Variable Pricing in Los Angeles Depending on Items

Aluminum scrap has been a mainstay of the recycling industry for decades. Every kid learns early on that collecting used aluminum cans is a quick (or maybe not so quick) way to make some easy spending money.  However, there’s more to scrap aluminum pricing than flattened soda cans. Depending on the item and how the aluminum is brought to the scrap yard you can see prices ranging from a few cents to over one dollar per pound.

Scrap aluminum melted at foundry in Los Angeles, CA
Scrap aluminum melted at foundry in Los Angeles, CA

Seasoned scrappers know what’s what and they’re on the lookout for the highest-paying items, but for those who are just getting into scrap metal recycling as a pastime, hobby or side-hustle it pays—literally—to know which items fetch the greatest amount.

If we look at Los Angeles area scrap metal prices, which are an average of what all the different Southern California scrap metal dealers are paying , we can see that Al/Cu (aluminum/copper) reefers pay the most. As of this writing the average price in Los Angeles is $1.43 per pound. Note that prices will vary around the country and that our prices are above the national average. Taking a look at pricing around the country it’s surprising to see that in Dallas/Forth Worth, scrap dealers are paying out $1.95 per pound, while in Odessa, TX they’re only paying $0.91 per pound. Such are the vagaries of the scrap metal market.

Scrap aluminum ends up here

Returning to Los Angeles, the aluminum cans we just mentioned pay around sixty cents a pound and aluminum car wheels about 70 cents. It may be obvious but it bears repeating that car wheels (rims) are much bulkier than cans and much heavier. A veteran scrapper will know that rims will have a much higher return on investment than cans and consider how long it would take the average person to collect the same amount of aluminum in cans as opposed to rims. These are just some of the tricks of the trade and methods used by our customers who bring their metal scrap to exchange for money.

As with any metal, the quality and state in which the metal arrives at our recycling center also determines price. Painted aluminum will bring a lower price than bare metal. Dirty metals pay less than clean ones. It makes perfect sense when you take into account the extra work required to clean dirty metals prior to melting them down at the foundry.

Scrap prices will vary from day to day and week to week but one call to your local metal recycling facility will let you know how much you stand to earn by selling your scrap for cash.