How Much Money Can You Get for Scrap Metal


Over the summer I picked up a 1938 Kenmore sewing machine at an estate sale The machine came built into a cabinet but I only wanted the cabinet. The machine didn’t function properly. This left me with two choices: try to sell it for parts or take it to a scrap metal yard (metal recycling facility).

After doing some on-line research, I learned that working machines were listed on eBay for $20 – $100 and were receiving zero bids. I’ve restored 2 old sewing machines in the past. Both times it cost about $100. So basically I’d be in the hole with this unless I recycled the metal.

Last week I detached the machine from the cabinet (I’ll be upcycling the cabinet!). I collected all the bobbins, attachments, and accessories. Then today I journeyed to the scrap metal yard nearest my home.

Here’s the procedure on How Much Money can you get for Scrap Metal

  1. My entire car drove onto a scale.
  2. The attendant took a look inside my trunk and put a numbered cone on the hood of my car.
  3.  He pointed in the direction of the sheet-iron drop off.
  4. I drove back there. There was no sign of life; just piles of metal. Some crushed together and others randomly assembled like the remains of a war zone.
  5. I carried the sewing machine over to the edge of the pile and dumped it out. It seemed so lost – like a drop in the bucket. I guess that’s a good thing.
  6. Next, I drove back to the weighing platform. A buzzer went off when the weight difference was calculated.
  7. There was a shack next to the platform where I went to turn in my cone and receive my cash.
    When I went in to cash out, the woman behind the counter said to me, “You were taking pictures out there?”
    I said, “Yeah, for my blog.”
    She replies sarcastically, “Your blog…” then lets out a hearty laugh. I found her mocking to be so funny. I’m still laughing about it actually.
    The other point I want to make is when you’re out there in the dump – what feels like Armageddon – sarcastic bitches are watching you.

This brings me to the most curious part: payout for scrap metal. The sewing machine weighed 40lbs. and therefore earned me $5.55. Hey, for helping the environment, I’ll take it!

I also feel it’s important to mention that I just saw an interesting article in the Buffalo News about people being fined for garbage picking scrap metal. Municipalities make money from the metal they collect. So, you might want to stick to recycling your own stuff.

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creating streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

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