Wondering what to do with the leftovers after your repairman comes to replace your garage door parts? The good news is that most garage door repair companies will remove any old or discarded pieces from the repair and recycle your old parts for free.
However, if your repair was a DIY project or the technician didn’t take your old parts when they finished the project, you may be left wondering what to do with all that scrap metal. Worse, what if it was a full garage door installation and now you have the broken garage door that was replaced just sitting in your driveway where the repairman left it? That’s certainly not something you (or your neighbors) want sitting in a pile in your yard, and you don’t want to take up space inside your garage. You also don’t want to throw it away or take it to the landfill, because metals are recyclable. But it needs to go somewhere, and fast.
How to Recycle Scrap Metal
You can look up metal recycling in your area to find a facility that accepts it. You may also be able to sell it for some cash, as scrap metal does have some value. The first thing you’ll want to do is determine whether your metal is ferrous (contains iron) or non-ferrous (doesn’t contain iron). The easiest way to do this is to grab a magnet (even one from your refrigerator) and see which of the scrap metal objects it is attracted to. If the magnet feels like it’s pulling towards that piece of metal, you’re dealing with a ferrous metal, usually steel or iron. Recycling ferrous metals won’t make you much money, but disposing of it properly keeps it out of landfills and puts it back to use. If the magnet doesn’t pull toward the object, you’re dealing with a non-ferrous metal, which includes metals like copper, aluminum and brass. These materials are more lucrative to sell or trade in.
Whatever you do, don’t throw your scrap metal away. If it’s inconvenient to take it to a facility and/or you don’t want to put the effort into selling it, in many communities you can find people who will take it off your hands, usually for free. They then sell it, so essentially you are “paying” them in scrap metal for the service of convenience they provide by hauling it away. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals are actually infinitely recyclable, meaning they have an unlimited lifespan and won’t lose their properties upon being melted and manipulated into a new shape for a different use.
Why You Should Recycle Scrap Metal
There are many reasons it’s important to recycle anything when you can, but recycling scrap metal especially can have positive impacts on our consumption of energy, natural resources, landfills and even our economy at a large enough scale. Recycling scrap metal to create new products conserves energy and natural resources because it lessens the need to mine and process new metals from the earth. For instance, recycling aluminum saves about 80 percent of the energy that was used to process it originally. Recycling your scrap metal also slows landfill growth, an ever expanding problem, because metals have a long half-life, meaning they take a really long time to biodegrade. Another implication of recycling scrap metals, and just recycling in general, is helping to build the recycling industry itself; each year the recycling industry creates 500,000+ new jobs and pulls in a significant amount of revenue. Because the US exports many recycled material products, you’re also aiding trade supplies and trade relations.
So whether you had a new overhead garage door installed or had your broken garage door repaired and now you’ve got some garage door parts or an entire defunct garage door on your hands, it’s important to think about the effects of just sending it to the landfill versus recycling it for re-use.
Take care of your environment by recycling old parts from your garage!