Metal Recycling Process

How Does the Metal Recycling Process Actually Work in Practice?

Over 292.4 million tons of waste were recorded in the US in 2018. Recycling our waste is essential in trying to bring that number down to a more manageable level.

Paper, plastic, and glass recycling are common forms of recycling, however, are you familiar with metal recycling?

Metal recycling is a lot easier to do than you think. In this article, we will explain the process of recycling metal and how it helps to lower our energy consumption levels.

Which Are the Commonly Recycled Metals?

Many metal scraps these days can melt down to form new products for reusability purposes. The most sought-after metals are ones that don’t change or lose their durability or strength in the recycling process.

The metals that are commonly recycled are:

  • aluminum
  • copper
  • steel
  • platinum
  • nickel
  • gallium
  • gold
  • silver

What Is the Metal Recycling Process?

Firstly, the metals must be sorted into types before any processes can begin. There also might be metal pieces that are too large for the recycling process, so you will need to be cut them down into smaller pieces.

Metal shredders are ideal for those pieces of metal that are too big for the recycling process. It’s also essential that handlers wear protective gear and eye goggles when using a metal shredder to protect from any flying pieces of shrapnel.

The metal is then cleaned and exposed to extremely high temperatures in the melting process. The metal will become molten and be tested for purity.

After finding purity levels, you can add the metal to other elements or compounds to create alloys.

These are then compressed into slabs, rods, billets, or ingots which you can then recycle into making new products.

How to Recycle Scrap Metal

It’s not well known throughout the US, but most metals can be recycled and there are financial incentives. If you are a business, you can take your scrap metal to local recycling firms and will receive a fee for your scrap metal.

If this job isn’t something you can dedicate spending time to, there’s usually plenty of metal scrappers around who will come and pick up your scrap metal and do it for you.

Recycling your scrap metal has a positive effect on the environment and also contributes to helping reduce your carbon footprint.

It means that fewer raw materials are having to be mined and made, and the original metal products are being reused for a different purpose.

The Facts About Metal Recycling

Currently, only 30% of metals are being recycled. This is still far too low when in comparison to other types of recycling.

Scrap metal shouldn’t continue to end up in landfills. Often metals can emit toxic chemicals such as mercury, which can be damaging to soil as well as water sources near a landfill.

This could also have health repercussions for anyone or any animals that come into contact with that area. That’s why metal recycling should be a priority.

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