Recycling scrap metal doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can seem like this is the most difficult kind of a waste to get off your property, but not if you know how to take care of this kind of recycling process properly.
There are many companies that can help you to recycle scrap metal, but you should know more about the process before you start looking for the right company to help you out. Learning everything you need to know about scrap metal recycling can help you to take care of the scrap metal at your business properly.
Knowing how scrap metal is recycled and reused can help you to make a good plan for its removal from your home or business property. Construction sites or factory locations are the most common place where scrap metal is generated, but you might have scrap metal on your personal property that will need to be removed from time to time as well.
What is Scrap Metal?
First of all, let’s talk about what scrap metal actually is. This can be important to know if you are looking for a resolution to your waste products. Scrap metal is old, surplus, or waste metal. There are two kinds of scrap metal products. One is ferrous, and the other is non-ferrous.
Ferrous metals are made of steel or iron. Non-ferrous metals are made up of metals that will not lose their chemical properties during the recycling process. Non-ferrous metals include copper, aluminum, gold, silver, and zinc. These can be recycled again and again, which makes them really valuable.
Ferrous is a word that comes from Latin. It means iron and refers to both iron and steel. Iron is the most commonly-occurring metal in the earth’s crust. This means that nearly all ferrous metals are magnetic, and metal scrap yards can actually use huge magnets to move waste around due to this.
Most ferrous metals are found in appliances, tires, and furniture. Construction beams, ductwork, rebar, and electrical wiring, as well as cars, railroad scrap, rotors, drums, and motor blocks, are also mostly composed of ferrous metals. Containers and packaging are also made up of ferrous metals.
Non-ferrous metals can vary in value, with gold and silver being the most valuable among them. This is only about 10% of the recyclable metals that are produced from each ton of scrap, but these products are much more valuable than ferrous metals.
They are also much more costly to the environment to produce and extract. Prices for non-ferrous metals can vary widely during a given month, and they are usually sold per pound.
Not all scrap metal can be recycled, and there are various components of scrap metal that cannot be recycled at all for any reason. Companies that handle recycling these products will have to sort out any of these offending products to prevent contamination of an entire load of scrap.
The non-recyclable metals are:
- Radioactive materials
- Toxic metals like mercury
Some companies will not even accept these materials in their plant due to liability issues, while others will take them to ensure they are processed but only for an extra fee.
For those who are not contracted on a regular basis for pickup with a metal recycling company, it is a good idea to call in advance before you bring anything to a metal recycling location that could be contaminated with these items.
Where to Recycle Scrap Metal?
You will need to recycle your scrap metals in specific places. This is key with metals recycling, and you cannot just drop your metals into your recycling bin with paper products. The method used for recycling paper products versus scrap metals will be different, so you can’t expect them to be recycled the same way.
When you need to recycle metals, you should work with a skilled metals recycling business. These companies have the ability to pick up these metals and take them to the right processing locations to be used again. You must have a plan in place if you are creating waste metals on a regular basis to get this debris picked up regularly.
This will help to prevent messy waste piles, and also helps you save money compared to dropping off your own waste by the truckload on your own.
Scrap metals are processed differently depending on if they are ferrous or non-ferrous, like we talked about above. These metals can be sorted by the company that picks up your waste metal products, but most companies ask that the two kinds of metals are disposed of in unique dumpsters per type. This allows the dumpsters to be picked up on a regular basis.
How is Scrap Metal Recycled?
There are various steps you should follow to recycle metals. Knowing how all the steps work can help make it clear why you need to sort your waste metals and it can also help you to be more informed about what the process requires.
The first step in the scrap metal recycling process is the sorting. The scrap metals are sorted from the non-ferrous metals. This is a common requirement, but some companies will expect that you place each kind of metal into different dumpsters for pick up.
This might not apply to personal recycling, but companies are usually asked to separate scrap and non-ferrous metals from the start.
The metals are sorted for quality as well, making sure that the quality standards for each kind of metal are met before acceptance. Rigorous manual identification is needed to sort metals, but machinery, magnets, and electrical currents are also used to help identify what kinds of metals are present.
2. Processing and Melting
Next is the processing stage. This is done after the metals are cut down into manageable sizes and shapes. This makes the melting process easier and more reliable. Melting can only be done after large pieces are cut down to a reasonable size.
Metals that are melted create impurities that rise to the surface and then can be removed. The metals that are left behind are pure and can be used again for other items. This pure metal is all that can actually be recycled after the melting process.
The last step in the scrap metal recycling process for metals is when the raw molten metals are finished and poured into metal bars, metal wire, or even sheets of metals. There are many moulds that are used to create these new raw metal items. The exact shape and size of the various items can vary based on what is in demand at the time.
What Are the Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metals?
There are many reasons that you might want to recycle the scrap metals that are created through your construction or work processes. Even if you only have scrap metal that is on your property from a former owner, you should not just throw it out.
Being able to recycle essential items like metals can make a big impact on the well-being of the environment in many ways. And there are other benefits as well. These benefits include:
You can actually make a lot of money off of recycling scrap metals when you work with certain scrap metal recycling companies. This offers you the benefit of taking the time to put these items into a dumpster or to drop them off for recycling so that they are not wasted.
When you have scrap on hand that is not being used, you must remember that you probably did pay for it. So why not make some money off of it and help the environment at the same time?
· Conservation of Raw Materials
This is a key reason to make sure to recycle anything that can be used again. Rather than filling up the landfills with your waste products and harming the environment, you can choose to scrap metal recycling and do something good for the world. Recycling will help ensure there are plenty of raw materials for new products as needed for years to come.
Conservation also helps with energy conservation, as harvesting metal and metal-related components are very energy inefficient. This is one of the best ways to help with the reduction of greenhouse gasses, which are of primary concern for the environment at this time.
· Reduces Waste in Landfills
This is one of the growing concerns in many places around the world. Wastes are exported to other countries in vast numbers every year because many large countries have run out of places to process wastes in their own landfills.
These wastes are typically not managed in a responsible way in these other locations, leading to damage to the ocean, wildlife populations, and more.
You can help to keep metal out of landfills by making sure that you recycle it properly.. Most people do not realize just how harmful metals are to the environment when they are dropped off at landfills, but once you know about this damage and how bad it can be, you will want to jump right in with the right recycling process.
Metals actually break down when dropped into the dump, and this can create all kinds of chemicals that are not safe for plants, wildlife, or people. Making sure that pure metal is extracted from these wastes and that the offal from melting down metals is carefully disposed of can make a huge impact on the environment.
How Do I Get Connected With a Scrap Metal Recycling Company?
If you are not sure if you have a scrap metal recycling location near you, you will need to do some research. Most companies that take care of metal products for recycling do not take other kinds of recycling, making them very specialized in this kind of work.
You should be able to tell right off which companies are the right ones for your needs. You could have a distance to drive to drop off your metal wastes, depending on your current location. But some companies will actually bring you a dumpster to load and then they can come and pick up the wastes later when you are done putting them into the dumpster.
Make sure that you have used a magnet to sort out the metal types before you drop them off on your own. Having them pre-weighed and pre-sorted can help a lot when it comes to dropping off metal wastes on a one-time basis.
There might also be a minimum amount that is needed to drop off on your own, so be sure that you check this out as well before you just show up at a recycling location. The more prepared you are, the easier the drop-off process will be.
If you own a business and you create metal waste on a daily basis, you will want to contract with a local metal recycling processing company for regular pickup of these materials. As mentioned before, you might be given a dumpster for each kind of recyclable metal, or you could be offered a large, mixed dumpster.
The sorting process can be a big help to the company in question, and many businesses have magnets on hand to help them to sort the metals properly before pickup is done.Your dumpster will typically be picked up once a week or once every two weeks, depending on your needs and your contract agreement.
You will be able to pick from various styles of dumpsters as well in most cases. This can be a big help if you need to load your dumpster from the top or if you are set up to need to load the dumpster from the side.
Companies that work with those who create lots of metal wastes will usually offer lots of different contract options to make sure that your metal scrap is collected in a timely manner and that it is safely conveyed to the processing plant.
Recycling Metals Can Help Save the Environment
There are so many reasons that you might want to know more about how metals are recycled. Saving the environment is a key aspect of taking care of metal recycling properly, but you can also make some money and remove messes from your property.
For businesses that create metal scrap every day, there are great solutions for this need based on contracts that can be set up with local waste management companies. You can trust that you will get all of your metal waste handled with ease if you work with a skilled recycling company for this need.
Recycling metals helps to keep renewable resources on hand and while preventing the production of greenhouse gasses that are linked with the harvesting of metal products. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be recycled, and you can help to prevent metal from ending up in landfills and harming local water supplies, wildlife, and people who reside in landfills.
There are many reasons that this is the responsible thing to do, and you will not regret taking the time to set up a plan for your scrap metal recycling needs. Take a look at some of the tips above to learn everything you need to know about scrap metal recycling.