You might go to the local scrap metal buyer and learn the sorts. If you sort out the metals, you can maximize the payments you receive. If you are willing to spend some time tearing things apart, you can get a little more cash, but keep in mind the amount of time you spend on it. If you aren't worried about the time, then it isn't an issue. Also find out what all they DO NOT accept. I have a place I can get rid of appliances, but have to drive a couple hours away to do it, so not exactly a regular run. For the most part, there isn't many places in this state that accept freezers and refrigerators without a disposal license, and many of them still don't take them. That is why I have to go so far. I happen to still have need to go there every so often, so I take a load once in a while when I have to make the run anyway.
Best things for separating and getting good return is a/c units. The coils are a premium, and f you want to go so far as getting the copper coils out of the compressors, the return is pretty good. Best cash I got was tearing down ice makers, the chiller was solid copper, and it was HEAVY... Stainless steel pizza ovens did pretty good separated, as did aluminum and stainless coolers. It was a restaurant cleanup job.... General tin these days is doing decent as well. I recommend a trailer if you can, doesn't have to be big, car hauler size is generally adequate, but you can sort the better paying stuff onto the truck, and the tin can be piled on the trailer. Talk to the mechanics shops, see if they have someone taking the scrap, maybe offer to pay a percentage if you wish. Brake rotors, hubs, halfshafts all pay well with minimal work. I take care o a local tire and service shop, and as a part of the service of taking the scrap, I take ALL the scrap, the good paying and the lesser paying. Someone else has been picking up the rotors occasionally, but rarely take the lesser stuff. I don't pay, so I don't complain. Some shops have their scrap locked up too, hard to say exactly why.
Watch for ads in the free stuff section on Craig's list plenty of people post up to come get stuff.
Cliff...did you see the there was group of folks in Charlotte that were stealing vases from cemetaries and selling them for scrap????
There was also a case here in Salisbury of people stealing A/C copper pipes and scrapping it. There were quite a few strip malls with no A/C in July and August because of it.
And finally, some kids my brother went to high school with, really good boys, actually...got caught stealing from private property and scrapping whatever they found. One of them is the County Commisioners brother, one went to Catawba on a full academic scholarship, and one went somewhere in Va on a football scholarship.
Cliff, do you happen to know of a place that will take a stripped down engine, basically short blocks and some junked t-cases? Will most places take these in as scrap?