Metal recycling is one part of the recycling world that is going strong. For all the criticism over whether things like plastic actually get recycled, metal is very recyclable, given that you can melt it down and re-form new pieces without reducing the metal's strength. There is no reason to throw out metal, no matter the type, because it is so recyclable, and if you are gathering metal for recycling for the first time, you can make your day at the metal recycling yard a very productive one if you know what to expect.
Always Check Prices That Day
Metal recycling is a bit of a misnomer because, while the metal will be recycled or sold, these recyclers are often scrapyards that buy the metal instead of taking donations. Always check the prices that the scrapyard is paying on the day that you plan to take the metal to the yard. Even if you're not concerned about getting the best price possible and just want to get rid of the metal, it's good to know what to expect. You can call the yard that morning and ask about prices if you can't find a listing on the yard's website.
In Victoria or New South Wales? No More Cash
Both Victoria and New South Wales have banned paying cash for scrap metal. This was done in order to force yards to keep records of all transactions as a way to thwart metal theft and organised crime. If the yard has to pay via another method, there will be a record of the transaction and who was involved. You'll likely have a choice between cheque and an electronic transfer, although some recyclers may offer only one method. For most people, this won't be a problem; they'll just accept the other methods of payment. But if you need fast cash, you can't get that now in those two states.
Note that yards in other states may have voluntarily switched to a no-cash basis, so call ahead to be sure.
Part of those laws includes requirements to get the contact information from the seller. So even if all you're doing is recycling the rusty old bike frame that's been languishing in your garage, you'll have to provide some personal information to the recycler.
Transferring that metal from your property to the yard will feel freeing and get you some money. That's a win-win situation.