What Are Your Options for Storing Scrap Metal?

Posted on: 21 September 2015


Collecting and recycling scrap metal is one of the most popular ways of putting a few extra dollars in your pocket. However, finding bits and pieces of valuable scrap metal is only part of the equation. You'll also have to consider where you're going to keep your scrap metal.

In many cases, stockpiling your scrap metal lets you take advantage of price fluctuations in the scrap metal market and give you the opportunity to turn in your metal when prices are at their highest. The following goes over some of the ways you can store your scrap metal until the time comes to turn it in.

Options for Storing Scrap Metal On-Site

There are plenty of options for conveniently storing your scrap metal on your property, depending on how much metal you plan on holding onto. For starters, you could clean out a corner of your garage, basement or attic space and use it for storing your valuable scrap metal. If you plan on storing a few bags of aluminum cans, a drawer full of copper jewelry or even a barrel of brass plumbing, this could be your ideal solution.

A large shed or barn is also ideal for storing scrap metal. It's only a matter of figuring out how much space you want to devote to your scrap finds.

Tossing all of your scrap metal into a pile in a nondescript corner of your back yard seems like the most convenient storage option. However, there are three good reasons why you wouldn't want to store your scrap metal in an open pile:

  • Leaving your scrap metal out in the open can easily make it a tempting target for scrap thieves. To avoid the possibility of theft, it's usually good idea to keep your scrap metal hidden away from view of passersby.
  • What looks like a valuable treasure trove to you can easily become an unattractive eyesore for others. Many neighborhoods and municipalities have regulations that prevent scrap metal and other materials from being stored in open piles. You could cover it up with a tarp, but it might not be enough to satisfy local regulations or neighbor concerns.
  • If you pride yourself on a manicured lawn, throwing a pile of scrap metal on top of it won't do it any favors. It can flatten the grass and block it from receiving sunlight, creating dead patches that are difficult to repair. In addition, some metals can leech chemicals into the ground and even affect the groundwater table below.

If you do have to store your scrap metal in the open, it's a good idea to rent a dumpster. Rental rates for dumpsters can vary depending on how long you need it, as well as the size of the dumpster itself. You can even purchase a used dumpster for relatively little money if you're planning on long-term storage.

Options for Storing Scrap Metal Off-Site

If you can't store scrap metal on your own property for some reason, there are a couple of options you can consider for off-site storage:

  • Storage unit—A nearby storage facility may be willing to take in your scrap metal for short or long-term storage. However, some storage facilities may have scrap metals on their list of disallowed materials, so it's crucial to study your rental contract beforehand.
  • Warehouse—If you can't secure a storage unit for your scrap metal, then you may have to spend more money on warehouse space. It's an ideal solution if you plan on storing large quantities of scrap metal, but small quantities could prove relatively expensive to deal with in comparison to other storage options.

When considering your off-site storage options, it's usually a good idea to shop around and compare multiple storage facilities. A round or two of comparison shopping can help you get the best available rates, saving you plenty of money as you make money from your scrap metal. Refer to companies like Pure Metal Recycling for more information.