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What Will Scrap Yards Not Take? Ultimate Guide to Scrap Metal Recycling

On: Feb 15, 2024
By: TransMetal
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Category: Blog
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Scrap yards allow you to get rid of old, broken, and otherwise unnecessary items all while making some extra cash. Whether you want extra space in your home, need a way to safely get rid of certain items in an environmentally conscious way, or need a bit of money on the side, scrap yards are worth considering.

However, a common question and concern that prevents many people from going to their local scrap yards is whether the scrap yard will take in and accept their items. Which items are acceptable? Which are not? This blog post will answer that question and help you sort out items you can submit to your scrap yard!

Why Should You Use Scrap Yards?

Whether you have a lot of old equipment and items lying around in your house or you’re a business that regularly and frequently produces scrap metal, there are many reasons why you should consider a scrap yard as the ideal way to get rid of them:

Get Rid of Items in an Environmentally Friendly Way

Recycling is one of the most effective ways to tackle climate change, and if you are not sure how to get rid of your scrap metal in an environmentally conscious way, you should consider handing it over to a scrap yard.

The entire business model of scrap yards is collecting and recycling common and rare metals. They work with industries, businesses, and government agencies to put recycled metal to use and profit from it. It is a great example of both profit and environmental incentives aligning!

Clear Out Items with No Utility

both homeowners and business owners are often hurt for space, which comes at a very hefty premium in large cities in the UK. Often, the reason for the lack of space is the existence of heaps of old items that have fallen into disuse and provide no utility. Many of these items can be disposed of at a scrap yard with extreme ease! This will clear space in your home and business premises!

Make Money

Not only do scrap yards allow you to get rid of old items in an environmentally conscious way and free up space, but you can also make money while doing it. The amount of money you make depends on the type of scrap metal you submit, the quantity of it, and market demand.

Households can make hundreds of pounds while businesses, if they produce enough scrap metal, can make upwards of tens of thousands of pounds simply from recycling scrap metals.

Items Not Suitable for the Recycling Process

Now that we have gone over all the benefits of metal scrapping and recycling, you must be eager to start! So, here are the most common items not accepted by scrap yards! Learning how to sort items and successfully screen ones suitable for a scrap yard is key to success!

#1 Non-Metallic Items

Though this is fairly obvious, it is worth reiterating: scrap yards are specifically designed to process metal scraps, so items with very little to no metallic content aren’t accepted.

The list of non-metallic items common in households and business premises is too long to innumerate, but the concept should be fairly straightforward.

#2 Hazardous Materials

Items that contain hazardous elements or hazardous liquids are not suitable for scrap yards since not only are many of them illegal to scrap by law, but they also represent a health risk for the employees and community at large.

There are many examples of hazardous materials you can find in your home or business premises. Aerosol cans, gas cylinders, and paint containers are all items you can’t submit to a scrap yard regardless of their metallic content.

#3 Radioactive Materials

Though primarily a concern for businesses, radioactive materials are also not acceptable at scrap yards. These items require specialised processes and tools to safely transport, handle, and process, which is simply not available at a scrap yard.

#4 Illegal Materials

Many items are illegal to scrap for one reason or another. The most prominent category represents items that provide public utility. These include BT cables, railway tracks, and communication lines.

Scrap yards aren’t allowed to handle these items to disincentivise people from tampering with public property in hopes of making some quick cash.

#5 Individual Policies by a Scrap Yard

Beyond items specifically not suitable for the recycling process, each scrap yard has its own policies regarding the type of items it accepts. For example, at Trans Metal, we don’t accept catalytic converters. It is always a good idea to contact your local scrap yard and check which items they accept. This makes the scrap metal recycling task easier.


From clearing space to recycling and making money, scrapping metal is worthwhile for both businesses and homes, but before you start, you need to make sure you understand which kinds of items you can submit to a scrap yard!

At Trans Metal, we understand how complicated this process can be and aim to make it as simple as possible for our clients by ensuring submitting items and our pricing are as transparent as possible. If you are looking for a North London-based scrap yard, get in touch!

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