Recycling is a worthwhile endeavor. It can contribute to saving the earth’s natural resources. For some people, recycling can be a source of income. What’s good about recycling metal is its capacity to keep its original properties even if it is recycled many times.
Worldwide, the most recycled metal is steel. Other metals that are recycling priorities are gold, brass, silver, copper, and aluminum.
Why should we recycle metals?
Metals are valuable because it takes time and money to extract them from the earth and process them. With the characteristic of never lowering and altering their properties, manufacturers can save money using recycled metals. If you have old appliances, tools, equipment, furniture, and containers with metal parts, you can bring them to a scrap yard. You can easily earn some extra cash by recycling metal items that you no longer need.
Besides the extra cash, recycling minimizes pollution and requires less energy to process the scrap metals. Recycling helps create jobs, and manufacturers can reduce their production costs, passing on the savings to customers.
What metals are recyclable?
If you are interested in recycling metals, know their qualifications. The term ferrous metal refers to metal that has iron and carbon content. Examples of ferrous metals are cast iron, wrought iron, alloy steel, and carbon steel. The non-ferrous metals are tin, zinc, lead, copper, and aluminum.
Note that you cannot recycle precious metals like palladium, iridium, silver, platinum, and gold. Of course, you do not bring them to a scrap yard but to a jeweler, if you want to recycle them.
What are the steps in metal recycling?
The metal recycling process goes through several stages.
- Collection. You start with the collection of scrap metals. Do not throw them in the trash along with household waste because the trash collectors will send them to a landfill. Segregate the scrap metals because they are valuable. Most scrap ferrous metals come from scrap vehicles, consumer scrap, farm equipment, ships, railroad tracks, and steel structures.
- Sorting. It is better to sort the scrap metals before bringing them to the scrap yard, as each type has a corresponding price. Many types of scrap metals attach to magnets. This will help you sort them. One more thing, you will put a higher value on the scrap metals if you clean them first.
- Processing. After sorting, the scrap yard will shred the metals. Breaking the metals into smaller pieces prepares them for the next step.
- Melting. The melting process of each type of metal requires a particular furnace. Each type differs in the level of heat it needs to melt a specific metal.
- Purification. The recycler must ensure that the melted metals are free of contaminants to maintain their high quality. The most common purification method is electrolysis, wherein electric current passes through the substance to cause it to undergo a chemical change.
- Solidifying. The melted metals will pass along a conveyor to allow them to cool and solidify. It forms the scrap metals into different shapes as preparation for their intended use.
- Transport and delivery. The recycled metals are ready to use once they are cool and solid. The recycler delivers them to different factories where they treat the recycled metals as raw materials to produce new metal products.
Remember to be a sensible recycler. If you want to recycle metals, make sure you clean them. Remove the plastic and paper wrappers and labels on metal containers when you segregate them.