Which Metals to Look for When Refrigerator Recycling

by | Jan 7, 2016 | Business

While recycling is a great way to help the environment by keeping trash out of landfills, it can also help keep items like large appliances out of them as well. Although the shell of refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners may not have any value because they are mostly made out of plastic, the metal inside of them can be very valuable. In addition to doing your part to protect the planet, you can make money from recycling metal as well.

Types of Metals to Recycle

Most metals are recyclable, but there are certain metals that are more valuable than others and can be found in many types of appliances. Recyclable metals have two categories:

  • Nonferrous metals
  • Ferrous metals

Many of the metals found while refrigerator recycling will be nonferrous metals. These metals do not contain iron, they are generally not magnetic, with some stainless steel being the exception, and they are more resistant to corrosion. Non-ferrous metals are used in manufacturing because they are lightweight and they used to help conduct electricity.

Examples of non-ferrous metals include copper, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, lead and zinc. Ferrous metals contain iron and are usually less valuable than non-ferrous metals. Since they are mostly iron, ferrous metals do not conduct electricity well and they are very susceptible to corrosion.

Payment for Metals

When you do refrigerator recycling, you will find that some of the metals used in refrigerators are more valuable than others. Metals are sold by their weight, so the denser or heavier they are, the more money you will make. For instance, aluminum is valued for being lightweight and it is used to make many of the components in appliances, but you have to have a lot of it to make any money.

Copper, on the other hand, is a more valued metal and it is also used in producing some types of appliances. Usually, copper is used to make the water lines and Freon lines in refrigerators, so when refrigerator recycling, you will want to make sure you pull those lines out to scrap. You will also find plenty of aluminum and stainless steel in many refrigerators as well, all of which can be sold at a metal recycling business.

When recycling copper, you have to be careful in some areas of the country due to copper thefts. You may have to prove where you got the copper especially if you are recycling a large amount of it. The reason for this is because people have broken into homes and businesses and cut the copper lines from air conditioners and copper electrical wiring to sell it. However, legitimate metal recycling can help you make some money while keeping large items out of the landfills where you live.

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