When you think about recycling, you usually think of plastic bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans. However, larger waste can also be recycled – like appliances, filing cabinets, vehicles, and much more. Ferrous metals, which are made of iron and steel, and non-ferrous metals, which are made of every other type of metal, can both be recycled! An easy way to tell the difference between the two categories of metals is by testing them to see if they’re magnetic. If the item is magnetic, it’s ferrous; if not, it’s non-ferrous. While both types of metals can be recycled, they generally sell for different prices when you scrap them.
Scrap Metal Recycling Process
The first step in the scrap metal recycling process is sorting the metals into each different type of metal: aluminum, steel, copper, etc. Next the metals are compressed together to save space in the scrap yard, and then they are crushed and shredded into small pieces. The next step is to melt the metals in a large furnace, a process that takes several hours but is made shorter by shredding the metals beforehand. The molten metal is then checked for impurities to ensure that there is only one type of metal in the batch. Finally, the metal is re-solidified and is ready to use for all kinds of products like appliances, building materials, food packaging, furniture, and more!
Scrap Metal Recycling Facts
- Although almost every type of metal can be recycled over and over again, only 34% of metals in the United State’s waste management system is recycled every year
- The most recycled item in the world is the aluminum can
- Recycling one aluminum can can save enough energy to power a lightbulb for four hours
- One ton of steel recycled saves enough energy to power 18 million homes for a year
- The magnetic properties of steel and iron makes sorting the two metals much easier and faster in recycling facilities
- Generally, products need to be made of at least 50% metal in order to be scrapped
- Copper, a reddish brown metal, is one of the most valuable common metals, so recycling it can get you a good amount of cash
Middleboro Recycling Center, located in southeast Massachusetts, specializes in scrap metal recycling. If you or your business is cleaning out your home, garage, or office and have junk metals, we are here to make it worth your while. Make some extra cash and help out the environment by recycling your scrap metals with Middleboro Recycling Center! Give us a call at (508) 946-2383 or visit our website to learn more!