A scrap yard, also called a junk yard or salvage yard, can prove to be an exciting hunting ground to find useful things that can be repurposed and given a second life. With recycling a top priority on most people's minds these days, rummaging through a scrap yard can reveal numerous useful things that still have some life left in them. Find scrap yards in your area by looking under "scrap", "junk" and "recyclers" in the yellow pages online.
Before you start your scavenger hunt, however, there are a few safety rules to observe when visiting your local scrap yard. Wear sturdy hard soled shoes with no open toes to protect your feet when you are walking around piles of material that may have sharp or broken edges. Be sure to wear work gloves when reaching in to pick up something to protect your hands. It's a good idea to wear protective eyewear as well. Most scrap yards have designated walkways or paths to help make it easier for you to find items without crawling atop piles of junk, which can be extremely dangerous. Observe all the posted rules when visiting a scrap yard.
If you are renovating or redecorating your home, scrap yards can be great places to find still usable door knobs, door hardware, drawer pulls and other small decorative pieces that with a little elbow grease and cleaning cloth can sparkle again like new. You can often find plumbing hardware such as spigots and faucets that are still useful.
If you are handy at repairing furniture, you can often find old chairs in need of recaning or tables and chests of drawers that may need repair to the legs or a fresh coat of paint or wood wax. Still usable mirrors and picture frames often wind up at the scrap yard, easy to recondition with a little cleaning and polishing.
Many scrap yards have sections devoted to automobiles and are great places for finding certain body parts and interior parts that might be good replacements for those you are currently using that are broken or worn out. Very often scrap yards contain parts for cars no longer being manufactured. It may take some time and several visits to several different scrap yards, but if you are persistent, you can often find just the part you are looking for at a reasonable price that just needs a little cosmetic work. Some scrap yards also are good finds for tires that can be repurposed as garden planters or transformed into backyard swings.
If you are looking for something specific at a scrap yard and don't locate it on your first visit, leave word with the scrap yard management so they can contact you if that particular item happens to come in and you are willing to wait in order to find it.