Old and broken jewelry laid out to be recycled

Keep or Scrap? Know the Best Items to Scrap

If you know what to look for, scrapping can be an excellent source of additional income. Because some scrap items are more valuable than others, it’s wise for those unfamiliar with the scrap trade to learn the best items to scrap for money to maximize their time and effort.

Sgt. Scrap is the premier scrap metal dealer with multiple locations serving customers in New Jersey, as well as customers in Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania, and parts of New York. Here, we detail the scrap items best suited for scrapping and other considerations to help you realize the highest return.

Why Recycling Metal Matters

Recycling helps conserve the planet’s natural resources. With metal specifically, recycling helps reduce the need to produce virgin metal. This is essential when you consider the processes most often used in metal production, like coal and iron ore, which are some of the top contributors to climate change.

Recycling scrap metal allows manufacturers to use less energy, which means less greenhouse gas emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling steel and tin cans uses 60% to 74% percent less energy than making them from raw materials.

The Most Profitable Items to Scrap

Recycling scrap metal is not just good for the environment. It offers benefits for you. While you likely won’t be compensated for recycling paper or plastic, you can get paid for bringing in scrap metal. Some of the top metals and metal items to recycle include:


Cooper remains one of the most sought-after metals at scrap yards, usually earning scrap enthusiasts a nice payday. Many of us have copper in our homes and we don’t even know it. It usually can be found in wires, pipes, kitchen sinks, and fixtures.


Although brass isn’t as common as other types of scrap, it’s still a profitable item to recycle if you can find it. You can find brass in common household items such as bed springs, door locks, candlesticks, trophies, and hinges.

Brass often is mixed with other metals such as steel or aluminum, so take the time to sort through what you’ve gathered before bringing it to a scrap yard. This makes it easier to estimate how much your items are worth.


Platinum jewelry is very valuable to sell as scrap. It can be found in rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. Platinum is so popular because it resists oxidation, is malleable, and doesn’t tarnish. Other than jewelry, platinum can be found in laboratory equipment, automotive converters, medical testing devices, barware, and even cigarette cases.

Scrapping Personal Items

It’s easy to let go of items that hold no sentimental value, such as old appliances, used tools, and outdated computer parts. Choosing to part ways with personal items can be much more difficult. When cleaning out a family member’s home or decluttering your own space, you may come across items that leave you wondering whether to keep or recycle. In this scenario, it’s important to consider the following:

Personal Value

While some items and metals might be in high demand, you may not make a profit that outweighs the personal value the item possesses. Items such as family heirlooms and jewelry typically come with a strong emotional connection, so you might consider holding onto them or passing them down to the next generation.

Instrumental Value

Something else to consider when sorting through personal items is instrumental value. This means objects that provide a means to an end and those that satisfy needs and wants. If you believe a personal item falls within this distinction, consider holding onto it as it will be far more valuable to you than if you choose to recycle it.

Receive Fair Compensation at Sgt. Scrap

At Sgt. Scrap, we’re proud of the outstanding reputation we’ve earned. We’re dedicated to offering our customers unmatched quality services as well as fair and competitive rates for the metals we buy. With convenient locations in Haddon Township and Pennsauken Township, NJ, we serve clients throughout New Jersey, as well as Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania, and parts of New York. Contact us today at Sgt. Scrap to learn more about our offerings or the best items to scrap for money based on our current prices.

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