Metal recycling is a major waste management technique. Recycling of these items is done in industries as well as in small amounts. Here is a look at what happens to metal when you toss it into a bin.
Scrap metal recycling
The overall process of collecting, scrapping, and melting metals that were part of products that are not used anymore is scrap metal recycling. Once recycled, it can be used for new products as a raw material. The material ranges from the metal we find in the chassis of a car to simple cans of soda found in our refrigerator. The scrap metal market is reaching a promising height in the near future, and it will urge more people to take up recycling metal instead of dumping such indispensable items. In a recent study, they concluded that almost 42% of steel currently used in the US comes from reusable, good quality scrap material.
Types of metals that are recycled
- Ferrous Metal
These are metals that contain iron. The derivatives of ferrous metal like steel are the most recycled item in the world. There is obsolete scrap, which included bed springs, building, and car materials, and prompt scrap, which is just the leftover from manufacturing processes. It surprisingly makes up almost half of all the recycled scrap metal.
- Non- Ferrous Metal
These are metals that contain copper, brass, aluminum, tin, zinc, and nickel. Aluminum attracts more recyclers as the degradation is comparatively low compared to other metals. The recycling rate for aluminum is 16% and 66% for other non-ferrous metals.
How is the metal recycled?
The first step in the recycling process, as suggested by Sydney scrap metal, is to collect metal from industries as well as scrapyards. After collecting, it is brought to a single metal scrapyard or tossed into a metal recycling bin. In this scrapyard, the metal is organized and sorted according to various industry-approved practices and checks.
Most recycling systems use magnets or automated systems to carry out the sorting process. They separate different metals from each other in a sorting area for further processing. There will be separate piles of aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, and more towards the end.
The shredding part is when the leftover plastic and concrete or other materials from the metal are removed, which then is taken into shredders that break down into smaller pieces. The shredding makes it easier to move to the next step.
Small shredded pieces are taken to the furnace. The process here takes a few minutes to even several hours sometimes. This method may look like an energy-intensive step, but it is much easier compared to the process of extracting metals from the raw materials.