Contrary to popular opinion, scrap metal recycling is actually a great way to reuse resources and avoid the high economic and environmental costs of mining. Because metal is common in almost any product and item that we use on a daily basis, scrap metal will not easily downgrade. Even so, much more recycling could be done than what is actually happening in the global market. As a matter of fact, only about 30% of metals are currently recycled, meaning that 70% of metals could be recycled, but aren’t.

Learn more about the most commonly recycled scrap metals and their sources so that you can make sure that you’re sustainably and efficiently recycling as much as possible. As an added bonus, scrap metal recyclers pay for metals that people bring in. If you collect your scrap metal, over time, you can make some additional income. Check out the list below to see if you might have any of these most commonly recycled metals on hand:


This metal, once used commonly for pipes, barbecues, gas heaters and more can be found in older items around the home or industrial site. Because iron is highly corrosive, newer, more resistant metals such as steel have replaced iron as the top pick for many items. But, it is still useful for scrap metal. It can be melted down and used for creating new items.


steel recycle

Steel is one of the most widely used metals in large appliances and products. Cars, chairs, shelves and household appliances are just a few of its many uses. It is also often used for construction purposes. You’d be surprised to know that many cans you find in the supermarket are also made of steel. Both steel and iron have magnetic properties, making them some of the easiest metals to recycle. This is because impurities are easily separated from the metal with the use of a strong magnet.


Aluminum is popularly known for its use in making aluminum cans for beverages. However, this versatile metal can also be found in car parts, window pieces, siding, gutters, doors and more. This common metal is also frequently recycled. It’s especially known for its quick turnaround time from scrap metal to consumer product or packaging. Aluminum can go from scrap metal to the supermarket shelf in as little as 60 days!


This heavier metal is a combination of zinc and copper. It is popular for making light fixtures, bathroom fixtures (faucets), door handles, keys and other plumbing pieces. Brass typically commands a higher price than other common metals due to the presence of copper, which is quite valuable.


Copper is a valuable metal that commands good prices as scrap metal. It is used in a variety of applications such as pipes, electrical components, and electric wires. This is the third most used metal in manufacturing, which shows how common it is. Hold on to your old copper and recycle it for some extra cash.

The more awareness about recycling there is, the more scrap metal can be recycled and will eventually lead to a significant reduction in the impact on humans and the environment.