Close-up of a drill bit surrounded by metal shavings

How to Dispose of Metal Shavings

The fine metal shavings left over from manufacturing processes can seem like a nuisance, but they can be valuable recyclable material. Brass, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and other metal turnings can add up quickly – and with a little effort, they can be exchanged for cash. Plus, keeping this type of scrap metal out of the trash helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. In this post, Sgt. Scrap provides insight into the process of recycling metal turnings and shavings. Sgt. Scrap is based in New Jersey and serves a wide area that includes Delaware and parts of New York, and Pennsylvania.

Sources of Metal Turnings and Shavings

The process of machining metal creates a carefully cut final product. Throughout each step of precise boring and milling, hundreds of metal shavings, turnings, and filings can end up on the shop room floor. You’ll often see this metal debris referred to as swarf, and it can accumulate very quickly at a busy shop. Many standard machining operations produce recyclable turnings and shavings, including:

  • Boring: This is the process of enlarging and finishing a hole that has been roughly drilled.
  • Drilling: This process uses a rotating tool to create a precisely measured round hole.
  • Milling: This is a common cutting process that removes material from a workpiece.
  • Reaming: This process removes a small amount of metal from a pre-existing hole.
  • Turning: This process uses a stationary cutting tool to remove material from a piece of metal.

These manufacturing processes are commonly used by machinists in industries such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Automobile
  • Defense
  • Transportation

Swarf may look like a useless byproduct, but it can be a helpful source of supplemental income for your business. Plus, recycling your scrap metal responsibly shows that you are committed to environmental sustainability practices – helping to boost your reputation among your customers.

Safe Disposal Practices for Metal Turnings

Fine metal shavings should not be thrown away. Putting this type of material in the trash means it will eventually end up in a landfill, where it eventually can leach into groundwater or soil. Recycling metal shavings and turnings through a scrap dealer is much better for the environment, uses less landfill space, and allows businesses to make money by selling their scrap material. A reputable scrap dealer will be well-versed in the safe handling of various types of fine metal shavings and can advise you on the best way to collect your scrap. Always use the proper personal protective equipment when gathering turnings and shavings, as fine metal shards can cause injury to your eyes and skin.

Getting rid of your accumulated scrap metal often is easier than you think. Some scrap metal dealers require you to drop off your swarf at their scrap yard, but others will come directly to your business and pick it up. A scrap yard may require a minimum poundage of scrap in order to provide pickup services, so be sure to check ahead of time. For instance, Sgt. Scrap requires a minimum of 500 pounds for pickups.

Pricing Information for Turnings and Shavings

Typically, a scrap metal dealer will offer you a flat rate per pound of scrap. Make sure to clarify their price and payment process ahead of time. Scrap metal prices can change from day to day depending on global market demand, so a scrap dealer should be able to give you their most up-to-date prices. At Sgt. Scrap, we update our website regularly with today’s prices for turnings and other types of scrap metal. Copper and brass generally have a higher price per pound than aluminum and stainless steel.

Drop Off Metal Shavings at Sgt. Scrap

If you’re looking for a reputable and trustworthy scrap yard, choose Sgt. Scrap. We offer competitive, transparent pricing for metal shavings and other types of scrap metal, as well as e-scrap and car parts. Sgt. Scrap uses environmentally responsible collection and handling practices to ensure that metal scrap is safely diverted from the waste stream. Our scrap yards are located in Haddon Township and Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, and we serve clients in the following areas:

  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania, including:
    • Philadelphia
    • Bucks County
    • Delaware County
    • Chester County
    • Montgomery County
  • New York, including:
    • Manhattan
    • Long Island
    • Staten Island

Sgt. Scrap offers mobile pickup, and drop-off service, and will even deliver scrap metal roll-off dumpsters to work sites. To learn more about Sgt. Scrap’s recycling services and get updated pricing information, contact us today.

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