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Old brass, including brass doorknobs, door knockers, fireplace accessories, and decorative items, can be recycled by many recycling centers. Brass items are usually melted down into their component elements, which consist of copper, zinc, lead, and tin. In addition to recycling, you can also sell old brass knobs to dealers who specialize in scrap metal and will sell it to manufacturers for reuse.

Types of Brass, Recycling, and Reuse

Most doorknobs are made of yellow brass, which is the most common kind of brass, often used in making lamp bases and other household items. Brass also comes in two other types: red brass (used in valving and commercial applications), and semi-red brass (also used in commercial and industrial valving and other items).

According to the Action Recycling Center, all three kinds of brass--including all household brass, such as doorknobs and other fittings--are accepted for recycling and are bought by scrap metal dealers for reuse. However, always ask your local recycling center if they take brass. If they don’t, ask if they know of other local resources for donating or selling brass doorknobs for reuse.

Other Items to Recycle with Brass Knobs

You’ll get a better deal for your brass doorknobs if you save up a lot of other household brass to take with them rather than taking in a handful at a time. For example, if you hunt or shoot, you can recycle spent shell jackets made of brass. Make sure that they are mostly clear of gunpowder and residue before handing them in to a recycling center or taking them to a scrap metal dealer.

Selling Brass for Reuse

If you sell your brass doorknobs for reuse, you can check daily prices for scrap metals at the Action Recycling Center site. This way you’ll know what the going price is for finished, new brass on the day you decide to sell, so that you can negotiate an appropriate price with the dealer for your used household brass knobs.