Many of our loyal recyclers, the ones who are out each and every day in good weather conditions and bad, always ask me why sorting their materials is so important.
I have been at Weiser about 25 years and take great pride in what recycling does for the environment and also enjoy educating so many people about scrapping and how to make the most while doing it. Many of our customers have gone on to do it for a living after they have partially retired, or when the economy took a turn some years ago. Others just enjoy it as a family project or a means to make some extra money. The main thing in sorting is knowing your materials and that is why we make sure to give new customers a Weiser Magnet.
Magnetic items (Ferrous) with iron are less valuable than Non-Ferrous ones. By being able to clean and sort your materials and have them readily sorted when you come to the yard and the scale, it not only makes the transaction go faster for both of us, but we can then easily pay you for each type of material.
For example, let's say you have replaced your water heater and you have the old one in the garage. The basic water heater may weigh about 100 pounds. We'll pay you basic shred material for that. It is going to be magnetic because of the iron content in the steel, but there is usually a copper pipe attached to the overflow valve that may be worth ten times the value of the heater per pound. You also may have a brass fitting for the valve worth about 8 times the value of the heater. Then there is an electric cord to plug in the heater that you can cut that off for another gain in price for your materials. So at the end of an old water heater's life, you might possibly be getting paid for the heater, copper piping, brass valve, and electrical wiring. That isn't something you might automatically think of when the water heater goes and get the basement floor wet. A little extra planning and thinking can help make things go your way.