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Where to Buy Scrap Metal for Welding in 2024

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Now that the new year is here, it’s time to get back to those unfinished projects. But, where can you source the best scrap metal in your area? Also, did you know that scrap metal I one of the most valuable items in the country? For example, Copper #1 costs $4 per pound.

Searching for scrap metal to complete your projects will be a breeze if you know where to look for it. Otherwise, it can be an uphill task. So, where can you source quality scrap metal in your areas or those near you, and how much will it cost you?

The best way to start the search is to be prepared to search in conventional and unconventional places. You might dismiss some areas, but they hold those valuable types of metals you’ve been looking for. However, it’s essential to disclose what you find to the owners when seeking in both areas. Also, inform them that you want to look through their scrap metal stuff to avoid trespassing issues.

However, the bottom line remains that there is no limit to places you can look for scrap metal. Just be ready to get dirty for the sake of your projects. Also, you might need to travel from your area, meaning you incur some transport costs.

Top Places to Search for Scrap Metal in 2024

As you begin your search to buy scrap metal, keep your eyes open and have an open mind. An open mind means you can venture into places others would easily dismiss and find the haul of a lifetime.

Below are some of the areas to search for this commodity.

1. Trade Shops

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Write down a list of all trade shops in your area that you know deal with metal as a primary item. The right places to start the search are automobile repair shops and welding shops. Stroll in and let the owner know what you need and why you need it.

These shops have a wide variety of scrap metal pieces remaining from different jobs they give out or sell. Find out what they have and how much it’ll cost you, depending on your budget at the moment. The best way to evaluate cost is by noting how much scrap metal you need to complete your projects.

Check this out. Start with a conversation. Stroll in and strike a conversation that helps you and the seller to relax. Once you have a rapport going, you can let them know your intentions. Just walking in and talking business doesn’t leave much room to open up about the whole haul.

You might find they have some items in the back that you could genuinely use.  Also, you notice the owner becomes more open to discounts or even giving you some pieces for free.

2. Construction Sites

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Is there a sizeable construction site in your area where a lot of metal is in use? This can be a gold mine in terms of scrap metal to use. Such sites cut metal all the time and end up with a heap that they no longer use and are open to selling.

Again the best way to find out what is available is to start chatting up some of the workers and learn who is in charge. After that, you can make your intentions known by asking for available scrap metal they no longer use.

Apart from finding scrap metal to bring home, you also learn of other areas you can search for the same. Does the contractor have another project you can check out? Talk to the person in charge (foreman) and inquire if you can look around for scrap metal to take with you.

3. Recycling Bins

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People throw away items with metal every day. By setting a recycling bin in your local community center, you can end up with a good haul. Start by purchasing some quality recycling bins that can carry lots of metal, then head to the hall.

After talking with the person in charge, you can find the best spot to set them up and start spreading the word. For example, come when there are many people in the hall and explain the intention for the bins. Soon you’ll realize people had a lot of valuable scrap metal lying around.

Additionally, you can mark the bins for different types of metals for easy sorting. For example, have bins for copper, aluminum, steel, and iron. But let it be known to all that they can leave the scrap metal in any bin, and you can sort it out later.

4. Large Commercial Complexes

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Did you know that you can hit the mother-load at the mall? Or even an office complex in your area? These are places where seeking scrap metal now and then can help you find everything you’ve been looking for. Perhaps an office wants to replace all the furniture and other equipment. Or a restaurant wants new kitchen items.

No doubt about it. At some point, businesses make replacements and wind up with many scrap items, including metal that they need to get rid of. Find out the right person to leave your contact information with, and you might wind up with everything you need for your projects at little or no cost.

Most people are always willing to help when you approach them expressing yourself honestly. Let them know your intentions, and you might be in for a surprise.

5. Boat and Car Yards

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Do you live near a place with lots of boat and car yards? Old boats and cars are a treasure trove of scrap metals you can use for different home or work projects. Most of these are up for sale, but there’s a haul you might get for a small amount or for free.

It all boils down to your communication skills once you get to the yard and locate the manager/owner.  State your intentions clearly, and you get more points if you know the type of metal you want. While you might have to purchase some pieces, you can get others at no cost at all.

6. Garage/Yard Sales

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Still not sure where to get scrap metal in your area? How about the many yard/garage sales that happen now and then?

When spring rolls in, many people want to declutter their homes and get new items. So the best way to do so is to hold a garage sale. Hence it’s crucial to keep an ear out and find out when your neighbors plan to have them.

By taking your time to peruse through the items, you can land on some valuable scrap metal for a few coins. Most of these are of no use to the owners but are valuable to you. Take your time even to strike a conversation with the owner since they might have an idea of where you can find much more.

7. Online Platforms like Social Media

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Are you in any groups on social media platforms? Have you tried to search for a scrap metal group? Today, many people sharing an interest come together to form groups and share ideas.

Posting what you need in such a group or on your news feeds helps you reach a wider audience who can be willing to help. Maybe someone in the next state has a huge haul and is willing to sell or give it to you if you go for it. You’ll never know unless you communicate what you need.

Also, groups are a great way to come together, purchase a large haul of scrap metal, and divide it among yourselves. It helps you lower the cost while getting what you need to complete your projects. On top of that, you get a new community with a shared interest to share ideas about different projects.

8. Landfills

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Most scrap metal from homes and offices gets thrown into dustbins and taken to local landfills. Be ready to dumpster-dive and search through garbage. Most landfills have areas assigned for all metal items, including scrap metal.

This makes it easier for those who want to recycle and get scrap metal for their projects. Visit the local landfill and find out what their policy about scrap metal is. You might have to pay a small amount for the haul, but you end up with a diverse collection to bring with you.

Also, this is the best place to learn where most scrap metals come from. For example, is there a company that frequently drops off scrap metal at the site? Once you have that information, you can head there and inquire if you can get the scrap metal instead.

9. Large Farms

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Have you ever passed by a large farm and wondered what they do with all those old tractors and other vehicles? Most large farms have a lot of scrap metal laying around that you can use for projects. You might need to travel into the countryside to make inquiries, but it will be worth your time and energy.

Perhaps the farm has some outdated machinery that they kept aside a long time ago. Find out if any of it is available and let them know you intend to recycle it. You can offer to pay a small amount, especially if the haul has some valuable large pieces.

Large farms use metals in most parts, including fencing, storage containers, milk machines, and machinery. With constant updating of equipment, most of it ends up on a pile in one of the barns. Striking a rapport with one farmer can help you get connections with many others who would be willing to let you look around for scrap metal.

Also, some other places you can check out include large ranches that use lots of metal fences. One way to pay back the farmer or rancher on an excellent haul is helping around if there’s any work involving your skills. Since farms are large, there’s always a lot to do and lending your time is a valuable exchange.

Related Read: 20 Farm Welding Projects To DIY Today (With Videos)

10. Scrap Metal Apps and Message Boards

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With digital innovation, there’s little you can’t find on your smartphone. Head over to stores and check out which Apps are available for scrap metal. Many people with hauls to offload post information here for any interested person to reach out.

Check through the list and see which nearest location is for you to get some scrap metal for your projects. Also, you can note the type of metal and cost to budget ahead.

Apps are easy to use, and most are free. Download it on your phone and fill in the information like location and what you need. It makes it easier for future use when someone has a haul and need to trace you.

Also, some sellers offer to deliver the scrap metal to you at a small cost, convenient if the haul is large.

11. Shooting Range

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Shooting ranges are another place you can get brass casings after some time. Head over and inquire about what happens to the casings afterward. Make your intentions known as soon as possible since scrap metal is a hot cake and many people seek varieties in their collection. You can create a sustainable source of brass from one range for a long time.

12. Medical Facilities

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Yes, it’s possible to get a fair amount of scrap metal from hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics in your area. While many have scrap metal to spare, it might take some time before you get the right person to dispense it to you.

Take time to know the right person to approach and how the facility recycles scrap metal. Some might agree to give it directly to you, while others suggest you head to the recycling facility as per rules and regulations. Still, don’t give up because you might end up with a fair amount of scrap metal for new projects.

Start by scheduling an appointment with the administration officer and learn where the scrap metal ends and if you may get some. You might end up with a steady supply of scrap metal for a long time.

13. Sites with Building Demolition

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Is there a building coming down in your area? Make sure you’re there on the day it’s set for demolition. Here you’ll get as much scrap metal as you need, and most of it free of charge since the contractor had little use for it.

Most demolition sites want to get rid of the debris as soon as possible to start with the new project. So you’ll be helping out when you offer to remove most of the scrap metal at no additional cost. Ask for scrap metal not intended for selling, and you might end up even with a portion of that designated for the market.

The contractor can also be willing to share information about other demolition sites in the area soon.

14. Flea Markets

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While you won’t get large hauls of scrap metal at the local flea market, you might find a small amount of a particular type for your project. Had to the flea market and see what’s available to purchase. Most items are reasonably priced.

15. Scrap Metal Shops

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Have you ever been to the local scrap metal shops in your area? Most of these shops have everything you need at a reasonable price for you to buy. They get scrap metals from all over the place since most establishments know they sell it. So, it might be where the scrap metal from local medical facilities winds up.


All these are great places to check out as you search for scrap metal to complete your projects. Everywhere you turn, there’s plenty of scrap metal up for grabs. You have to be willing to inquire. By creating relationships in various places, you can have a steady supply of scrap metal to last you throughout the year.

You may also be interested in: Can you Weld Pot Metal? What You Need to Know!

Cameron Dekker

Cameron grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a once-proud steel town on the Lehigh River, where he got a taste of TIG welding in his high school shop class. He holds certificates for Certified WeldingEducator (CWE) and Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT) from the American Welding Institute. His interests include scuba diving, sculpture, and kayaking.