How to Sort Your Scrap Metal

Recycling scrap metal is an excellent way to contribute to environmental sustainability while potentially earning some extra cash. Properly sorting your scrap metal is crucial for efficient recycling and ensuring you get the best value for your materials. If you’re looking into bronze recycling in Austin, TX, or any other type of metal, here’s a guide to help you sort your scrap metal effectively.

Understand the Different Types of Metals

The first step in sorting scrap metal is understanding the different types of metals. Scrap metals are generally classified into two categories: ferrous and non-ferrous.

Video Source

Ferrous metals contain iron and are magnetic. Common ferrous metals include steel and iron. Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and are non-magnetic. Examples of non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel.

Use a Magnet

A magnet is a simple and effective tool for sorting your scrap metal. By testing each piece with a magnet, you can quickly determine whether it is ferrous or non-ferrous. Ferrous metals will stick to the magnet, while non-ferrous metals will not. This initial sorting step helps you categorize your metals and streamline the recycling process.

Separate by Type

Once you’ve divided your scrap metal into ferrous and non-ferrous categories, the next step is to separate them by type. For non-ferrous metals, you should create separate piles for aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel. Each type of metal has different properties and values, so keeping them sorted will help you maximize their recycling potential.

Identify Bronze for Recycling

If you have bronze items, such as old plumbing fixtures, hardware, or sculptures, you’ll want to set these aside for bronze recycling. Bronze is an alloy made primarily of copper and tin, and it has a distinct brownish-gold color. For those interested in bronze recycling in Austin, TX, specific recycling facilities specialize in bronze recycling and can offer you the best rates for your bronze scrap.

Clean Your Scrap Metal

Before taking your scrap metal to a recycling facility, it’s essential to clean it. Remove any non-metal attachments, such as plastic, rubber, or fabric. Cleaning your scrap metal ensures that you get the best price for your materials and makes the recycling process more efficient. For instance, removing insulation from copper wires can significantly increase their value.

Find a Reliable Recycling Facility

Research local recycling facilities to find one that offers competitive rates and accepts the types of metals you have. For specialized materials like bronze, look for facilities that specifically handle bronze recycling in Austin TX, several recycling centers cater to different types of metals, so choose one that meets your needs.


The first step in sorting scrap metal is understanding the different types of metals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *