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Recycle metal waste, reduce your environmental impact

When Johnny Johnson was remodeling his Los Angeles hillside home, he had no idea that his trash was a potential treasure. He noticed pick-up trucks hauling away the metals he had put out for the city recyclers, and wondered why.

"I asked one of the drivers what he was doing and he told me there was good money to be made from selling scrap to private metal recyclers. Sure enough, when I took my aluminum, brass, copper and wiring to one, I made almost a $1,000. It certainly helped defray the cost of the remodel,” Johnson says.

Cashing in old appliances or scrap metal left behind from a home remodeling project can bring in a considerable profit. For the conservation-minded, it’s also a smart way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy and natural resources. There are several companies in the L.A. area that focus on this aspect.

“We’re committed to conserving energy and limiting our global negative impact by expanding our services to include environmental waste, ferrous and nonferrous metals, metal waste consultants, processors, precious metal recycling and recovery,” Los Angeles-based C&M Metals owner Don Carlos says.

Scrap recyclers typically take the materials to a wrecking yard where it’s then processed to be made into new products. The environmental benefits of this are two-fold. It diverts the bulky, potentially hazardous material away from landfills  and it lowers costs and uses fewer resources in the production of new steel, aluminum and other metals and alloys.

Different scrap yards may be looking for one particular kind of item, like wrought iron, and may offer slightly different pricing and services. It’s a good idea to do some research on local recyclers before deciding which to go with.

Companies that recycle scrap metal typically accept these types of materials:

  • Non-ferrous recycling – copper, aluminum, brass, high temperature alloys, titanium, stainless, nickel
  • Ferrous recycling – iron and tin

Services these types of companies usually offer are:

  • Pick-up service
  • Roll-off service (for general contractors)
  • Electronic waste services
  • Public recycling services
  • Private recycling services.


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