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How to Recycle Galvanized Steel

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According to the steel Recycling Institute, steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world. Recycling costs less and saves the environment, compared to mining and refining new steel. Even galvanized steel, with its coating of zinc for rust protection, can be recycled. If you want to recycle galvanized steel, you should have no problem finding a scrap dealer willing to take it off your hands, and even pay you for it.

Find out how much money your scrap steel is worth. Use an online index like Metal Prices to look up current low and high prices for steel. This will give you an idea of what you can expect when you take your steel in for recycling. Prices fluctuate, so monitor prices for a few days to get a broader picture.

Find a scrap metal recycling company in your area. Most metropolitan areas will have a host of businesses willing to buy your steel pieces. Use your local business listings to search for scrap dealers, or contact your city or county waste management office to see if they have a Web site or listing for scrap dealers. You can also use the Steel Recycling Institute's "Steel Recycling Locator" Web page to search for steel recyclers. Since recycling of steel is so common, you are likely to find more than one dealer in your area.

Once you find dealers, call to ask how much they pay for scrap steel. Choose the dealer with the highest rates, as long the location is not too far away. The cost to haul heavy steel to another part of town may outweigh the few extra pennies of this higher rate.

Load the steel onto a truck or other vehicle and drive it to the scrap dealer. Be sure to go during their specified drop times, since some dealers only accept materials during certain hours. Before you go, note whether the scrap dealer (or your state law) requires any special documentation for materials, such as a title for a scrap vehicle, or photo identification. Widespread metal theft has caused many states to pass laws requiring dealers to gather information about anyone selling scrap. Bring the necessary documents, and you should receive a check for your scrap materials.


Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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