Waste Disposal in Watford | Ethical Recycling Practices

Our scrap metal merchants in Watford are experts in all scrap metal types. If you plan to have a clearance yourself, or if you hire our services to manage a clearance on your behalf, we think it’s important that you can identify different types of scrap metal too. We’ve put a short guide together that gives our Hertfordshire and North West London customers a valuable insight into the five most common scrap metals and how to recognise them.

If this page fails to answer any questions you have on different metal types, please contact us on 020 8421 9194.


Did you know that apart from oxygen and silicon, aluminium happens to be the most plentiful mineral on the planet? Aluminium is easily recognisable to scrap metal merchants because it is light in weight. In comparison to iron, another common scrap metal we handle at our Watford yard, aluminium is three times lighter. It is also resistant to corrosion. The most common source of aluminium for Careys Scrap Metal is from aluminium wheels, or from window frames derived from clearance work in or around the Watford area.

Copper Copper is a particularly valuable scrap metal and one which is instantly recognisable with our Hertfordshire and North West London customers. Our own scrap metal merchants recognise it through its distinctive red or brown colour, although it happens to be pink in pure form. Scrap copper often derives from boiler, tank and pipework clearance projects. We have one of the very few scrap metal yards in the Watford area to accept scrap cable, which contains copper. The Statue of Liberty was a brown copper construction when first built but, because of oxidation over the years, it now has its famous green patina.

Iron and Steel

The most common scrap metals we derive from clearance work in Watford, Hertfordshire and North West London are iron and steel. Iron is strong, heavy and highly magnetic but corrodes easily when it comes into contact with water or oxygen. This is why it requires a primer when used in manufacturing, particularly on car panels ahead of painting. Our scrap metal merchants encounter iron all the time, probably because it happens to be the most common element we have, and is part of the planet’s inner and outer core.


Most commonly used in the building, construction and roofing sectors, lead is a heavy and dense scrap metal – up to 150% denser than iron, in fact. Our scrap metal merchants recognise lead because it is soft and carves easily using a sharp edge. We often find lead during factory clearance work in the Watford area – and even in the pencils we use! The Romans are known to have mixed syrup in lead containers and this is why historians claim the famous Roman Empire partly collapsed through large-scale lead poisoning.


The scrap metal merchants at our Watford yard frequently monitor market rates for scrap metal to ensure our customers get the best value from their clearance projects. Brass is roughly half as valuable as copper, and is most commonly found in our own line of work when we encounter pipe valves, fluid manifolds and many similar items. Brass is actually a metal alloy with core components of copper and zinc.

Need help identifying scrap metal or assistance with a clearance in Watford? Call 020 8421 9194 to talk to our scrap metal merchants.