Knowing the Different Types of Scrap Aluminum

by Greenway Metal Recycling | Mar 3, 2021

Did you know there are several different types of scrap aluminum? Knowing the difference is important because they may be worth different amounts and sorted differently when taken to the scrap yard.

Keep reading if you are interested in knowing the different types of scrap aluminum—it can save you time and make you more money!

7 Different Types of Scrap Aluminum

Aluminum is a pure metal, meaning that it is a non-ferrous metal. Non-ferrous metals are often flexible, do not contain iron, and are resistant to corrosion and rust. Since non-ferrous metals do not lose their chemical properties during the recycling process, you can recycle them repeatedly. That means the different types of scrap aluminum can be re-recycled.

Aluminum Cans

Aluminum cans are the most common aluminum items that people recycle. They are commonly available and widely used in the manufacturing of soda and food cans. Due to their high supply, their value is relatively low compared to the different types of scrap aluminum.

Sheet Aluminum

Sheet aluminum can include things like lawn chairs without the nylon webbing or fabric, window frames that may have small amounts of plastic or steel attached, jacketing from MC cable, or light gauge pots or pans.

Cast Aluminum

If you come across aluminum that looks like it was poured into a mold when made, it might be cast aluminum. Cast aluminum includes common items such as BBQ grills or larger light pole bases.

Aluminum Wire

At first glance, some wire that appears to be copper might actually be aluminum. If you pull out old wires or cables that are silver in color, you can test them to see if they are aluminum. If they are not magnetic, they are likely aluminum.

Keep aluminum wire separate from your copper wires when bringing them into the scrap yard. Though aluminum wire is not as valuable as copper, it is still worth recycling.

Aluminum Gutters/Siding

Aluminum gutters or siding are fairly common to find at the scrap yard. These items are usually brought in by general contractors, roofers, or collectors as they come across these items when working.

Aluminum Rims

Aluminum rims are common on automobiles and trucks. Be sure to sort aluminum rims from other types of aluminum scrap. To maximize your payout, be sure to remove rubber ties or lead wheel weights from the rim before bringing them in.

Dirty Aluminum

Dirty aluminum is any type of aluminum with steel, rubber, or plastic attached. If there are lead weights or steel bolts attached to items, this is also considered “dirty.” When scrap yards see non-aluminum material attached to or mixed in with “clean” aluminum that you are trying to sell, you will not receive the “clean price” for it.

There is added labor attached to any aluminum scrap that has to be cleaned by the scrapyard workers. That is why you will receive the “dirty price” when you bring in items with other material attached to the aluminum. It is usually worth only about half of the “clean” metal price since a lot more labor is required to recycle the metal properly.

Ready to Recycle Your Aluminum Scrap?

Do you have aluminum scrap that you want to recycle? Let Greenway Metal Recycling help! We would be happy to help you recycle all of your non-ferrous metal scrap.

Get a quote or schedule an aluminum scrap pick-up today!

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