Reliable buys scrap metal in 2 major categories: Ferrous and Non-ferrous

Ferrous includes any metal that is “magnetic” due to the iron content. This would include steel and cast iron. Pure nickel is magnetic but is considered a non-ferrous metal. Stainless Steel has iron alloyed into it but is also considered a non-ferrous metal.

Non-ferrous are not magnetic and usually have higher value than ferrous. The most common non-ferrous metals include:
Copper…..Brass…..Aluminum…..Stainless Steel…..Zinc (diecast)…..Lead


Sorting your metals for maximum value

Ferrous….Cast iron should be separated from steel. Cast usually has a higher value. Light steel such as appliances, roofing, sheet metal and very bulky items will usually have less value than heavier gauge steel.

Non-ferrous….Copper is most commonly sorted into 5 main categories. Bare Bright Wire, #1, #2, light copper and insulated wire. Other categories do exist. Insulated wire is sorted and priced based on the percentage of copper that will be recovered after insulation is removed at the appropriate processing facility.

  • Brass is generally sorted into 2 most common categories (“Red or Yellow”). Red has a higher copper content plus other alloys thus more value.
  • Aluminum has many different grades. The most common classifications are extrusions, cast, siding, beverage cans, alloy wheels and electrical wire.
  • Stainless Steel is most commonly found as type 304 and 316. the higher the nickel content, the higher the value.


The value of each is based on the purity and/or the other metals that are alloyed in to create the various grades.

All scales at Reliable are “certified” by the State of Maryland. They include platform scales that can weigh as little as one pound, up to large truck scales that can accommodate trucks and tractor-trailers weighing up to 100,000 pounds
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