What Qualifies As Scrap Metal?

Recycling is noble cause, but definitely not a new one. The green movement has gained traction through the years by capturing the interest of those around the world eager to do their part. As you collect those plastic bottles, used clothing, and paper products, you may want to broaden your recycling horizons beyond that green bin. An important avenue towards helping our Earth is not one commonly taken, and that is scrap metal recycling.

So which metals are considered scrap metal? Most recycling facilities that accept scrap metal pay cash for copper, aluminum, brass, lead, and most ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are metals that contain iron and are somewhat magnetic. A prime example of a ferrous metal is scrap metal from vehicles. Non-ferrous metals do not have iron and are less likely to corrode. Examples of non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, brass, lead, zinc, stainless steel, and electrical cables.

Members of the trade industry have been exploiting the cash for scrap metal option for years, so why not you? Before you throw out those metal scraps take stock of what you have. Spy any copper wiring in that pile? Copper fetches a bit more than you would expect. Are you a soda pop drinker? Aluminum cans don’t pay out as much as most metals, but it is extra cash on your back pocket. Replacing any light or bathroom fixtures? What about keys or handles? All brass objects that can be sold as scrap metal instead of tossed into the garbage.

Scrapping metal is an easy way to line your pockets while contributing to the green movement in a meaningful way.  When metal is being recycled, 95% less energy is consumed than making products from new metals. By being able to melt down and repurpose metals instead of having them end up in landfills brings us one step closer to a more sustainable future.

What Can Be Recycled?

We were all taught it in school- reduce, reuse, recycle. In today’s day and age manufacturers are finding more and more ways to recycle old products and materials into new goods. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated in 2008 that of the 250 million tons of waste generated in the U.S., approximately a third (83 million tons) was recycled or composted. Recycling is a wonderful and easy way to help keep our planet healthy and beautiful. So what can you safely recycle to help out?


  • Aluminum Cans: Calling all soda drinkers! Soda cans are easy things to recycle that happen to be in abundance.
  • Foil & Bakeware: Aluminum foil used for baking can be recycled as long as there are no food particles attached. If you take the extra step to wipe down all foil then you can toss this in your green bin!
  • Steel & Tin Cans: This includes soup cans, vegetable cans, and coffee cans.


  • Did you know that one ton of paper saves enough energy to power a home for six whole months?
  • Cardboard: Frequent online shopper to sites like Amazon? Cardboard boxes can be recycled!
  • Magazines
  • Office/ Print Paper: How about a recycling plan for the office?
  • Newspaper: Did you know that 73% of newspapers are recycled? Let’s make it 100%!
  • Paperboard: Eat a lot of cereal? Tired of boxes from groceries bulking up your trash? Recycle them! This also includes paper cartons for your milk and juice!
  • Mail: Junk mail or direct mail? That can be remade as well.
  • Phone Books: The average home gets phone book or so delivered to them a year. With Google now at our fingertips, phone books are becoming obsolete. Instead of trashing it, recycle them to be remade.


  • This excludes Pyrex, ceramic, mirror glass, window glass, crystal, CRTs, and any caps or lids. Light bulbs can be recycled. Contact your local recycling plant for instructions.


  • When it comes to plastic, go by the shape! Bottles, jars, and jugs are all accepted.


  • Car Batteries
  • House Batteries
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Incandescent, LED, & Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: Contact your local recycling plant for instructions.


  • Call your local recycling plant for eligible items.
  • Computers
  • Office Equipment
  • TVs
  • Cell Phones

Dumpster or Dumpster Bag – Which One Is Right For Me?

Using a dumpster opposed to a dumpster bag, or vice versa, is entirely based on the type of project being done. Before using one or the other, research which type will work best for you and your project. When choosing between a dumpster and dumpster bag, consider the following:

Size Of Container and Its Contents
This is the main factor to consider when deciding which trash receptacle you’d like to use.

True dumpsters come in a wide variety of sizes – from 4 yard bins to 40 yard bins – and can hold large and small items alike. Dumpsters are great for disposing of furniture, construction materials, general clutter and large appliances. When looking to rent a dumpster, ask the operator what size bin they’d recommend for your project.

Dumpster bags are smaller, and therefore, are designed to handle smaller jobs. Take the Waste Management Bagster for example:

The bagster is 2 ½ feet high, 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. This particular bag dumpster was designed to handle smaller jobs like ones involving a garage, yard, or attic. The WM Bagster can hold 3-cubic-yard of rubbish for total weight of over 3,300 pounds. The bagster is available in one size.

When looking for a trash receptacle, keep in mind that hazardous materials of any kind shouldn’t be disposed of in a dumpster or a dumpster bag.

Durability Of The Container

Both a dumpster and a dumpster bag can help you clear your home of unwanted clutter and debris, but, each has a different level of durability.

Dumpster bags are usually made out of tarp-like materials and feature handles for easy moving. To allow the dumpster bags to keep their rectangular shape, they should be filled with trash starting at the edges. Laying items flat and not piling debris over the edge is also recommended when disposing of trash in a dumpster bag.

True dumpsters are heavy-duty and made of hard metal. Therefore, you can throw or carry items of all shape and sizes into dumpsters. There’s no need to pile items flat, and the dumpster will never lose its shape.

Placement Of The Container

Both dumpsters and dumpster bags can be placed in driveways or yards, with some exceptions depending on your city’s regulations. If you’d like to place either receptacle in the street, cities often require special permits or permissions to avoid fines.

It’s the job of a dumpster operator to place the receptacle in a location that’s convenient for the customer. The operator will avoid placing the dumpster or dumpster bag on soft or sloped ground, and will place boards under the bin to avoid damaging the yard or drive way.

Geppert Recycling has been providing family-owner service to the Philadelphia area for over 20 years. To learn more about about Geppert Recycling can help you dispose of trash for your next project, call (215) 842-0122 or visit online at http://geppertrecycling.com/