Each year, over 100 million tons of scrap waste gets repurposed thanks to recycling. When you’re considering recycling your scrap metal, it’s important to understand the price determinants. 

Here are a few of the factors that can impact the prices of scrap metal:

Supply & Demand

A rise in prices can be contributed to the growing need for metal in various industries like technology and transportation. As these industries grow, more metals are being used to manufacture everything from cell phones to aircrafts. 

The time of year may influence supply & demand, as well. During warm months, high amounts of metal might be sought after by construction industries, causing a decrease in supply and an increase in prices.

Quality & Quantity of Scrap

A high quantity of high-quality metals is a formula for positive gain for both the buyer and the seller. In times when demand is high for durable metals like iron & copper, you may be able to get more for your scrap of these metals. Similarly, during times when never-before-used ores of metal are less available, the value of scrap metal may increase. 


When more people are disposing of metal, it falls out of circulation and decreases the supply. This cycle demonstrates the importance of reuse and recycling- keeping metal in circulation means lowering the risk of a shortage. 

It also means preserving natural resources by reducing the need to mine new metal ores, in turn reducing the amount of energy used in the mining & refining processes. New metal ores are limited. So, once we run out, we’ll rely solely on existing recyclable scrap for materials. 

Production & Transportation Costs

If the costs of energy and fuel are up, it may affect the costs of production and transportation for the recycler. Often times, the collection, separation, and preparation of scrap metals happens at the scrap yard. Then, it gets transported to a foundry or mill for melting, purification, and solidifying. Read more about Cohen’s recycling process here

Find a Cohen location & visit our recycling guide for a complete list of items that Cohen accepts for recycling!