Metals We Buy

Sorting Your Metals for Recycling

Metals are generally separated into two major categories: ferrous and non-ferrous.


Ferrous Metals

This includes metals made up primarily of the element iron. Examples include Steel and Cast Iron.


Non-ferrous Metals

Here are some examples of common non-ferrous metals we purchase:

  • Copper is commonly sorted into five main categories: bare bright wire, #1, #2, light copper, and insulated wire. Insulated wire is sorted and priced based on the percentage of copper we can recover after the insulation is removed.
  • Brass is typically sorted into two categories: red or yellow. Red contains roughly 10% tin and is becoming more rare.
  • Aluminum is sorted into many different grades. The most common classes are extrusions, cast, siding, beverage cans, alloy wheels, and electrical wire.
  • Stainless steel generally is found in one of two types: 304 or 316. Alloys with greater nickel content fetch a higher value.
  • Lead is often used in car batteries and x-ray screening.
  • Zinc is used in modern plumbing fixtures usually for components that don’t come into direct contact with water.


Items Other Than Metal

  • Clean Corrugated Cardboard
  • PC and other Circuit Boards


How Value Is Determined

For all metals, the value is based upon the purity often influenced by other metals alloyed in.

The scales at Reliable Recycling are certified by weights and measures officials from the State of Maryland, and inspected semi-annually. Our scales range from platform scales that can weigh as little as one pound, up to large truck scales able to accommodate tractor-trailers weighing up to 100,000 pounds.

Metal recycling prices fluctuate based upon world market values, so please call (301) 663-4482 to confirm pricing.

I found the staff pleasant and helpful, each time I went with my refuse. I separate my materials and don’t expect anyone to do it for me; this way I know what I am getting. I found their prices competitive and it is convenient that they are open six days a week. There is something to say about a multi-generational family-owned and operated business. They have made a commitment to their community and are stakeholders in the city and state. They are not fly-by night. Reliable has my business every time I am in need of their services.
JohnFrederick, Maryland