Contrary to popular opinion, scrap metal recycling is actually a great way to reuse resources and avoid the high economic and environmental costs of mining. Because metal is common in almost any product and item that we use on a daily basis, scrap metal will not easily downgrade. Even so, much more recycling could be done than what is actually happening in the global market. As a matter of fact, only about 30% of metals are currently recycled, meaning that 70% of metals could be recycled, but aren’t.
Learn more about the most commonly recycled scrap metals and their sources so that you can make sure that you’re sustainably and efficiently recycling as much as possible. As an added bonus, scrap metal recyclers pay for metals that people bring in. If you collect your scrap metal, over time, you can make some additional income. Check out the list below to see if you might have any of these most commonly recycled metals on hand:
This metal, once used commonly for pipes, barbecues, gas heaters and more can be found in older items around the home or industrial site. Because iron is highly corrosive, newer, more resistant metals such as steel have replaced iron as the top pick for many items. But, it is still useful for scrap metal. It can be melted down and used for creating new items.
Steel is one of the most widely used metals in large appliances and products. Cars, chairs, shelves and household appliances are just a few of its many uses. It is also often used for construction purposes. You’d be surprised to know that many cans you find in the supermarket are also made of steel. Both steel and iron have magnetic properties, making them some of the easiest metals to recycle. This is because impurities are easily separated from the metal with the use of a strong magnet.
Aluminum is popularly known for its use in making aluminum cans for beverages. However, this versatile metal can also be found in car parts, window pieces, siding, gutters, doors and more. This common metal is also frequently recycled. It’s especially known for its quick turnaround time from scrap metal to consumer product or packaging. Aluminum can go from scrap metal to the supermarket shelf in as little as 60 days!
This heavier metal is a combination of zinc and copper. It is popular for making light fixtures, bathroom fixtures (faucets), door handles, keys and other plumbing pieces. Brass typically commands a higher price than other common metals due to the presence of copper, which is quite valuable.
Copper is a valuable metal that commands good prices as scrap metal. It is used in a variety of applications such as pipes, electrical components, and electric wires. This is the third most used metal in manufacturing, which shows how common it is. Hold on to your old copper and recycle it for some extra cash.
The more awareness about recycling there is, the more scrap metal can be recycled and will eventually lead to a significant reduction in the impact on humans and the environment.
Scrap metal is one of the most valuable products you can recycle, and it encompasses so many consumer products as well as almost all industries. From appliances to batteries to cans to clothes hangers, metal is everywhere even in our home and workplace. Recycling metal is important not only in keeping a limited supply material out of landfills but also because it can make you money while staying environmentally conscious.
Metal Recycling Preparation
When it comes to scrap metal, the general rule is that a product needs to be at least 50 percent metal so you can be sure that it is safe to be used again and again. Even if that metal is surrounded by other materials like plastic, it’s worth recycling if it’s made mostly out of metal mainly because it is in demand almost everywhere.
If you have products with only a small amount of metal but it’s easy to remove, make sure that you could easily separate the metal without getting it contaminated. For example, a plastic three-ring binder is not scrapped metal, but remove the metal rings because it could be used again.
Scrap metal is classified as either ferrous which contains iron, such as steel and nonferrous. So, you will want to identify whether your metal is ferrous or nonferrous. The way to do this is to carefully organize and categorize using a magnet. Ferrous metals stick to a magnet while nonferrous metals don’t.
You may also use WM’s recycling directory, which is one of the most reliable in the industry, to find a scrap metal recycler, and contact the company or visit its website to find out how much they are willing to pay for it and if there’s a minimum amount of material you need to bring.
Keep in mind that most scrap metal recyclers will require you to bring identification when you ask for a recycle in order to prevent people from stealing scrap metal (e.g., road signs, metal barriers) and selling it for scrap.
Find scrap metal drop-off locations near you using an app which enables recycling locator.
Why Recycle Metal
Metal is also one of the few items that you can regularly recycle for money. However, the catch is you will usually get paid by the pound. This makes it a great fundraising opportunity as well as a perfect project for charities and advocacies.
Nonferrous scrap makes up only 10 percent of the total material recycled in the U.S.; however, it earns more than half of scrap recycling revenue.
Metal is in limited supply, and while we can manufacture more glass and plastic from natural resources, we can’t make more aluminum, copper, and steel.
WM Metals and Alloys processed waste materials on an industrial scale with years of experience and expertise, selling the recovered metals and other raw materials worldwide. The use of recycled materials is environmentally friendly, which significantly reduces mining, environmental pollution, and energy consumption. Depending on the metal in question, the use of recycled metals as raw materials reduces energy consumption up to 60‒95%.
So if you are interested in buying alloy scrap or selling a quantity of alloy scrap, please do not hesitate to contact us at +65 86182069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to get into the scrap metal and scrap iron trade, knowing the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is highly important. More importantly, you need to be aware that not only can you profit from trading metals, you can also help the environment by contributing to ferrous and non-ferrous metal recycling, which can help separate harmful and contaminated parts out of the environment.
If you’re interested in recycling scrap metal, the first step is to identify the difference between the two key types of scrap: ferrous and non-ferrous metals. There are different types of each and they’re used in different ways by almost all industries in the world.
Let’s take a closer look at how both of these metals are used today.
What are ferrous metals used for?
Ferrous metals are considered as alloys — this means that they are made from a combination of several different metals. Known for its strength and durability, ferrous metals can be easily spotted in the construction industry. Skyscrapers , shipping containers, and even industrial piping all use carbon steel or commonly known as as structural steel.
Ferrous metals have a particular magnetic component, which makes them particularly useful for electrical applications. However, ferrous metals have a high carbon content, which means they can rust more easily when exposed to moisture.
Ferrous Metal Recycling
Other forms of ferrous metals include:
- Steel, which serves to harden the iron.
- Carbon steel, which is common in machine tools.
- Alloy steel, a popular metal used in construction projects.
- Cast iron, frequently found in water pipes and automobile engines.
- Wrought Iron, used often in creating nails, chains and barbed wire.
- Steel, 100% recyclable and, depending on its life-cycle, can be used again and again.
What are non-ferrous metals used for?
Non-ferrous metals are known to be very light; however, its strength makes it extremely durable. That strength and durability combined with their light weight, is appealing especially for the airline industry.
Moreover, its biggest advantage is its malleability, or ability to be pressed out of shape without breaking.
With the absence of iron content, it gives them a higher resistance to rust and corrosion, which is why they often get used in roofing projects or in creating outdoor signs. More importantly, it is also non-magnetic, which is why they get used in a lot of electronic and wiring applications.
Non-ferrous Metal Recycling
Other forms of non-ferrous metals include:
- Aluminum, used for building cars, railways and kitchen utensils.
- Copper, principally used by the electrical industry for wiring and other conductors
- Lead, widely used in electrical power cables, batteries, and the construction of buildings.
- Zinc can be machined easily and is widely used in galvanizing
- Tin is commonly used to make tin cans for food.
According to data from USGS and the Commerce Department, in 2017 the United States was able to achieve more than 8.5 million metric tons of non-ferrous scrap. ISRI estimates that this non-ferrous scrap was worth more than $30 billion, enough to sustain the environment protection regardless of the presence of industries.
Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals are common in most products manufactured in the world. They can easily be found everywhere, including homes, cars, and office buildings. Any business going through a remodeling or reconstruction project, or replacing aging pipes or electrical systems, chances are you have scrap metal available that can be recycled.
Your scrap metal can provide you with additional revenue. It can also provide all of us with a cleaner and healthier environment.