT like David Mayer De Rothschild, or "plastic Jesus," as I like to call him.

It's not David's fault that he is from the family that he's from, or has the trillions of dollars under his power that he really either does, or will eventually have. . . .

gr82bme from USA on May 06, 2011:

Wes, it says tax free? How ? It is earned income.

Also I hate people that use plastic water bottles. Do you know how many get thrown out a day!. It makes me sick. Spring water bull! Read the bottles. Even if it is from a spring it still has to go through the process. DUH!

The best thing to do is get a water filter!

Please people wake up and save our planet


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 01, 2011:

Well, this is true!

sweetie1 from India on April 30, 2011:

HI todd,

I must say that yes i do throw away the metal cans and other things. But then i hardly use 3 or 4 cans a month.. and i dont think there is any money if you save 3 cans a months.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 15, 2010:


TheIrrationalist on November 15, 2010:

I really like this hub, it has a fair deal of scrapping zeal. I actually thought it was really interesting even though it wasn't all about scrapping, lol. I write about scrapping on my website too, so i know you have to keep it interesting. :D Thanks!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 08, 2010:

Poetvix-Thank you :-D

Lobo-LOL! and LOL!

Temy Beal from LaGrange, GA, USA on October 08, 2010:

I don't argue with your points about recycling and stuff being worth money, etc. I would just much rather pay someone my last $2 to dispose of a battery than go to the trouble of taking it somehwere that will buy it for $5. In the past I have collected and sold aluminum cans...never would do that now, too much trouble. I'm grateful for people who do things like recyling and scrapping, etc., in the same way I am grateful for people who are nurses, but I never would do it myself, anymore, anyways. I kind of think of littering as a community either giives some folk a bit of income in some cases, or gives inmates a chance to get outside in others.

Of course I have no need of (that kind of) a Hummer, but I'd sure get me one if it were possible. I'd prolly have me a tank too, if I could get one.

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on October 07, 2010:

Great information to be found here. I'm kicking myself for all the appliances I have tossed w/out ever knowing to raid the guts first.

Thanks for sharing this. It's well written and informative. I especially like the magnet trick. Never would I have thought of that.

You are so right in your views about enviromentalism too. We have but one world in which to roam. We had better start taking care of it!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 06, 2010:

Willie, I knew you lived in a deep freezer that wanted to be a State, but I thought that your deep freezer's name was "Montana?"

Shit, how do the Mexican cartel folk in Alaska dispose of the bodies of the rivals? Pet bears?

Yup, ditch digging best be a high paying gig in such a place. My skinny ass jumping on a shovel all day in the permafrost wouldn't get much accomplished!

I have no idea if the prices of aluminum are typically consistent across the nation. . . .or more vicarious. I know this: I turned in a bit over 700lbs of aluminum one day. . .and got around $500.00 non taxed and unreported income! I also did this. . . .saving shit from the city dump.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on October 06, 2010:

A.M., needs and wants used to be more balanced out, by and large, and across the economic status spectrum.

Hey, I'm the least balanced ever in this specific field, and a few others. . . .

I tend to think that ethnocentrism killed the buffalo, or we might just call it hatred, and a lust for violence, and being imperial assclowns.

Many lessons we should have learned from the Native Americans, but we were busy taking advantage of the fact that they didn't know how to use alcohol, as is evidenced from the facts of it's effects; and that they'd not evolved with it over thousands of years like we had.

Luckily for the world, the media machine's abrasive self centered ideology. . . . .isn't so effective now that a greater number of us are more concerned with day to day living. . . .instead of keeping up with the Schwarzenaggers. (there was no way I was going to pull that spelling off! ahahhahaha!)

DoItForHer on October 05, 2010:

In Alaska they allow residents to go through the dump and pick up whatever they can to recycle. In Montana you are not allowed; probably because of liability. (Another reason for tort reform.) Alaskan residents don't recycle because they want to do the right thing, they recycle because they must. You can't bury the garbage there, so it has to be shipped out at great expense. If you want to learn how recycling should work, Alaska is a great role model for that.

When I'm out camping, hiking, or hunting, I inevitably find garbage. I pick up a couple cans or so and throw them into the back of my truck, but when I get home, I usually throw it away. I feel bad about it, but I don't acquire enough cans to justify the fuel to drive it down nor do we have convenient places to drop off cans.

But by picking up garbage I'm halfway there. I'll make more of an effort to be aware of where I can recycle. I do recycle, but not a lot. If I were more organized and had more patience, I could do more.

Allen Werner from West Allis on October 05, 2010:

Speaking it like it is. Don't hold back anything. Corporations have been killing us slowly for generations but no one is ever going to stop them. It is the profit that makes the nation go round. Want and need are the extremes that America has never fully embraced. Native Americans needed Bison for pretty much everything, but expanding America wanted the land, so bang bang, want trumped need. Some cities here in Wisconsin are more progressive when it comes to recycling than others. Even here in Milwaukee, certain suburbs have stiffer rules for collection while others hardly have any. I'm not sure this country will ever implent a decent recycling policy. Hummerland doesn't have the time or patience for it. Peace.

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