Business Overview

As a small metal recycler you may be collecting metals from construction sites, demolition companies, homeowners and small businesses before you sort and sell them to a local scrap yard. A full-service metal recycler accepts large quantities of scrap from the small scrap yards, junk yards, and municipal collection points and breaks down each item into separate materials and prepare them for shipment to a manufacturer. This business requires extensive acreage, machinery, and hardworking employees.

Who is this business right for?

On a small scale, metal recycling is perfect for the individual who loves to collect cast off materials, enjoys getting their hands dirty, and loves to negotiate with scrap yards for the best price. On a large scale, a person with a passion for making use of every piece of material along with keen business acumen will be able to create a large business with a network of contacts looking to buy and sell quantities of valuable scrap.

What happens during a typical day at a metal recycling company?

No matter if you're operating on a small or large scale, your metal recycling business will need to:

  • Identify the types of metal scrap
  • Collect metal scrap from homes, businesses, municipal recycling centers, demolition and construction sites
  • Use protective equipment and safe sorting practices to protect your health
  • Cut scrap metal out of structures marked for demolition
  • Separate out valuable metals from household appliances
  • Transport sorted materials to scrap yard
  • Locate best price for different types of metals to generate the best profit
  • Focus on collecting enough high value metals to increase profit/cover operational expenses
  • Expand your scrapping network and add new stops to your regular routes

What is the target market?

Construction and demolition contractors consistently produce quantities of scrap metal. They are willing to pay you to remove it from their site. Used car dealers, automotive shops, and junk yards consistently offer up old cars for recycling.

How does a metal recycling company make money?

Scrap yards pay for sorted recyclable scrap metal by the pound and issue new prices on a daily basis. A metal recycler earns an income by bringing sorted metals to the yard for sale. A large recycler sells their processed, chipped, and shredded metals by the truck load to industrial manufacturers for use in new products.

What is the growth potential for a metal recycling company?

When positioned in an area that is generating a large amount of metals ready to be recycled, a metal recycling business can expand into a huge processing facility able to rip cars apart and separate all the different materials. The electronics industry also can supply an endless mass of monitors, computer boards, and keyboards that contain precious metals that only need to be removed from the plastics for lucrative income opportunity. Expanding into a business that recycles plastics as well can take advantage of the full value of cast off electronics.