SCRAP METAL TO LOOK OUT FOR AT CHRISTMAS
The Christmas season is in full swing. The chances are that you’ve already begun to make your home ready for the festive period. Hanging your decorations, adorning the tree with ornaments, buying presents for loved ones and getting ready for the office party. The last thing you would expect to have on your to do list is “search for scrap metal amongst my holiday items.” It may not seem obvious at first, but even an event like Christmas boasts bountiful opportunities to collect scrap metal. You could even make some money for those extra special presents you’ve had your eye on. Our short guide offers inspiration on all the scrap metal to look out for at Christmas time.
How many times have you wound those fairy lights around the Christmas tree, only to turn them on and realise they’re not working? Before throwing them out in frustration, think about putting them to one side to weigh in. String lights come in various lengths and designs but they all have one thing in common. A cord of insulated metal wire will run the length of them to carry the electricity to the light bulbs, making them twinkle on your tree.
Most commonly these wires will be made of copper. Aluminium can be used too due to it’s equal levels of conductivity. Some fairy lights have decorative housings surrounding the bulbs made from various metals. Stripping the wires down and weighing them in as a bundle with the housings could make for a nice bonus this Christmas.
With increased lighting being used, it’s an obvious point that you’re going to need more plug socket space. Extension leads, like fairy lights above are powered by insulated copper or aluminium wiring to carry the current to your electrical devices.
Although many modern ornaments are made of ceramic or plastic, traditionally decorations were made to be more long lasting. They would be constructed of durable materials such as glass, brass, pewter, silver, gold and copper. Brass and pewter are alloys – a mixture of two or more different metals. Therefore they would be worth less than objects that are pure such as copper or silver.
The use of tinsel dates back to 1610 in Nuremburg, Germany. It was originally made from strands of pure silver as this metal best reflected the candlelight. However, it tarnished very quickly so was later made from cheaper metals such as copper and tin instead. In 1914 these metals were needed for the war effort so tinsel was being made of aluminium. Later it was made from lead which turned out to be poisonous. These days tinsel is made from PVC. If you are lucky enough to own any vintage tinsel or your parents have some very old tinsel containing metal lying about in their attics, it can be weighed in for scrap!
If you have a traditional real Christmas tree, then the chances are that you use a metal stand to hold it upright. Some metals are worth significantly more than others when it comes to weighing them in. Non-ferrous metals, that don’t contain iron, are typically worth more than ferrous metals that do. However, iron is still a good metal to weigh in whatever form it comes in.
Cast iron is iron that has been melted, and allowed to cool into shape after it has been poured into a mould. Wrought iron is iron that gets heated and is then worked into a shape with tools and is the most common metal used to shape tree stands. If you are in need of a replacement or you want to be more environmentally friendly and replace it with a fake tree, weigh in your old stand for scrap.
The Christmas dinner table gets set with the finest cutlery. The set that only gets brought out on special occasions. If you don’t use it often, instead of throwing those old knives and forks away, weigh them in instead. Most commonly cutlery is made from stainless steel, but silver is often used to make more luxurious sets.
Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to go and hunt down some Christmas metals! If you find some but don’t know what type of metal you’ve got your hands on, visit our blog post here. If you are still unsure or have any questions about anything else, call the KAS team on 01942 88 33 22.
Alternatively, drop us a message on our website here.