Recycled Metals Earn Cash

Electrical wiring and aluminum siding are candidates for recycling companies

July 12, 2000

Remodeling typically generates large amounts of waste due, especially when demolition is part of the project. Wise Recycling, one of the United States'' leading nonferrous metal recyclers, is offering a hands-on workshop designed to show contractors how to identify various kinds of aluminum, brass and copper scrap and how to maximize its value.
Becky Graninger of Wise Recycling says that although many contractors are selling recyclables, there are still some that are limited on time and resources and do not want to be hassled by recycling. "With a little effort, you can earn a little bit of money and help the environment--all that waste that would have ended up in a landfill gets reused," Graninger says.
Building and construction materials available for reuse through recycling include: aluminum siding, doors, windows, awnings, gutters, downspouts, and wire plus copper and brass plumbing, heating and electrical sheet, wire and tubing.

Remodelers short on time can allow employees to separate the material. The proceeds can serve as a bonus for the employee or the remodeler can form an agreement in which the employee splits the profits with the company. Graninger says that some companies donate the proceeds to charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House or local food banks.

To capitalize on recycling, Graninger says that remodelers should receive some type of formal training to quickly identify scrap metal, and more importantly, to learn which kinds of scrap are worth more money. "Some contractors think that insulation wires have no value because the wire is coated, so it all gets thrown out," Graninger says. "What they don''t know is that we can take the coating off and the wire is fine for recycling."

Remodelers can also maximize revenue with the following hints:

  • Accumulate as much material as you can--most recyclers offer volume pricing.

  • Quality is the primary factor in determining scrap value. Non-aluminum attachments (hinges, brackets and nails) can cause contamination and must be removed.

  • Other sources of contamination include insulation, caulk, dirt and tar.

  • Scrap separation is another way to increase your revenue. For example, painted siding is worth more than mixed aluminum of various grades. Make sure to exclude steel and vinyl siding.

    To coordinate a Wise Recycling workshop, call (800) 820-9473 or visit

  • About the Author

    Overlay Init