I've been experimenting with metal scrapping lately. I have a day job so I am considering this to be more of a "hobby". It started when I went for a walk near my office during lunch time and found dozens and dozens of old and new soda cans in a nearby wooded area where people seem to have been dumping trash for millenia. Over a relatively short period of time I was able to collect there in other similar areas about $40 worth of cans. Not much, but not bad either, considering that I am not planning to make it my day job. Also, I thought of this as a "community cleanup effort with benefits"
Anyway, now I want to see if I can expand this to other types of metals, but to make it as profitable as possible without (i) spending huge amounts of time and gas or (ii) turning my backyard into a scrapyard. I don't have a truck, just a station wagon, and I don't have hours to spend driving around looking for scrap. I do, however, occasionally see some stuff sitting at the curb in our neighborhood on a trash pickup day. I also take apart computers and computer components.
I guess this rules out steel and anything bulky regardless of what it's made of. Instead, I should be looking for copper, brass, and aluminum.
What I am looking for are resources, hopefully in one place, that would describe what type of "expensive" metals can be found in what common types of things people throw away. For instance, does a simple lawnmower contain anything other than steel parts? If I take apart a desktop computer, are there any types of cables that are worth salvaging? How much work is involved before I can take something to a scrapyard?
I don't know if it's realistic to expect a single resource covering all these questions, but in any case, I'll appreciate any help!