The holidays are here. If money's tight right now, you might be looking for ways to scrape together some much-needed cash. If you've got scrap metal in your yard, you're already on your way to obtaining the cash you need. Salvaging scrap metal is a great way to protect the environment – keeping it out of the landfills – and put some extra money in your pocket. If you've never salvaged scrap metal before, there are some things you should know about the process. Here are four steps that will help you avoid problems when you head to the metal salvage yard.

Dress Properly

Before you head out to the salvage yard, you need to be dressed for the occasion. You're going to be handling exposed metal, which could have sharp edges and other hidden hazards. The best way to protect yourself from injuries is to wear the proper clothing and safety gear.

  • Long pants – to protect your legs
  • Long-sleeved shirts – to protect your arms
  • Heavy-duty gloves – to protect your hands
  • Back brace – to prevent back injuries when lifting heavy metal objects
  • Steel-toed boots – to prevent foot injuries

Sort Your Metal

If you're going to be taking in an assortment of metals, such as wiring, aluminum siding, or metal air conditioner frames, be sure to sort them according to metal types. This is particularly important when it comes to wiring. If your salvage items aren't sorted, you'll receive the bulk rate for the lowest priced metal in the mix. That mistake can lead to a substantial loss of revenue from your salvaged metal. Make sure you get the most money you can for your salvaged metal, by sorting before you go.

Strip Your Wiring

If your salvage items include wiring, take the time to strip off the protective coating. Stripping the coating off the wiring will allow you – and the salvage yard workers – to identify the type of wiring you're bringing in. Knowing the difference will ensure that your receive the right price for your wire.

Know the Prices Beforehand

When it comes to making money of scrap metal, it's important that you know the prices beforehand. Salvage yards pay different prices for each type of metal, and the prices depend on the current value for each type. Before you start scrapping metal, make sure you take the time to research the going rates for the metals that you have on hand.

If you're in need of some extra cash, take a look around your yard. Scrap metal is a great way to earn money.