Toxic Metals

toxic metals

With todays environmental concerns being in the eye of the public on a daily basis, it’s important for those of us in the industry, to keep on top of what is hazardous and non hazardous to ourselves and our customer base. Toxic metals are everywhere, and should be identified.

Toxic Metals

Common sources of exposure to higher-than-average levels of arsenic include near or in hazardous waste sites and areas with high levels naturally occurring in soil, rocks, and water. Exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause death.


Elemental beryllium has a wide variety of applications. Occupational exposure most often occurs in mining, extraction, and in the processing of alloy metals containing beryllium. Beryllium can cause sensitization, lung and skin disease in a significant percentage of exposed workers.


Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces, particularly where any ore is being processed or smelted. Several deaths from acute exposure have occurred among welders who have unsuspectingly welded on cadmium-containing alloys or with silver solders.

Hexavalent Chromium

Calcium chromate, chromium trioxide, lead chromate, strontium chromate, and zinc chromate are known human carcinogens. An increase in the incidence of lung cancer has been observed among workers in industries that produce chromate and manufacture pigments containing chromate.


Occupational exposure to lead is one of the most prevalent over exposure. Industries with high potential exposures include construction work, most smelter operations, radiator repair shops, and firing ranges.


Common sources of mercury exposure include mining, production, and transportation of mercury, as well as mining and refining of gold and silver ores. High mercury exposure results in permanent nervous system and kidney damage.

All of these Toxic Metals should be handled in a safe effective way and reported to and metals dealer you work with in selling or buying your materials.

How to Clean Rusted Metals

How to Clean Rusted Metals

The biggest advantage of working with Amcep Metals is that we do accept ferrous and non ferrous metals. Even with that , like any scrap yard, we prefer to accept scrap metals that have been cleaned and separated in order to fulfill orders expeditiously, and without breaking down metals onsite to clean and weigh. So we thought, with our acceptance of ferrous metals, we could at least explain how to clean rusted metals.

How to Clean Rusted Metals

First, use a file or grinder (with proper safety gear) to remove loose or packed on rust. Usually the first layer comes off easily and your down to iron, making it sell-able. If the grinder or file can’t get the topical rust off, try using white vinegar for a wash down. The vinegar reacts with the rust to dissolve it off of the metal. To use, soak the metal in white vinegar for a few hours and then scrub the rusty paste off.
If the object is too big to soak directly in the white vinegar, pour a layer over the top and allow it time to set, or use a rag to wipe down the metal with vinegar and leave to set.

When you use vinegar, you will need to let the items set for about 24 hrs for the the vinegar to completely work.

Also, you can mix baking soda with water, create a paste and spread onto the rusted area. After a few hours, begin scrubbing the topical rust off of the metal.

Lastly, purchase a rust removal product at a local hardware store. Apply the product per the directions on the bottle and then proceed to remove the topical rust off of the iron. In larger cases, it may be more affordable to use the home products version, vs store bought.

Where is the Ferrous Metal?

Wheres the ferrous metal

Knowing the difference between ferrous and non ferrous is simple. Ferrous metals contain iron, just stick a magnet on the side if it sticks…it is ferrous. Don’t be down on it though, ferrous metals are the most recycled metals in the world. So where is the ferrous metal?

Ferrous Metals
When we think of ferrous type material, we think of steel, or we think of iron and materials that are used for their strength and durability. These are the materials often used in steel construction, home appliances, automobiles and household tools. Ferrous materials will eventually rust, and have magnetic pull. Common ferrous metals include steel, stainless steel (though some stainless will not stick to a magnet), iron and wrought iron.

Ferrous materials are in high supply and are the most common scrap metal recycled. Therefore, prices historically don’t fluctuate dramatically. Generally ferrous metals need to be scrapped in volume and are best found when a business , especially in the fabrication industry, close down and need things scrapped and removed. Most machinery is made from ferrous metals and as long as it has not deteriorated or rusted out (like many autos) it should be a scrap you can sell.
Building scrap will work as well, be careful though, your metals have to be separated when dealing with a demolition situation. Things like aluminum siding, support beams and wall supports could all three be totally separate metals. If you don’t test and separate these metals, either your local yard or yourself my find themselves on the separating side at time of drop off, or on the financial losing side. Don’t worry , scrap yards aren’t in the business of losing money, so most metals will be tested at the time of drop off prior to purchase. So no matter where you found your scrap, clean and separate prior to arrival.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Ok, it is a little early (1 month roughly), until New Years. The day we celebrate a year gone by, and look forward to the year to come. Generally a time resolutions are made that are kept about 30 – 45 days and left in a huge pile of wishes and dreams from the previous year..then we are back at our old ways. Usually it is our weight, our finances or just our overall demeanor to others we decide to change or be resolute about. With that, it might be time to be resolute as to how we are going about our scrapping from last year to this year. For many of us, financially it has been a decent year economically, especially if scrapping has been an extra form of income versus your primary source. If so, maybe you haven’t spent much time forming a great plan to make more money , or at least the same with less effort than last first things first..plan your attack, attack your plan. So before we wish Happy New Year! Let’s review what to do first.

First and foremost, it would be best to sit down and look backward on what you achieved last year in your scrapping. Did you create a sustainable income, did you carve out relationships that you feel you can rely on in the new year. If not, make a list of how you can change that as soon as possible, scrapping is for the faint of heart and margins can be thin. It is best to make sure that all of your connections are solid and will be there for you.

Next, are there other places or stashes you can pick through in the new year that you may profit from without burning more gas, or more time stripping, or more manpower for lifting. Generally, after going over expenses, you will find sinkholes you can fill.

Our best advice is for you to go back over all of our post, and see what and where you can help fulfill your resolute for the New Year!

Holiday Shopping

Holiday Shopping

With Halloween here, we all start thinking of the Holidays. Or should we say Holiday, sure Thanksgiving counts and is definitely a holiday, but lets face it, the Christmas season will dominate from the minute we get up from the table on Thanksgiving day, until we fall asleep on New Years Eve. While most of us will wait until the last minute to shop, some will shop ’till they drop up until Christmas Eve, and God bless them, each and every one of them. For the rest of us, this might be a good time, to clean out the garage and or attic/basement when we start breaking out the yuletide decor, because Holiday Shopping doesn’t always have to be at a department store, and can sometimes pay you.

Holiday Shopping

Every year someone, usually dad or junior are sent to grab the thousands (it seems) of boxes of lights, ornaments and for some of us tree that was stored from last year. If your the average American family, you’ll actually replace a little more than 25% of that Christmas stash by the first week of December. So first things first. Use the Saturday or Sunday that you deemed worthy of Christmas extraction worthy to also extract old lamps, boxes or broken metal items you have had laying in wait for the graveyard of your choice. Next, once you start unraveling (literally, not figurative) lights for set up, set aside those lights that don’t work, there’s plenty of copper to be had if stripped properly. Next, check for any outdoor decor that just might have seen its last white Christmas, and can be broken down for even more scrap. Lastly, and not necessarily least, there’s that fake aluminum tree you’ve had for some time. If the wire bristles are looking a little jagged or frayed, and it’s time for a 10 footer, make sure to put that in the recycle stack.

Ultimately, depending on how much you clean out, you might get just enough at the scrap yard for that little something extra for Mrs. Clause.

Craigslist Scrap

craigslist scrap

If you have read our blog with any regularity, you would know we try to help our customers by listing the wheres and where not’s of scrapping. Let’s be realistic about this. It is very important, in metals scrapping, not to waste any of your valuable time if you don’t have to. Especially when seeking out scrap, which can be hit or miss. I think everyone here would agree by now, that the easiest, most time efficient, fuel efficient way of finding your next big haul is Craigslist scrap. Firs, if you have never heard of craigslist, well this article will be a game changer. If you are a regular on craigslist, we hope this add some value to your scrapping experience.

Craigslist Scrap

Craigslist is a free platform that let consumers search for items that are either for sale or for free. It can include anything from auto’s to clothing to broken dishwashers that need hauling off. Now we have your attention. Over the years, Craigslist has become the beacon for those looking for used (and more recently new) items for sale. Just think online garage sale or thrift store. So the big question is how do you use it to help scrap. Everyday, it most major cities, people are unloading items online. So go to, and choose the for sale group and look for items you generally believe you would like to scrap, like washers and dryers, dishwashers and even cars. Once you find a few, contact the buyer and ask their lowest price or if they would like the item hauled off for free. Now generally, you want only free, it really won’t profit you very much to drive and pick up and tear apart a washer and dryer. Look for items that have been available for a long time and people may be willing to let go for free. Especially washers and dryers and dishwashers, because those items probably have been replaced and are just sitting wasting someones garage space.

Our Scrap Prices are Insane

Ok our prices are inline where they’re supposed to be. Maybe we’re just insane…why? We hear stories from all around the state and all over the nation and yes there are people making the Crazy Eddie claims that “Our scrap prices are insane !” The reality is, scrap metal sales are like everything else, there’s a standard in pricing, don’t be hooked by over hyped schemes and billboards. If you want to consistently bring in as much as you can for your scrap, here is our advice we have been giving for years.

Work Local

It is rarely profitable to drive too far to grab a few pennies more for your scrap. There are plenty of ambiguous ads on billboards or online that make you believe that no matter what, you will be mad rich if you bring your old fridge to them. STOP, and think about it..all recycles and scrap yards make money by bulking out metals to larger companies that actually do all the leg work. So if that company in New Mexico claims that seem unbelievable, well it probably is.

Work With Yards That Respect Their Customers

We can not understand why anyone, would do all the work it takes to find scrap, break it down, separate it, pay for the gas and everything else that goes with scrapping, would work with a company that just didn’t seem to care whether you used them or not. If your not working with a yard that assist you when you need it, or possibly even changes their story after you call them (within reason) might be time to drive away..more importantly it might be time to call Amcep Metals or call us first just to see if we’re someone you would want to work with. Please call us at 520-748-1900 or visit us at 4484 E Tennessee St, Tucson, AZ 85714.

Scrapping Do’s and Don’ts

scrapping do's and don'ts

Rules, rules, rules…everybody in the scrap metal industry has rules and people who sell scrap as a hobby or profession know what they are. What about the weekend warrior, who scraps once in a while or even just accumulates enough scrap to make that yearly trip down to our yard. Here are a few Scrapping Do’s and Don’t’s, that if you stick to them, in general, you’ll be fine.

Do Separate Your Metals
It is the most common pre yard activity any veteran scrapper knows about. If time is money, then the yard personal that has to take the time to separate your metals might not want to do business with you again, and certainly doesn’t want to give you top dollar on what he/she has decided is junk.

Do Separate Your Metals
So now after reading above, your probably getting it. Go through your metals and choose what stays and what go’s and if possible, what is or is not sellable based on cleanliness, residue or safety.

Don’t Try To Pull One Over
This one might seem a little tricky, but the bottom line is, don’t try to mix in cheaper metals with your high end load in hopes of tipping the scale in your favor, that just doesn’t ever work out for either side and can get you shut out all over town.

Do Work With Yards That are Trustworthy
Just walk away…that’s good advice if you ever find for any reason the yard you are using lies, cheats or steals their way to profitability. Winners never cheat, cheaters never win. What may be a victory for them today, will lead to fewer customers tomorrow.

Do Attempt to Get to Know Personell
It’s always good in a buyer/seller relationship to try to get to know who you are working with. Prices change drastically, sometimes overnight. Maybe that one haul can wait and maybe you have been waiting to unload that 1 item that’s been lying around. It’s good to know, that when contacted theirs someone your familiar with on the other side.

Places Not To Find Scrap

Look,we here at Amcep Metals are all about the free open spirit to go out and find your own honey hole for scrapping metal. We have also been around long enough to know that if it is too good to be true, then someone might be in trouble. So we thought we would mention a few places NOT to find scrap metal…as a cautionary tale and of course to keep all of us out of harms, and the laws way.

New Home Construction

First of all, new homes are pretty much wood , brick and mortar..or stucco in Tucson’s case. The truth is, home build sites keep their own roll off dumpsters on site and have become pretty resourceful at filling those dumpsters with their own scrap materials over time. The pieces most scrappers might be interested in would be most the copper tubing and or piping and of course the copper wiring going through the house. The average new home built today has about 439 pounds of copper in it..I know you are calculating it, so here it is, that is worth about $1,100.00 today. Here is the breakdown:
195 pounds – building wire
151 pounds – plumbing tube, fittings, valves
24 pounds – plumbers’ brass goods
47 pounds – built-in appliances
12 pounds – builders hardware
10 pounds – other wire and tube
Guess who else knows it…the builder. In any new economy ever ounce is accounted for and closely held. There was a time when home builders couldn’t find anyone to come clean up sites as they built them and get rid of most of the excess materials, so they do it themselves. Now many builders have contracts with large corporate recycling companies or raw material vendors to purchase or haul off these excesses. So we’re not saying a home builders lot or area will be void of scrap metal to sell, we’re saying it is not yours to take from the site, even though it does look discarded and trashed. Your best possible move is to contact the builder themselves and to see what their current situation has to offer. If they balk and say their good…move on.

Different Places to Find Scrap

Different Places to Find Scrap

Different Places to Find ScrapThere have been lots and lots of articles written on places and or legal ways to find scrap metal to resale for a nice profit. As scrapping has become more popular and it’s a dog eat dog or feast or famine way of life in this scrappers economy, I thought I would do some research and find the newest ways to dig up some scrap “literally” and how to find them. A word of caution, this will take work and communication, the days of driving your truck around the neighborhood could be long gone, especially if your neighbors are right behind you doing the same thing. Here are some different places to find scrap:

Different Places to Find Scrap

Your local auto mechanic- not the national chain type (Pep Boys) more like your local down home shop where the owner uses his own name on the door. It is possible that he is paying someone to haul off old rotors drums and other engine parts, that you can haul and sell at no charge to them. This might take some footwork or phone work at first, but the hauls could be huge. We suggest driving up and scouting, just to see if they keep a stock pile or how they are storing old parts first.

Pawn Shops- Always check first, but most pawn shops are regularly tossing old cords and junk they no longer sell or can sell due to the product being out of date (we liken it to spoilage in the food industry). Normally a pawn shop deals in high margins/high no loan pays, that is why they loan so little versus true value. So for smaller items they cannot wholesale, they may just junk it. it never hurts to check and ask.

Fair Grounds- Now this is either a couple times of year, or if you live near an active grounds where they have trade shows every week (knife and gun or RV) and carnivals, there is always something they need hauled and they will probably let you comb the grounds with a metal detector after an event.

These are just a few newer ideas we have seen lately and hopefully will have more to share in the future.