If the appliance still works, it's worth more to sell the used appliance to another consumer than it is to sell it for scrap metal, as of 2015. For example, top-freezer refrigerators are available used online for up to $300, while they bring between $15 and $20 for scrap.
Scrap metal is valued on the basis of weight and the quality and type of metal involved. A newer dryer tends to weigh, on average, about 100 pounds, and it brings in between $8 and $10 at a scrap lot. A washing machine weighs about twice as much, and so it yields between $18 and $22. Side-by-side refrigerators weigh more than a top-freezer refrigerator, and so they bring in closer to $25 at the scrap yard. A cast iron bathtub brings in between $30 and $40, depending on the exact weight.
Older appliances are often made from steel with a thicker gauge, and so their weight and value are significantly higher. One difficulty with selling a freezer or refrigerator for scrap is that a licensed professional has to take the freon out before it can go to the scrap yard. Many local utility companies and states have purchasing programs that pay up to $50 for old freezers or refrigerators, which is more than scrap yards pay, and the purchasing entities deal with the freon.