Can You Recycle Old Rusted Farm Implements?

Farms are notorious for generating piles of rusty, broken equipment, tools and tires. At the end of your harvest season, you may find yourself with quite a bit of worn out equipment. What can you do to get rid of this eyesore and possibly turn a profit? In this article, we discuss the many ways that you can reduce, reuse and recycle your old, rusted farm implements. Read on to learn more.

5 Ways To Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Old Farm Implements

reduce, reuse and recycle your old, rusted farm implements

1. Recycle

If you actually have a good recycling program in your area, you may be able to simply gather up your old, rusty farm implements and haul them off to the recycling center. This is a good way to make a little money and create some new space.

Recycling centers are typically interested in steel, copper and iron tools and implements. If you happen to have some old machinery that was manufactured prior to 1960, you’ll make a little more money because these items tend to be heavier.

Here are some of the best candidates for recycling on a farm:

  • Tractors, engines & parts
  • Furrowing equipment
  • Winnowing machines
  • Steel tubes & pipes
  • Threshing machines
  • Furrowing motors
  • Skid steer loaders
  • Sifting machines
  • Drag harrows
  • Flail mowers
  • Plated steel
  • Cultivators
  • Combines
  • Hog oilers
  • Swathers
  • Solder
  • Balers
  • Plows

To get the most for your scrap metal, you’ll want to sort it by type: ferrous and nonferrous:

  1. Ferrous metals are those that contain iron and iron alloy. Examples include wrought iron and cast iron.
  2. Nonferrous metals are those that do not contain these elements. Use a magnet to sort the ferrous metals (steel and iron) from the nonferrous metals (aluminum, brass and copper). A magnet will be drawn to the ferrous metals.

Sorting your old metals into ferrous and nonferrous groupings will get you more money for the nonferrous. These rarer metals are priced a little higher per pound, but if you submit your metals all mixed in together, you’ll get the lower ferrous price for the lot.

If you don’t have a magnet, you can tell ferrous and nonferrous metals apart because ferrous metals rust and nonferrous ones do not.

2. Trade in old equipment

If you don’t have a recycling center in your area, and/or if the equipment you want to get rid of is not really useless, you may be able to trade it in on new, up-to-date models.

Check your local farm equipment dealers at the end of the harvest season when they’re ready to clear the floor for newer models.

You may be able to get some excellent deals; get good credit for your old equipment and walk away with brand-new equipment ready for your next harvest.

3. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

If you don’t have a dealer who will buy or trade for your old equipment, you may be able to sell it to another individual. Place ads in your local papers and online forums with good, clear images of the metal equipment you wish to sell.

Keep in mind that some items that may seem absolutely useless to you may be sought after by farmers looking for equipment to part out or even nontraditional artists.

4. Part it out

To make the most money selling your old equipment for parts, separate the parts out yourself, clean them up and advertise them individually for sale.

5. Pursue your own artistic endeavors

Lots of interesting, folksy, abstract types of art can be made from bits and pieces of used farm equipment and machinery. A skilled welder can make all sorts of interesting art using machine parts and scrap metal.

You can create gates, tables, fire pits, statuary and much more with a pile of metal and a good imagination.

Nicky Ellis
Nicky has been an editor at Farm & Animals since 2019. Farm animals have been in her life from her earliest memories, and she learned to ride a horse when she was 5. She is a mom of three who spends all her free time with her family and friends, her mare Joy, or just sipping her favorite cup of tea.

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