Gathering scrap metal and returning it for cash is an exciting hobby that has the added benefit of generating a profitable return. While many experienced scrappers know that their value is likely to increase when they break down products and turn in the component parts, it's also important that you avoid breaking down some items which may be hazardous when disassembled.
Below, you'll find a guide to some items that you should always be sure to recycle whole. Keeping this information in mind can stop you from being turned away at the scrap yard, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket while simultaneously avoiding a situation that may even turn dangerous.
Many scrap yards accept car batteries, as there are valuable metal elements such as lead which are commonly found inside them. However, attempting to remove the lead components yourself can be a very hazardous process, as the acid inside the battery is extremely corrosive and can lead to serious burns.
The employees at your scrap yard are trained to process the batteries correctly and have the necessary safety gear that will allow them to avoid harm. The battery exchange rate is established at scrap yards by taking the amount of valuable metal in a battery into account, so you shouldn't worry about the potential of being short changed.
Cathode Ray Tubes
As flat panel televisions have become ubiquitous, older, tube-based sets have become popular items that pop up at scrap yards like White Recycling. While there are some valuable metal components inside an old console TV that may be removed before scrapping, attempting to break down the tubes themselves is a very poor decision.
Cathode ray tubes include a multitude of compounds that can cause you to become very sick if they're inhaled. These compounds are also often soluble in water and damaging to aquatic life, so it's doubly important that you don't dispose of them in water sources which are highly populated.
One of the greatest misconceptions in the scrap metal industry is that you have to disassemble an air conditioner in order to get the most value from it. While there are metal components that can generate large returns in most air conditioning units, a large number of scrap yards take those units based on a special pricing system. Exposing freon risks serious damage to the surrounding environment, and federal authorities have been known to levy huge fines on people who dump the chemical carelessly.