Archives for Recycle

Our New Commercial (See Now)



We have had a great time working hard to put this commercial together with Chris Varner over at Right Point Media. Chris and his team are very professional and beyond skilled at what they do. Once the decision was made to work with RPM, we had a commercial put together in no time at all. We are very satisfied with the outcome and we look forward to reaching more people to continue helping Wilmington, NC recycle unwanted scrap metal.

Our commercial was also put together to share with everyone the new Resale Warehouse we just opened up to the public. We have a 60,000 square foot warehouse filled with all types of new and used metal that we are selling to the public at a discounted rate. We have everything from steel, aluminum, stainless, brass, copper and then some. So whatever your needs may be to complete the project at hand, don’t hesitate to drop by the largest metal resale warehouse in town.

Enjoy our new commercial…

Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Thank you for recycling,

Southern Metals Recycling2923 Hwy 421 North & 13 Wright Street Wilmington, NC 

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Look What’s New @ Southern Metals!!!

Welcome to the Southern Metals Resale Warehouse


Southern Metals Recycling is now selling metal to the public at a discounted rate. Located on the north side of the scrap yard is our 60,000 square foot warehouse loaded with many different types and sizes of metal.

 Are you building or repairing something and need to find a less expensive piece of metal? No Problem! We can help!

 Please contact the resale warehouse at the number below for any questions on inventory and/or pricing. 


Buy Metal For Less!!!

Varian Hall – Resale Manager
Phone: (910) 524-5618
Hours of Operation:
M – F: 8:00 – 4:00
Sat: 8:00 – 12:00
Sun: Closed

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Did You See It???

For those who missed last night’s episode of Revolution, it was quite amazing to see the footage that came out of the hard work they put forth on our recycling scrap yard. There were several different locations used during the show, but ours scrap yard was where the chopper landed in the old abandoned airfield to refuel. It was great to see different sections of our yard used throughout most of the episode too.

My favorite part last night was seeing the ending fight scene which took place in the garage shop where our talented mechanics spend most of their hardworking days repairing and upgrading a lot of our machinery. It wasn’t normal to see that place with an abandoned look to it because there is always something going on in there.

Over all, it was a great experience and honor to have the cast and crew take part in one of the best television shows on NBC here at Southern Metals Recycling. Enjoy some of the photos we took during their visit:



If you have any questions about scrap metal pricing, please don’t hesitate to call.

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646


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Don’t Forget to Watch!!!

Tonight is the night! Watch Revolution on NBC and see Wilmington’s very own Southern Metals Recycling in the backdrop. The show filmed on location a couple months back and it was an honor to see the cast and crew work diligently to produce an amazing episode right in front of our eyes.

We are very proud to represent Hollywood of the East as our scrap yard and warehouse caught the attention of the producers to make for the perfect shot. We wish we could tell you more about what gadgets we saw on the set, but it is better left for you to see on the television this evening.

Revolution is airing this evening at 10pm on NBC, so watch it or set your dvr to record it. We are ecstatic to see how the shots pan out!

Check out our blog tomorrow and see the photos we took on set.


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Watch US on Revolution Monday @ 10pm on NBC

Monday evening is going to be an exciting night for Southern Metals Recycling. Many weeks ago, we had the pleasure to host the filming for Revolution and it is time to see our yard come to life on the big screen. You can catch us on Revolution on NBC at 10pm.

If you haven’t seen or heard of Revolution before…check the website out at: REVOLUTION


Stay tuned to see some of the photos that we took while the crew were on site. I am allowed to post them after the show airs.


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Congratulations April Raffle Winners

Southern Metals Recycling would like to congratulate these six lucky winners in this past month’s raffle. Every time these customers brought in at least $25 worth of scrap metal, they had a chance to enter in to the raffle. The more they came in, the better their chances were. We had a great time with this raffle so keep an eye out for us to do it again in the near future.


Highway 421 Location Winners:

1st Place Winner – $300 – James Lucas

2nd Place Winner – $150 – Odell Patterson

3rd Place Winner – $75 – Harry Steele


Front Street location Winners:

1st Place Winner – $300 – Gregory Raynor

2nd Place Winner – $150 – Gene Brooks

3rd Place Winner – $75 – John Garelli


Thank you again to all who participated! 

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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We Take Car Batteries

One of the questions we get here at Southern Metals Recycling is if we accept car batteries to recycle. We certainly do! As of right now, car batteries go for $.25 a pound and we have a company who drops by once a week to pick them up for us. A lot of people, even myself, change car batteries ever so often, but it is great to know that you can recycle the batteries and refrain from storing them in your garage, not knowing what to do with them down the road when they start piling up in a corner.

If you are unsure where to find us, call us at the number below. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about scrap metal and their prices.

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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LIVE Grenade Recycled in Sweden

An elderly woman freaked out everyone at a Swedish recycling center when she dropped off a live grenade. At the beginning of March, Sweden enacted a new law that allows citizens to turn in weapons to police without fear of prosecution. How the woman got the grenade, which was later determined to be the kind used in grenade-launchers, wasn’t clear. But authorities said they’ve gotten a few grenades through this program, including one from World War I, leading us to believe that this woman was possibly some kind of resistance fighter who finally dropped off her last keepsake before retiring to …  let’s see …  play jazz clarinet. That must be it.

***FYI…We do no accept “live” grenades at Southern Metals Recycling***

Contact us about what we DO accept…

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Stolen…a Whole Bridge???

Wow…I am shocked whenever I hear about copper being stolen from houses, but seriously…a bridge???

Check out this news video posted on YouTube: Bridge Stolen and Sold as Scrap Metal

Southern Metals Recycling has teamed up with the local authorities to stop theft in Wilmington, NC. The new process of documenting and photographing every customer along with their scrap has been very helpful in cases of theft.

If you have any questions about scrap metal pricing, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Electronics Not Working??? Recycle Them!

Here is a great article I wanted to share from:

For many Americans it’s often out with the old and in with the new, but tossing out old electronics in the trash is creating a problem.

“People don’t know,” said Horry County Solid Waste Authority spokesperson Kendra Hooks. “That’s why we’re here today promoting, letting people know that electronic waste along with other things are recyclable.”

According to a Clean Air Council study, the average American generates 4.5 pounds of waste per day and less than a quarter of that is recycled.

The Solid Waste Authority teamed up with Best Buy to push an initiative to recycle e-waste in honor of America Recycles Day which was November 15.

To throw away electronics is against the law in South Carolina. Last July, lawmakers banned the practice after learning about the harmful impacts e-waste poses on the environment.

“All of electronic waste cannot be disposed of into your garbage,” said Hooks. “It has to be recycled.”

Electronic waste could contain harmful chemicals like mercury, and some television monitors operate with plasma gas which is harmful. Also, the electronic could contain rare metals like copper inside.

“There’s a finite amount of material that we have and that can only go around for so long,” said Best Buy Geek Squad Agent Matthew Jenness. “As long as we consume these devices we may not be able to have that particular item in the future if we don’t recycle them, if we just throw them away improperly.”

You can recycle unwanted electronics at your nearest scrap metal recycling facility, and if it plugs in, it’s recyclable.

“TV’s, computers, iPod, iPad, pretty much anything like that,” said Jessen. “You bring it down if it’s not working we can go ahead and recycle it for you.”

“With the amount of new items that come out every single year, everybody wants to upgrade to the latest and greatest technology,” said Jessen. “When they do that, it just creates a lot of technological waste, and if we don’t recycle these responsibly, then our land fills are just going to grow and grow and grow. We’re going to have a lot of issues due to our consumer culture.”

Contact Us Today for Pricing – Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Crane Fail

At Southern Metals Recycling, it the role of the Safety Officer to conduct training on a monthly basis and to make sure that our employees are competent to use the forklifts, cranes and other heavy machinery around the scrap yard. The purpose of this is to make sure there are no accidents causing injury or death to employees or customers on the job site.

More times than others, accidents happen that could have been prevented and hundreds of thousands of dollars could have been saved in the process. Yesterday, an unfortunate accident happened in Russia and there is one very lucky crane operator who luckily made it out alive.

As I watched this video, I thought of how lucky this fella was to get out of the crane as quickly as possible. Ironically…thank goodness he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.



Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Southern Metals Recycling – The Shear At Work!

One major step in recycling is the process of breaking down larger pieces of steel in to smaller pieces to be shipped off to the mills.  Our shear at Southern Metals Recycling plays a huge role in making this happen. Here is a step by step process of how our shear works. It is really fun to watch…but since many can’t actually step foot near this powerful machine, I have brought the excitement to you.

After the customers drop off their load of scrap metal, our grapple cranes will sort the metals in to certain piles. Here you see Unprepared #2 Steel is sent to the shear to be crushed and cut up just as you see in these photos.

As the material is dropped in, the shear will then crush the material by the side walls of the shear.

A third crushing wall will then pack all the material in tight to be cut up by the blades.

After the material has been cut up, the shaker table will shake out all trash and dirt as it leads down the conveyor. Here you see a Southern Metals Recycling employee pulling out the excess trash.


After the shaker table separates the metal, trash and dirt, the now Prepared #2 Steel heads up the conveyor belt and in to a new pile ready to be loaded in to trucks or rail cars.

And that’s our shear at work.


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Stainless steel and benefits of recycling

Here is a great article about Stainless Steel and the benefits of recycling from: 

Stainless steel is an iron alloy that contains nickel and chromium to protect it against corrosion and rust. Also known as inox steel, this material is remarkably strong and resistant to high temperatures providing optimum performance under severe environmental and chemical conditions.

Stainless steel’s inherent physical properties make it ideal for use in the construction, automotive and transportation sectors. Its versatility also makes it a popular material in household items such as kitchen appliances and cutlery.

The demand for stainless steel has doubled in the last ten years, with production increasing to more than 25 million tonnes a year. In this context, the recycling industry has become a vital player in providing a stable supply of quality secondary raw material.

Besides nickel and chromium, other major alloying elements used in combination with steel include; molybdenum, titanium, tungsten and vanadium. These metals are scarce and only available in very few parts of the word, which makes extraction costly and difficult. Recycling is therefore essential to avoid depleting the planet’s natural resources.

Recycling ProcessesMost of these special alloys are very similar in appearance. Sophisticated identification technology, including X-ray spectrometry, are used to separate and prepare each type. Recycling stainless steel is a similar process to the one used for other ferrous metals.


Sorting: Because many forms of stainless steel are non magnetic, this metal cannot be easily separated from other recyclables in a recycling facility with magnetic belts. Baling: Stainless steel products are compacted into large blocks to improve ease of handling and transport. Shearing: Hydraulic machinery capable of exerting enormous pressure is used to cut thick heavy stainless steel into smaller pieces. Media separation: Shredders incorporate rotating magnetic drums to separate ferrous metals from other materials. Further separation is achieved using electrical currents, high-pressure air flow and liquid floating systems. Melting: The recovered materials are melted together in a furnace. This process is determined by the level of purity necessary for the future applications of the secondary raw material. The melted stainless steel is then poured into casters and shaped into ingots or slabs. Later on, they can be rolled into flat sheets that are used to manufacture new products. Applications Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and loses none of its original physical properties in the process. The most common applications include:


-Construction: The excellent corrosion resistance, strength and malleability allow for the construction of attractive, low maintenance and durable curtain walls and roofs.

– Food storage and production: Stainless steel resists bacteria colonisation, does not alter the taste of foods, and is easily cleaned and sterilised.

– Transport: Passenger rail cars of today’s high-speed trains are often constructed of stainless steel which offers structural strength and improved crash protection.

– Healthcare: Most surgical instruments are made of stainless steel because of its strength and resistance to regular cleaning and sterilisation.

– Household: Stainless steel has been traditionally used in cutlery, cookware and appliances.

Recycling Facts: Recycling one tonne of steel saves 1,100 kilograms of iron ore, 630 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone.

– An average stainless steel object is composed of about 60% recycled material.

– Approximately 90% of end-of-life stainless steel is collected and recycled into new products.

(Courtesy: Bureau of International Recycling)


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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How Much is a Penny Worth???

Thought you’d like to hear these interesting facts about pennies.

  • Zinc pennies were produced after the year 1982 and weigh 2.5 grams each. Prior to 1983, pennies were made of copper.
  • If the pennies are from 1983 or after, a pound would equal about 181 pennies.
  • If they are from before 1983, then a pound would equal roughly 146 pennies.

At this time:

  • One pound of Zinc = $.75/lb
  • One pound of #2 Copper = #2.80/lb

I know what you are thinking…You could have a great return on your investment if you sold your old pennies to a scrap metal recycling business like us here at Southern Metals Recycling. BUT….Don’t get your hopes up because it is against the law to sell or recycle pennies!


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646


Read more – Star News – Where to drop off Aluminum Cans for Cash

If you check out on the Star News Website here in Wilmington, NC…you can see where to drop off aluminum cans to sell for cash. I guess it wasn’t too hard to guess that the hot-spot is Southern Metals Recycling.

As of today, we are paying $.45 per pound. So scrounge up your cans and bring them on in to either location noted below.


We look forward to seeing you soon!

Southern Metals Recycling

Come to either: 13 Wright Street Location or 2923 US Hwy 421 North Location

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How to Scrap a Junk Car

Here are instructions to scrapping a junk car

1) Before you jump in a actually get to work, it is important to consider whether it is worth it to junk the car. Any running and driving car is almost always going to be worth more as a car than it would be as scrap metal.

2) Next, give us a call up here at Southern Metals at (910) 762-2646 and see what our current price is on junk cars.

3) We ask that you drain the fluids from the vehicle, so make sure you take care of that before you bring the vehicle in.

4) Before doing anything, it is a good idea to pull the car into the open if it is in the woods and if at all possible, place it on a piece of concrete or asphalt while you work.

5) We also suggest you remove the tires from the vehicle. It will probably also be necessary to jack the car up and place it on jack stands. Remember to be very careful when working under the car, paying special attention to the tires, as dry rotted tires could pop.

6) While the car is jacked up, go ahead and remove the gas tank and other fluids, like oil and transmission fluid.

7) Next remove the starter, alternator, and any other electric motors. Set these to the side, because we will pay extra for electric motors.

8) Remove the battery and set it aside, as we pay extra for batteries.

9) Locate and remove the catalytic converter, which is attached to the exhaust pipe between the engine and the muffler. Usually the catalytic converter is located under the passenger seat, especially on older cars. Scrap yards usually pay between $10 and $50 for a catalytic converter, so it is definitely worth removing.

The easiest way to remove a catalytic converter is to use a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade. This will easily cut through most exhaust pipes. Make sure you cut at a point were there is just one layer of exhaust pipe and don’t worry about getting too close to the catalytic converter.

It may also be possible to pry the catalytic converter out with a large crow bar, breaking the welds, but this will not always work. Removing the bolts is also an option, but this can be very difficult, if not impossible, due to the high heats and age of most exhaust systems.

10) At this point, the car is basically ready to recycle. It is a good idea to see if there are any salvageable parts or expensive parts that you could sell separately. For example, auto glass can be very expensive, so if you see a curved window, it may be a good idea to remove it and try to sell it separately to another dealer who will purchase glass.

If you have the time and knowledge, you will also get more money by removing the engine and transmission. This is not necessary, but since most engines and transmissions are made out of cast aluminum, you will get a lot more if you take it apart and separate the aluminum.

11) When you are ready to load the car onto the tow dolly, attach the wench to the truck or tow dolly and make sure the car is in neutral and the parking brake is not set. Using the come along wench, pull the car up onto the tow dolly, making sure its wheels line up.

12) Make sure to bring your tire iron with you when you go to the scrap yard. While waiting in line to be weighed in, you can begin loosening the lug nuts on the scrap car and remove the wheels. When it is your time to get weighed in, ask where you need to take the car, catalytic converter, batteries, and electric motors.

The scale master will direct you to a crane, which will pick the car up off of the tow dolly. However, you will probably have to take the electric motors, batteries, and catalytic converter to a different part of the yard, so make sure to ask about them.

13) If you can remove the straps without the car rolling off of the tow dolly, do so. Otherwise, have the crane grab and hold the car while you remove the straps. Finally, once the car is in the air, remove all of the tires and place them in your truck.

14) Once you have dropped off the car, electric motors, and catalytic converter, you will need to get weighed out. They will give you a final receipt, which you will need to take to the cashiers office to redeem.

And that’s it!

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC 


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What Household Items Can I Recycle?

Every household ends up with scrap metal at some point. A comprehensive list of household scrap metal items is probably impossible to put together, but a short list can give you a good idea of what constitutes household scrap metal:

Air conditioners – Aluminum Cans – Metal boats – Bikes – Brass Items – Junk Cars – Car parts – Batteries – Copper – Gym Equipment – Lawn Mowers –  Radiators – Stainless Steel – Bed Frames – Bicycle – Car Jacks – Basketball Hoops – Carriages and Strollers – Cast Iron Tubs – Garage Doors –  Golf Clubs – Fans – Metal File Cabinets – Mail Boxes – Gutters – Washers – Dryers – Range Hoods – Stoves – Toaster Ovens – Freezers – Hot Water Heaters – Humidifiers – Ironing Boards – Ladders – Storm Doors – Dog Crates – Lamps – Tire Rims -Refrigerators – Metal Drums – Mopeds – Metal Shelving – Shovels – Pots and Pans and Ski/Bike Racks. If you have a question on any other material we recycle, don’t hesitate to call us. 

Call us at (910) 762-2646 for current pricing on all household scrap metal.

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC 

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Do You Know How to Sell Scrap Metal?

Whether you are collecting scrap metal for income or as a hobby, understand that many lucrative scrap companies started out the same way. Collecting scrap metal pays pennies per pound, but it is not difficult to work up to weightier amounts if you know where to look for it. Keep in mind you need an area to store and sort your metal and a sturdy vehicle to haul it. You also need to make new business contacts.

Where to Look

  • Comb neighborhoods and put out fliers announcing your new business. Make friends with plumbers, building contractors, roofers and electricians. Visit machine shops and service stations. In some cities, the town dump is a freebie for the scrap collector. Keep an eye out for dumpsters and large trash containers near building sites. Find out what days metals are removed and ask if you could remove them. You may even make extra cash hauling unwanted items from businesses on a regular basis. Become familiar with the different types of metals, as some bring in higher prices than others. Sort the scrap according to type, as recyclers pay more when it is separated.

Hefty Items Add Up Fast

  • Junk cars are profitable sources of scrap metal, but you need the right kind of equipment, such as a tow truck, storage yard and mobile crusher. If those things are out of reach, you can collect large appliances that you can strip and haul with nothing more than a truck or large van.

    Water heaters are an easy source of metal, as many plumbers love having someone to haul them away. Although they do not pay much individually because they are mostly tin, you can accumulate them easily in lots of five or 10 at a time. Boilers, air conditioners and heaters are heavier items, sometimes weighing up to 300 pounds for a residential unit. They can be stripped of pricier metals, such as copper tubing and brass fittings, which can quickly add up. A large industrial boiler can weigh up to 700 pounds and must be dismantled for the metal recycler. Remove such things such as pressure gauges, as they can be sold in yard sales and can bring in some additional cash.


Instructions on how to identify and sort scrap metal

1) Set out six large cardboard boxes to place items in and ease the sorting process. Label the boxes as follows: iron, aluminum, batteries, brass, steel and copper. These are the six categories used by the scrap metal recycling industry.

2) Start with the “Aluminum” box. Put things like soda and other cans, aluminum furniture, aluminum car pieces and storm doors in this box. Soda cans will likely be the easiest to find, but keep in mind, the idea is to go for more weight if you’re interested in making money off your recycling.

3) Take a magnet and scan it over metal items. Place the items that have a magnetic attraction to the magnet in the “Iron” box. This is the quickest way to identify what pieces of metal are iron. Another option is to look for the formation of rust on the metal. Items that are usually made of iron include pipes, cars and pieces of home appliances.

4) Look at all the remaining metal items and find the ones that have the appearance of iron without the magnetic pull. All of these items go straight to the “Stainless Steel” box. Items made of stainless steel include beer kegs, stair hand rails and vehicle trim.

5) Gather any old car batteries you’ve found or have laying around and place them in the “Batteries” box. Car batteries are 100% recyclable and have many reusable parts including the plastic, lead and acid.

6) Place metal items that are red or stained green from water damage in the “Copper” box. Copper is easy to obtain from things like old electrical wiring pieces, other wire and plumbing fittings.

7) Place items that have a yellow-tinged color in the “Brass” bin. Brass items include door knobs, car radiators, sink drains and fixtures and light fixtures.


Where do you sell and recycle your Scrap Metal???

CLICK HERE – Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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The History of Steel

The History of Steel

Steel has been an important resource throughout the history of the world. It is not a “new” material, at least not in the way that plastics or nylon are. Pieces of steel have been found in East Africa that date back to 1400BC.  Because steel is an alloy, made up of two or more elements, it can be made from materials found in nature through a process known as smelting.

Steel is smelted through the application of extreme heat to iron ore.  Temperatures may reach in excess of 1370 degrees Celsius to achieve the desired results.  Processes for reaching such high temperatures have been utilized for a surprisingly long time.  Even six thousand years ago, techniques for melting materials had already been discovered and were highly utilized.

However, steel is a very sensitive alloy and is difficult to work with.  Small changes to the proportions of its components during the smelting process result in very different outcomes and properties.  In light of this, steel-making was long considered almost as an art-form.  In 1858, Henry Bessemer finally developed a method for consistently creating high-quality steel that could be mass-produced and was easily recycled, leading to the birth of the modern steel industry.

Modern Steelmaking

In modern times, new steel is generally made from a process known as oxygen steelmaking.  The process involves molten iron being poured into a container known as a ladle and transferred to a furnace to be mixed with scrap steel material.  The recycled steel is mixed with the iron as pure oxygen is blown into the steel and iron to raise the temperature in order to burn off carbon and purify the steel.  Other chemical cleaning agents may be introduced later to create slag, a material that forms on the surface of the molten steel to absorb chemical impurities. The purpose of slag is to drain impurities from the steel.

The purified recycled steel is now ready to be poured into new molds or mixed with other chemical compounds to create new varieties of steel for specific purposes.  The name steel does not refer to only one kind of metal, but rather it is an umbrella term for many iron-based alloys.

Steel scrap metal can be sourced in many different ways including commercial scrap metal, construction scrap metal, manufacturing scrap metal, and household steel scrap metal such as old appliances.  No matter its origin, recycled steel plays a big part in supporting more sustainable and environmentally friendly steel-making practices worldwide.


Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646


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Check Out Our Toys!

The pure awesomeness of our toys here at Southern Metals Recycling is out of this world. I would like to introduce you to a couple of the powerful machines we use here to unload scrap metal from our customer’s vehicles, sort in to specific piles, shear in to smaller pieces and load in to our rail cars or trucks to be shipped out to be recycled. These incredible machines bring my imagination from the sandbox as a kid to real life.


Let’s start with the unloading and sorting process. This is a typical customer here at Southern Metals and after they weigh in on the big scale, they head to the back to be unloaded.



Most of the material is sent to the shear to be cut up in to smaller pieces. This machine is heavy duty and I am proud to say that our shear operator, Sonny, has been working here for more than 30 years.



After we have unloaded and sorted the material in their specific location, it is time to shear the larger pieces with the mobile shear. This machine is a beast! I just love to see it in action. It cuts through any material with absolutely no effort and is such joy to watch.



For the larger pieces that the static or mobile shear can not cut, the cutting torch is put to use. It is fun to watch the power of fire at work as it melts right through any heavy metal steel.



Once everything is cut in to smaller pieces and sorted to their specific locations, it is time to load the material in to the trucks and ship them off to be recycled.



I hope you enjoyed watching a little of what happens here at Southern Metals Recycling. If you bring in some scrap metal, you can see it first hand. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC – (910) 762-2646

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Junk Cars Become New Bridges!

One of the most exciting parts of our job here at Southern Metals Recycling is knowing that the material we purchase from people like yourself is being recycled and reused for a greater purpose. We are doing our part to keep this community and Earth clean and can only ask you to play your part in helping recycle. Don’t hesitate to call us and ask what the current prices are to determine how much money you can make from the scrap you have lying around the house.

Have you ever wondered what the process is after you sell your scrap metal to Southern Metals Recycling? You never know…you may be helping create a new bridge.

Ferrous Scrap Cycle: From Cars to Bridges

1) End of life junk cars are sold for scrap


2) They are inspected, removing any potentially hazardous materials.


3) The cars are then shredded in to small pieces.


4) Shredded steel is remelted…


5) …then made in to beams…


6) …and used in the construction of a new bridge.


Did you know:

  • Recycling one care saves more than 2,500 lbs. or iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone?
  • Steel is the most recycled material in the United States. On average, the U.S. processes enough ferrous scrap daily, by weight, to build 25 Eiffel Towers every day of the year.
  • Recycling steel requires 60% less energy than producing steel from iron ore.
  • By using ferrous scrap rather than virgin materials in the production of iron and steel, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 58%.


Don’t forget to call us for any questions on pricing for your scrap metal – (910) 762-2646

Southern Metals Recycling – 2923 Hwy 421 North Wilmington, NC 28403

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What is a Scrap Metal Recycling Yard?

There are few places in life more charmingly apocalyptic than the modern-day scrap yard. Servicing businesses large and small, as well as everyday folks trying to recycle, scrap yards are the beginning link in the metal recycling chain. The seemingly chaotic buzzing of workers, forklifts, dump trucks and patrons is actually  the sound of a century old industry raking in $80 billion annual revenues in the US alone.

What is a Waste Stream?

No matter what industry you work in, there is always some type of waste material, or material that is leftover after a process or operation. At the end of the day, you may be left with several different types of waste materials. This is called a waste stream.

Every person and every company has a waste stream. Some of the waste materials are non-recyclable, like food waste, pollution, or bio-hazardous waste. On the other hand, most of the waste stream is recyclable! Anything from corrugated paper, plastic bottles, and of course scrap metal, are all highly recyclable waste materials. It is much easier to grind old paper than to cut down a tree, and it is much easier to melt an old aluminum can that to mine and refine bauxite; that is why scrap yards exist.

What are Scrap Yards for?

The purpose of a scrap yard is to buy scrap metal (and sometimes other waste materials) at competitive prices so value can be pulled out of a waste stream. The scrap yard will buy the material by the pound — or by the ton — and will pay you depending on what type of material you are selling. Most trips to the scrap yard involve selling more than one type of scrap metal.

A scrap yard, essentially, is a waste material broker. Their main reason for existing is to correctly and reliably funnel different types of materials to different refiners. They buy scrap metals in small quantities, gather large amounts in a scrap heap, and then sell it all for more money to refineries. (Refineries will only buy large volumes of scrap metal by contract from a well-established supplier.)


What is Scrap Metal?

Scrap metal refers to any number of metal waste materials, and is often the result of industrial, construction, demolition or repair processes involving metal or metal products. Some simple examples of scrap metal categories are  steelaluminumcopper, stainless steel, electric motors and compressors.

A scrap yard is very interested in buying the many common types of scrap metals found in waste streams today. Old copper wire, broken appliances, and scrap automobiles all get bought for different prices at the scrap yard. You’ll notice that they do not contain entirely metal.

Cars, refrigerators, and computers are all examples of things sold at a scrap yard despite having small to medium amounts of contamination.

Scrap metal recycling is the most profitable form of recycling, and, for this reason, is sometimes overlooked in discussions on the matter of recycling and waste stream management. If your office takes the time to recycle paper or cardboard, it needs to recycle old computers, broken tools, or aluminum cans too.

How to Sell Scrap Metal:

The process for selling scrap metal is straight forward, but it’s best to go to the scrap yard knowing as much as possible.

  1. Sort Your Metal: This is done before you get to the scrap yard. Look over the different categories of scrap metal and channel your scrap into corresponding buckets and containers.  Nobody at the scrap yard, including the employees, will want to show you any mercy if your material isn’t sorted correctly. They will simply pay you the price of the cheapest material you left unsorted. Everybody sees not sorting your materials as a huge waste of their time, including the people waiting in line behind you!
  2. Drive to The Scrap Yard w/ your ID: This is most easily done with a truck or trailer. Make sure you have everything strapped down and secured or you will get ticketed (or worse)! The scrap yard needs your ID to verify your age, track what you sell, and to check your name against the state police’s “blacklist” of metal thieves.
  3. Unload your Scrap Metal: Keeping things as organized as possible, you will unload your scrap metal by whatever process the scrap yard chooses. Almost all scrap yards will have a truck scale to weigh your vehicle and a small scale for weighing buckets, pallets, or small containers. If it is your first time at a particular scrap yard, talk to an employee before unloading anything.
  4. Ask questions: This is pretty simple; but, if not done tactfully, it may cause you more harm than good. It’s ok that you don’t know something, but avoid seeming helpless. It is a balancing act of not seeming naïve, but still asking as many questions as possible. Research Scrap Metal as much as you can before departing for the scrap yard.
  5. Get weighed: Your scrap metals will all get weighed one-at-a-time, category by category. You will then be given a paper slip which you cash out at the nearby pay window.
  6. Get Paid: You get paid more for having more metal. You get paid more for having the expensive metal. And you get paid most when you have more of the expensive metal.
  7. Be Friendly: Treat others as you would like to be treated; Remember, you are not the scrap yard’s customer; you are their supplier!

Where is the Nearest Scrap Yard?

The nearest scrap yard is most likely within a 10-30 minutes drive from where ever you are now. If you live near or inside of a large city, chances are you are just around the corner from a scrap yard and you don’t even know it.

(Just check Google Maps by searching “Southern Metals Recycling”) 

This article filled with great information was written by:


We look forward to seeing you soon!

Southern Metals Recycling – (910) 762-2646

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Recycle and Get $$$ For It!

We are located on Highway 421, just 2 miles north of the Battleship up on the left. There is a big red Southern Metals sign…you can’t miss us!

We purchase and recycle all ferrous and non-ferrous metals, such as:

  • Steel: $.105 – .12/lb
  • Copper: $.95 – 2.85/lb
  • Aluminum (including cans): $.45/lb
  • Stainless Steel: $.45/lb
  • Brass: $.95 – 1.40/lb
  • Car Batteries: $.25/lb
  • Junk Cars: $.105/lb
  • Electric Motors: $.20/lb
  • Compressors: $.15/lb

***Prices subject to change each month

Visit Us Online at: Southern Metals Recycling – Contact Us at: (910) 762-2646 

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Statue of Liberty…Guess How Many Pounds of Copper?

Copper Recycling Facts 

  • A Boeing 727 contains about 9,000 pounds of copper
  • We’re in no danger of running out of copper. Known worldwide resources of this important and valuable metal are estimated at nearly 5.8 trillion pounds of which only about 0.7 trillion (12%) have been mined throughout history.
  • Nearly all of that 0.7 trillion (or 700 billion) pounds is still in circulation because copper’s recycling rate is higher than that of any other engineering metal.
  • Until well into the 1800s, most copper used in the U.S.A. had to be imported. Today, we are virtually self-sufficient and, worldwide, second only to Chile in production.
  • Each year in the U.S.A., nearly as much copper is recovered from recycled material as is derived from newly mined ore. Excluding wire production, most of which uses newly refined copper, more than three-fourths of the amount used by copper and brass mills, ingot makers, foundries, powder plants and other industries comes from recycled scrap.
  • Almost half of all recycled copper scrap is old post-consumer scrap, such as discarded electric cable, junked automobile radiators and air conditioners, or even ancient Egyptian plumbing. (Yes, it’s been around that long.)
  • The remainder is new scrap, such as chips and turnings from screw machine production.
  • U.S. copper mine production in 2002 dropped to 2,516 million pounds from 2001’s 2,954 million pounds.
  • The 2002 level of 7,313 million pounds is a 6.0% decrease from the revised 2001 level of 7,780 million pounds.
  • Exports of mill products in 2002 continued to decline also, down 7.1% at 735 million pounds versus imports of 909 million pounds, a decrease of 10.0% from 2001 levels.
  • The Statue of Liberty is made entirely of copper which is the reason it is green (from Patina(fancy for rust)). After being up since 1886 the weathering and oxidation of the copper skin has amounted to just .005 of an inch.
  • The Statue of Liberty is made of 179,000 pounds of copper
  • Copper is man’s oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. A copper pendant discovered in what is now northern Iraq goes back to about 8700 B.C.
  • The H.M.S. Beagle, used by Charles Darwin for his historic voyages around the world, was built in 1825 with copper skins below the water line. The copper sheathing extended hull life and protected against barnacles and other kinds of biofouling. Today most seagoing vessels use a copper-containing paint for hull protection.
  • Paul Revere, of Revolutionary War fame, produced the copper hull sheathing, bronze cannon, spikes and pumps for the U.S.S. Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides.” Revere was one of the earliest American coppersmiths.
  • One of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls found in Israel is made of copper instead of more fragile animal skins. The scroll contains no biblical passages or religious writings – only clues to a still undiscovered treasure.
  • Archeologists have recovered a portion of a water plumbing system from the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. The copper tubing used was found in serviceable condition after more than 5,000 years.
  • A museum at the University of Pennsylvania displays a copper frying pan that has been dated to be more than 50 centuries old.
  • Some things never change! Ten thousand years ago, cave dwellers used copper axes as weapons and tools for survival. Today, high tech surgeons save lives and precious blood by using copper-clad scalpels. The copper conducts an electric current that heats the scalpel to make it self-cauterizing.
  • The first copper deposit worked extensively in America (by non-native Americans) is located in Granby, Connecticut. It was operated from 1705 until 1770.
  • Pure copper’s melting point is 1,981ºF (1,083ºC).
  • Brasses and Bronzes are probably the most well-known families of copper-base alloys. Brasses are mainly copper and zinc. Bronzes are mainly copper along with alloying elements such as tin, aluminum, silicon or beryllium.
  • Zebra mussels, brought to North America on freighters from Europe, are kept from clogging the water intakes of power companies around the Great Lakes through the use of copper alloy screens that reject their attachment and impede growth.
  • An average single-family home uses 439 pounds of copper.
    • In an average single-family home, you will find about:
      • 195 pounds – building wire
      • 151 pounds – plumbing tube, fillings, valves
      • 24 pounds – plumbers’ brass goods
      • 47 pounds – built-in appliances
      • 12 pounds – builders hardware
      • 10 pounds – other wire and tube
    • An average multifamily unit uses 278 pounds of copper:
      • 125 pounds – building wire
      • 82 pounds – plumbing tube, fittings, valves
      • 20 pounds – plumbers’ brass goods
      • 38 pounds – built-in appliances
      • 6 pounds – builders hardware
      • 7 pounds – other wire and tube
    • General levels of copper use in major appliances:
      • 52 pounds – unitary air conditioner
      • 48 pounds – unitary heat pump
      • 5.0 pounds – dishwasher
      • 4.8 pounds – refrigerator/freezer
      • 4.4 pounds – clothes washer
      • 2.7 pounds – dehumidifier
      • 2.3 pounds – disposer
      • 2.0 pounds – clothes dryer
      • 1.3 pounds – range
  • Some 10,000 copper range hoods and 20,000 weather vanes are produced annually, using about 7 pounds of copper each.
  • The average house has 12 lockset’s: 2½ are keyed, the rest are passage sets. The average multifamily unit has 6 lockset’s – 1½ keyed, the remainder are passage sets.
  • There are probably about a billion doorknobs in the U.S., weighing in with about 500-600 million pounds of copper.
  • There is an average of 50-55 electrical outlets per home and some 15-20 switches. That translates to between 2½ and 3 pounds of copper alloy for these uses per house.


Quite interesting facts and no wonder why there are so many theft issues with copper. Thank goodness Southern Metals is helping crack down on theft by following the new laws passed in October. We have increased the amount of documentation required when it comes to copper and other recycling materials.

If you have any questions on pricing or what materials we accept, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Thank you for recycling,

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC

(910) 762-2646

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How Many Steel Cans Does The Average Household Use Each Year?

Check out some of the most interesting facts that I have found about scrap metal recycling. It is interesting to see how many steel cans a household uses in a year.

Steel Recycling Facts

  • A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel.
  • In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18 million homes.
  • Recycling one ton of steel saves about 2.5 tons of iron ore, 1 ton of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • The recycling rates of steel packaging are at 46%, in comparison to aluminum at just under 24%.
  • Recycling one ton of steel scrap saves more than 80% of the CO2 emissions produced when making steel from Iron ore.
  • Each household in the United States used approximately 600 steel cans per year.
  • Recycling seven steel cans saves enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for 26 hours.
  • Every year the United States saves enough energy, by recycling steel, to supply Los Angeles with nearly a decade’s worth of electricity.
  • Americans throw away (dispose, not recycle) enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continuous basis.
  • A steel mill that recycles scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollutions, and mining wastes by about 70%.
  • Everyday Americans use enough steel to run a steel pipe line from New York to Los Angeles and back to New York.
  • The first company in U.S. history to become a billion dollar business was U.S. Steel.
  • Steel is the most recycled material in the world – more than aluminum, glass & paper combined.
  • On average a little more than 9,000 steel cans are removed from landfills with a magnet every minute
  • Food cans usually contain a tin coating which is a valuable metal. 70% to 80% of this tin is recovered in the recycling process of food cans.
  • More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year in North America.
  • Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength.
  • Recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power 18 million households for a year.
  • The amount of energy needed to produce a ton of steel has been reduced 34 percent since 1972.
  • Over $10 billion has been invested to create a New Steel that is better for the environment.
  • It takes more than 40 trees to build a wood-framed home. It takes approximately four recycled cars to frame typical 2000 sq ft. house.
  • 83,000 tons of steel was needed to build the Golden Gate Bridge. Only half of that would be needed now.
  • 600 steel cans or tin cans are recycled every second.


Hope you enjoyed today’s facts about Scrap Metal Recycling,

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC

Call us for updated pricing on scrap metal – (910) 762-2646

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Southern Metals Recycling – Scrap & Aluminum Facts


Scrap Facts

  • Scrap has been an important export commodity from the United States for over 120 years.
  • $15.7 Billion worth of scrap commodities were exported in 2007.
  • Scrap Recycling was an $86 billion dollar industry in the US in 2008.
  • Scrap metal was the 2nd largest export to China in dollar value in 2007.
  • 75% of all “trash” can be recycled.


Aluminum Recycling Facts

  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
  • Other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now.
  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but currently only every second can is recycled.
  • There is no limit to the number of times aluminum cans may be recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • We use over 80 billion aluminum soda cans every year.
  • Recycling 1KG (2.20lbs) of Aluminum saves up to 6KG (13.2lbs) of bauxite, 4KG (8.8lbs) of chemical products, and most importantly 14 kWh of electricity.
  • If all the aluminum cans in the United States were recycled there would be 14 million fewer dustbins annually.
  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch. That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount it takes to make one can out of new material. Energy savings in 2007 were enough to light a city the size of Detroit for 8 years.
  • Americans throw away (dispose, not recycle) enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
  • During Christmas time there are over 300 million cans used per week.
  • Americans use 100 million cans per day.
  • When you toss out aluminum cans you waste as much energy as if you We’re cheap filled the same can half full with gasoline, and just threw it on the ground.
  • The 36 billion Aluminum cans land filled last year had a scrap value of 600 million dollars. Makes you wonder if in the future we’ll be mining our old landfills for the aluminum we’ve already thrown away.
  • 97% of all beverage cans are aluminum.
  • North America is currently recycling 2/3 of aluminum cans, nowhere close to the amount we should be recycling.
  • Making cans from recycled aluminum cuts air related pollution by 95%.
  • In 2003, 54 billion cans were recycled, saving the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day.
  • 350,000 aluminum cans are produced every minute!
  • During the time it takes you to read this sentence, 50,000 12-ounce aluminum cans are made!
  • Aluminum can manufacturers have been making cans lighter — in 1972 each pound of aluminum produced 22 cans; today it yields 29 cans!
  • At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
  • It is estimated that since 1972 some 16 million tons of aluminum cans have been recycled. These 785.6 billion aluminum cans placed end-to-end could stretch to the moon more than 249 times!
  • In 1972, 53 million pounds of aluminum cans were recycled. Today, we exceed that amount weekly. Some 119,482 cans are recycled every minute nationwide!
  • Aluminum cans have tremendous value. In 1996, Americans earned $1.08 billion by recycling aluminum cans. Since 1972, Americans have earned almost $8.9 billion by recycling aluminum cans!
  • The weight of aluminum cans recycled in 1996 was equal to the weight of 14 aircraft carriers — 983,709 tons!
  • In 1972, it took about 22 empty, aluminum cans to weigh one pound. Due to advanced technology to use less material and increase durability of aluminum cans, in 2002 it takes about 34 empty aluminum cans to weigh one pound.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s Scrap Facts,

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC




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Say Hello to…The Shredder!

If you were a true movie buff…you would have guessed this photo is 1.3 seconds. Ofcourse…I know my Terminator Fans got it!

Many of the best action movies can’t go without crushing, smashing or blowing up vehicles. However…I am anxiously waiting for them to add the shredder to the mix. No, I am not talking about Shredder from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”…I am talking about, “The Shredder!”

Enjoy this video of what has got the be the most incredible pieces of machinery I have ever laid eyes on! It is such a big boy’s toy. Thanks SSI for making this enjoyable video.



Wishing you all an amazing day!

Southern Metals Recycling – Wilmington, NC

(910) 762-2646

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How it’s Done!

Every single day, we have on average 100 vehicles that come through our scrap metal yard here in Wilmington, NC to sell their ferrous and non-ferrous materials. More than half of those selling material are driving truckloads of steel packed in to their trailers. This photo below shows an example of what we see on a daily basis.

It is a very dangerous job when it comes to unloading this material from the trucks. We have to have special equipment to remove the steel from the vehicles. How would you unload a truck full of steel without damaging the truck or hurting yourself?

Well…watch this cool video to see what kind of special gadgets we have to help unload scrap metal from trucks:

Unloading Steel from a Customer’s Vehicle

I thought you’d like that!


Call us today for any information or pricing on our scrap metal!

Southern Metals Recycling

(910) 762-2646

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What a Sight To See!


You would think it were the days leading up to Christmas, but it is just as busy right now as it was before Christmas. We at Southern Metals Recycling are beyond gracious of all our customers who help keep Wilmington clean by recycling their scrap metal. If you haven’t come to visit us yet, please stop by and bring any of your ferrous or non-ferrous metals.

What types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals do we accept to recycle?

Here is a list of metals that we recycle and what the going rate (per pound) you can expect to receive today as prices are subject to change:

Steel – .10 – .12

Aluminum  – .35 – .45

Aluminum Cans – .45

Cast Aluminum – .40

Aluminum Radiators – .40

Aluminum Rims – .50

#1 Copper – 2.85

#2 Copper – 2.65

Insulated Copper – .95

Stainless Steel – .22 – .45

Brass – .95 – 1.40

Electric Motors – .20

Compressors – .15

Batteries – .25
Thank you so much for your business and let’s make 2013 a great year for everyone. Call us for more information at (910) 762-2646.

Best wishes,

Southern Metals Recycling – 2923 Highway 421 North Wilmington, 28402



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Southern Metals – Band of Brothers

Behind every great company owner…stands a hardworking team who thrives to be successful day in and day out. Here is a band of brothers who come in to Southern Metals Recycling and puts forth 100% every single day to drive this scrap metal recycling company to new heights. This is a behind the scenes shot of a team who continues to help our community play a huge roll in keeping our Earth clean.

They are considered the source, the unit…the family that we are so lucky to have  a part of our team.

With Incredible Pride,

Southern Metals RecyclingWilmington, NC – 910-762-2646


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