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19 Best Things to Scrap For Money

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Curious about the best things to scrap for money?

How would you feel if you could help the environment, clean up your backyard, and make money?

Well, you can when you turn in your old, unused scrap metal, appliances, books and other stuff in!

In today’s age, you can make money clearing out your house of just about anything and that certainly includes scrap metal and other materials.

Why throw things away when you can repurpose or recycle them, right?

There are even places that will take your stuff in used or broken condition!

So, you’re keeping items from falling into landfills and making extra money in the process!

There are tons of different products that you can scrap from metal to ink cartridges, and many more items.

Ready to see all the different things you can scrap for extra cash?

Keep reading to learn about these 19 best things to scrap for money!

Table of Contents

Getting Started

First, you’ll want to take inventory of the items you’ll scrap for money.

You can do this by going through your home, garage, attic, backyard, even your vehicles, to compile your stuff that you will be scrapping.

For recyclables like scrap metal, cans, consumer electronics like cell phones, and others, you’ll begin by finding a collection point.

You can use Earth911 to search for the item you want to recycle plus your location to find a list of collection sites.

Preparing Your Stuff for Recycling

Next, you’ll prep your stuff for the recycling or selling process.

You’ll want to check with your collection site for rules and guides for this, as rules can change from facility to facility.

What will you have to do before you drop your recyclables off?

It varies based on the item, but it might include removing bottle caps, untying items, etc.

Make sure you properly secure your items and prep them for drop off beforehand.

Best Things to Scrap for Money

There are many things you can scrap for money, from used electronics, glass, cans, and more.

You’d probably be surprised at all the stuff you can scrap for money, right under your nose and laying in your home.

How to Find Metal to Scrap for Money

Scrap metal is by far one of the most lucrative items to scrap!

Here’s how you can scrap metal for profit:

  • Find a scrap yard
  • Collect your scrap metal
  • Dropoff

Finding a Scrap Yard

You can uncover scrap yards pretty easily by doing a quick search on Google for scrap yards in your local area.

Collect Your Scraps

Next, round up your scrap metal that you’ll be turning in for money.

Metals fall into two categories:

  • Ferrous
  • Non-ferrous

Ferrous metals are often used in the creation of motors and electrical appliances.

Many ferrous metals are also magnetic in nature.

And, they’re called ferrous because they contain iron.

These can include engineered materials like cast iron, for example.

These kinds of metals are easily identified and in addition to most being magnetic, ferrous metals are also known to corrode and rust.

Dropping Off Your Scraps

Lastly, you’ll drop off your scrap haul.

Common metals like steel and iron may not be worth as much as non-ferrous metals but it’s still worth turning in what you have to recycle and make a little money in the process.

This is the process for scrapping metal or money.

Next, check out our list of 19 best things to scrap for money!

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

Check out these 11 metals that you can scrap for profit.

1.  Heavy Steel

Steel is placed in the heavy steel category if it’s over 6ml thick.

Examples include:

  • Beam off-cuts
  • RHS
  • Car rims
  • Truck rims and,
  • Other heavy gauge metallics

Got any of these sitting in your garage or backyard?

2. Cast Iron

Cast iron is pretty well known, especially for cast iron pots and pans that are used in cooking.

Other kinds of cast iron can include:

  • Old bathtubs
  • Valves and pipes
  • Furniture
  • BBQ plates
  • Engine blocks

3. Light Steel

Things that fall into this category include:

  • Air conditioning units  units that have been degassed
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Ovens and any other lightweight metallic product

4. Copper

Copper can be bright and shiny, bare, or burnt looking.

Some examples include:

  • Clean copper wire like the wiring of electrical cords and phones
  • Plumbing copper tubing that has solder joints or paint

5. Insulated Cable

This is copper wiring with insulation still on it, like the wiring found in your house, electrical cords, etc.

6. Electric Motors

This covers motors from appliances or machines.

7. Nickel

Examples of nickel-containing items include:

  • Old kitchen sinks
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Piping

8. Lead

This can include sheet lead from roofing, lead wheel weights, roof nails, among other things.

9. Brass

Brass items you might find around include:

  • Gunmetal
  • Brass turnings
  • Car radiators

10. Aluminum

Aluminum can include things like aluminum soda cans.

How much do recycling centers pay for aluminum?

The national average is around $.21 per pound for aluminum, according to this source.

For comparison, copper fetches $1.83/pound and steel fetches $95.00/pound.

Where do I take aluminum cans for money?

Many places will take your cans for money, including:

  • Local scrap metal yards
  • Recycling centers

A simple way to find where you can take your aluminum cans is to do a quick Google search for this term “where to turn in aluminum cans near me” or similar.

How many aluminum cans does it take to make $100?

At $.05/can, you’d need 2,000 cans to make $100, as an example.

11. Bottles and Cans

Recycling bottles and cans for money is one of the most common ways to scrap for money.

Growing up, I remember seeing people collect glass bottles and aluminum soda cans, along with cans from canned goods, and other kinds of bottles and cans to recycle for extra money.

How Much Can You Make Recycling Bottles and Cans?

Depending on your area you can get $.05 to $.10 per bottle or can.

12. Car Batteries

Car batteries are great to sell to earn a quick profit.

You can sell them in places like:

  • Junk yards
  • Local auto parts store
  • Craigslist
  • Metal recycling centers
  • Auto repair shops
  • Pull-a-part
  • Pawn shops
  • Ebay
  • Global Tech Environmental
  • Peddle
  • iScrap app
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Yard sale

Why Might You Have An Old Battery?

If you have an older vehicle like a car, boat, or ATV, you may have an old battery lying around in your garage.

Don’t sit on this.

Look at selling it at one of the places shared above to cash in!

13. Electronics

Electronics are something that most people have, whether it’s a cell phone, stereo equipment, TV, etc.

Technology is ever-changing and electronics are being upgraded year after year.

So, what do you do with your old consumer electronics?

Recycle them or sell them.

You can turn in old phones, tablets, and other electronics to get top dollar.

Here are some places to sell:

  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Gazelle
  • Decluttr
  • Goodwill

14. Junk Cars

Have you ever seen those signs that say “we buy junk cars?”

People actually buy junk vehicles.

Whether you sell the entire car for a lump sum or sell the car for parts, there is definitely money to be made for selling your junk car.

First, start by assessing the condition.

Is your car running?


Is anything worth repairing first, prior to selling?

Then, work with a reputable junk car buyer to get the best deal for your car.

You will be happy to get that old car off your hands and get paid for it!

Check out this resource for top tips in selling your junk car.

15. Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges are the ink containers that fill your printer with ink.

Ever wonder what you can do with old cartridges?

Well, you can recycle them and scrap for money.

Here are 5 ways you can get the most money for your used ink cartridge:

Getting Store Credit for Your Ink Cartridge

At office supply stores like Office Max, Staples and Office Depot you can get discounts for refilling your ink cartridge and some of them even pay you money for your old cartridge.

At Staples, for example, they give you $2 back in rewards per recycled ink cartridge.

This is something looking into as it’s probably one of the easiest ways to make money on your used ink cartridge.

Selling Ink Cartridges on Ebay

Why would you sell your cartridge on Ebay?

People on Ebay buy everything and you might be surprised that there’s actually a market for ink cartridges.

If you browse Ebay you’ll find a list of various cartridges from brands like Brother, Dell, Lexmark, and more.

The average price you can get is a few bucks (around $2.50) which isn’t bad for something you were planning on throwing out.

Selling on TonerBuyer

This place gives you $22 for empty toners and $280 for new toners.

They are called TonerBuyer and they are a liquidation company available to consumers who need to sell their unneeded printer supplies.

They are a pretty big liquidation company in the ink cartridge industry, paying out millions to tens of thousands of customers every year, according to their website.

Their site is super easy to navigate and you can check out their empty cartridge pricelist and new printer supply pricing with no hassle.

Check out TonerBuyer to learn more.

Selling on Evolve Recycling

With Evolve Recycling, it’s super simple to get paid for your recyclables.

First, register to the site for free.

Then, recycle.

Lastly, get paid.

You can cash out once your balance reaches $25 and you get paid via check.

Who is Evolve Recycling?

Evolve Recycling is one of the top collector/recyclers of used printer cartridges.

What items are accepted?

Evolve Recycling accepts inkjet and laser printer cartridges in good condition (not damaged and not previously remanufactured).

You can learn about the complete list of items accepted here: Price List.

How much are recyclables worth?

Prices vary according to the make, model, and market demand.

You can check out the Evolve Recycling site for prices, which are posted quarterly.

Broken or damaged items are not accepted.

Turn in to your local Earth911 Recycle Center

Earth911 is an eco-friendly, recycling resource that covers all things recycling-related.

You can find places to recycle, learn about food waste, using energy efficiently, and much more.

First, head to the “Where to Recycle” section of the site where you can search by item and location for closest places to recycle your stuff.

Aside from typical recyclables, you can also include things like desktop computers, cell phones, and more.

You might be surprised at some places that accept goods for recycling, like Target, OfficeMax, Goodwill and more places.

Check out Earth911 to learn more.

16. Used Clothes

When it comes to things to scrap for money, clothes can easily be at the top of the list, for many reasons.

Regardless of how well you take care of your clothes, they don’t last forever.

You can outgrow your clothes, they can no longer fit the style trends, or your personal style can shift over time.

So, what do you do?

Scrap your clothes for money.

There are tons of ways to do this:

  • Sell online
  • Goodwill
  • Sell on consignment

Selling Your Clothes Online

Selling your clothes online can easily be done through listing on a marketplace site like Amazon or Ebay.

You can also use selling apps like:

  • Mercari
  • Poshmark
  • Listia
  • Depop
  • And, others!

First, you prepare your clothing listing.

The listing is where you can write a colorful, accurate description of the items you’ll be selling including size, color, condition, care instructions and more.

Then, take photos to showcase the items you’re selling.

The more pictures, the better so go all out here, taking pictures from different angles, snapping photos of the care instructions and size tag, and more.

Lastly, put it all together, finalizing your listing and placing it up for sale on the website.

That’s all there is to it!

Giving to Goodwill

Another option is giving away to Goodwill.

This is good if you don’t want to bother selling our stuff or you would just rather give it away.

Head to your local Goodwill store with your clothes in tow or drop off at a drop-off location!

Selling on Consignment

With consignment selling, you deliver your clothes to a consignment store and when it sells, you get paid.

You can do this in-person or online.

In-person you deliver your stuff to the store.

Then, they’ll inspect to determine if they’ll take it or not and give you a receipt.

When your stuff sells, you earn a portion of the sale!

An example of an in-person consignment store is Once Upon a Child or Plato’s Closet.

With an online consignment store, it’s a similar process.

You mail your stuff to the consignment website and earn money when the item sells!

Some examples of online consignment stores:

17. Small Appliances

Did you know that you can get cash for your appliances?

Even broken appliances!

If you’ve ever been in a position where your refrigerator or dryer died and you were wondering if the garbage man would pick it up and what you’d do if he didn’t pick it up, this is for you!

Places to Scrap Your Appliances for Cash

18. Used Furniture

A used furniture purchase was how I furnished my first apartment as a college student.

I found a classifieds ad in the paper and got an entire living room set including curtains for around $400 and I was thrilled with that deal!

While that was many years ago, you can still do something similar today.

Want to dispose of your old, used furniture?

Classified ads and listings are the place to get your stuff sold.

You’ll be able to work one-on-one with a prospective buyer, arranging delivery, negotiating on price and getting you cash for your used furniture.

Aside from turning to the internet for selling your furniture, you can also sell in person to resale furniture stores.

This is a secondhand store that sells used merchandise, like furniture, appliances, clothes, home decor items, and more.

You can get a really great deal as a buyer and these stores are looking for sellers to fill their store with inventory.

19. Books

There are tons of different ways to liquidate your book collection for cash.

You can check out this roundup of best places to sell your books to give you some inspiration.

In short, you’ll want to turn to the internet for a huge variety of places that will accept your books.

You’ll find some that you can trade your used books for new books, and others that will pay you cash on the spot for your book.

Either way, you’ll find some great options for scrapping your books for money.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 19 best things to scrap for money.

What did you scrap for money this year?

Share your comments down below!

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