Metal scrap removal and recycling is one of the oldest and most efficient forms of recycling. Because metal can be recycled over and over without losing its properties, it is one of the most commonly recycled materials in the U.S., with steel, aluminum, copper, silver, brass, and gold topping the list of most commonly recycled metals.
The process of recycling metal begins with getting scrap metal to the recycler. The wide demand for recycled metal means that it is more valuable than other kinds of recycling, so consumers are motivated to recycle and to bring small quantities to the recyclers themselves. For large amounts of scrap, Michigan consumers can call one of several scrap metal removal services in Chase, MI, and the surrounding areas. Manufacturers provide a large percentage of recycled metals when they get rid of excess or used materials, but the recycling industry depends primarily on consumers to recycle their used metal materials. For example, scrapped cars are an important source of recycled metals. Another metal consumers frequently recycle is aluminum, found in various cans and foil products. Those “tin” cans in your pantry are actually steel with a thin layer of tin, and highly recyclable. Many electronic items and broken jewelry account for much of the precious metal that is recycled today.
Once metals arrive at the recycling center, the first task is to sort them. Ferrous metals such as iron and steel are easy to sort using magnets to pull them away from other materials. Nonferrous metals, which are generally more valuable and therefore more likely to be recovered for recycling, are identified by their color and weight. The only metals not fit for recycling are those that are considered hazardous materials, such as mercury, or metals contaminated by radiation.
Sorted metal is then shredded to make it easier to divide, store, and melt. The melted metal is further purified using an electrolysis process to force impurities to rise or sink, separating them from the actual metal element. Finally, the processed and purified metal is made into sheets or blocks for reuse.
Steel is the most recycled material in the world, used in so much industry in the United States that smelters which recycle metals are concentrated in regions that manufacture steel goods. Recycled metal is used in manufacturing cars, appliances, aircraft, ductwork, home fixtures, and many other products. Precious metals (including copper, silver, brass, and gold) are used in electronics as well as jewelry. Many food and beverage packages are made from recycled metals. The recycling process is so efficient that metals you drop off for recycling today may be back on the shelves of your grocery store in as little as two months from now.
Metal recycling is a large industry in the United States, employing tens of thousands of people. The low cost of recycled metals helps lower the prices of manufactured goods. All of these benefits, however, depend on consumers like you to turn in your unneeded metals, appliances, vehicles and other items containing metal to be brought into the recycling process.