Scrap Metal Recycling: What You Need to Know

Posted on: 4 May 2022


You probably think of scrap metal as the stuff that's lying around in your garage –– old bicycles, rusted tools and so on. But scrap metal is more than just a collection of junk. It's a valuable resource that can be recycled and reused to create new products.

So whether you're a business owner or just someone who wants to do their part to help the environment, read on to understand the main things about scrap metal recycling.

What Kind of Metals Can Be Recycled?

Ferrous metals, like iron and steel, are commonly recycled scrap metals. These metals are prized for their strength and durability, so they're often used in construction.

Non-ferrous metals, like aluminium, copper and brass are also recyclable. These metals are often used in electrical wiring and plumbing because of their conductivity and durability.

How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Work?

Now that you know what kind of scrap metals can be recycled, you might wonder how the process works.

Once scrap metal has been collected, it's taken to a recycling facility, where it is sorted into different criteria, such as the type of metal or the presence of contaminants.

In other words, experts sort the scrap metal by grade. The grade refers to the quality of the metal. For example, "clean" copper is less contaminated than "dirty" copper. So the two metals can't be mixed together.

The scrap metal recycling process also involves a series of steps designed to extract valuable metals from discarded materials. Once sorted, the scrap is sent to a refinery where it undergoes various treatments designed to extract any usable metals from within. For example, the scrap might be treated with an acid solution to leach out precious metals like gold and silver.

Once the desired metals have been extracted, they go through additional processing steps before being cleaned and melted down to form new products. They can also be sold to manufacturers as they are.

The scrap metal recycling process is, therefore, quite complex. But the end result is that scrap metal can be reused over and over again to create new products. This is good news for both you and the environment. The process ensures that people make efficient use of the available natural resources.

If you have scrap metal lying around in your home, don't just throw it away—recycle it. Scrap metal recycling is a great way to give old materials a new life and help the environment at the same time.