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How Much is Scrap Metal Worth? – Knowing Your Scrap Metal Prices

The price of scrap metal is in constant fluctuation, so you can’t always estimate how much money you’ll get for whatever scrap you’re planning to sell. That said, having an idea of the market and the factors that influence the price of scrap metal at any given time will help you build some reasonable expectations. This guide, while not representative of current scrap prices, will give you more insight into the changing value of scrap metal.

Wilton Waste Recycling - how much is scrap metal worth knowing your scrap metal prices blog post

Supply and demand

A fundamental influence on the value of scrap metal is supply and demand; certain metals are in higher demand than others, some metals are rarer than others.

Ferrous metals — metals which contain iron — are typically less valuable than non-ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals, such as copper, zinc and aluminium are not as ubiquitous as ferrous metals, such as steel or iron, meaning they command a higher scrap price.

Supply and demand isn’t always as simple as it sounds, either. The scrap market, both domestic and international, factors in current supply and demand as well expected supply and demand. The specific market for certain metals is more predictable than others, so this is also factored into the market value.


Quality and grade of the metal

The grade and quality of the metal you’re selling has a significant impact on the price you’ll be paid. Metals are classified differently depending on these two factors, so you should keep this in mind before getting in touch with your chosen scrap dealer.

Quality metal can be recycled and used to produce more valuable, useful products. Lower quality metals — ones which have been contaminated or contain traces of other, less desirable metals — will force the value down. Good quality metal can be put to reliable use, lower quality metal could cause production defects, so they are worth less.


How is my scrap price calculated?

Scrap metal price is based on tonnage. At Wilton, we can arrange to collect scrap metal directly from you — depending on the quality, grade and quantity you have to sell. Of course, a ton of pure copper scrap is going to be more valuable than a ton of stainless steel, but larger quantities of scrap are more likely to be open for collection, regardless.

We always offer competitive rates for scrap metal, keeping in line with current market rates. The final quote you receive from us will take into account the quantity and quality of your scrap, as well as the above market trends we discussed earlier — rarity, supply and demand etc.


Vehicle recycling

Scrap metal can be found all over the place. While some metals — such as brass, bronze and iron — are found in everyday items, some valuable metals can be commonly retrieved from cars at the end of their service life. These could include:

  • Stainless steel — from the vehicle’s bodywork
  • Cast aluminium — from the engine
  • Copper — used in the wiring for the car’s electronics (the wiring loom, for example)
  • Lead — from the battery
  • Nickel — from the catalytic converter (along with other precious metals)

As you can see, scrapping an end-of-life vehicle could prove to be quite lucrative. The metals in your vehicle need to be properly processed in order to be recycled, with a depollution stage required before any metals can be extracted. At Wilton, we pay competitive rates for end-of-life vehicles, performing responsible depollution of all cars brought to our recycling facility.


Identifying scrap

To make sure you’re maximising the value of your scrap, it helps to know a little about identification of different scrap metals. Head over to our dedicated article on this subject to learn more on identifying scrap around the home.


If youre looking to sell scrap metal and want to arrange a collection wherever you are in Ireland, just give us a call. Depending on the quantity and grade of your scrap, we can collect your metal promptly, providing sameday payment of the best prices. For further information, or to get a quote on our current scrap metal prices, contact us today.


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