Metal Recycling: Where Does It End Up?

Metal is a very widely recycled material, and many businesses of all shapes and sizes are sending various metals off for recycling every day. Recycling machinery has made it easier than ever to separate materials and prepare metal for being recycled. From metal separation recycling equipment to mobile picking stations, there are so many options for disposing of this versatile material.

One of the reasons metal is such a popular option for popping in recycling machinery is that it can be recycled time and time again without degrading. This means it is still high quality, even after being reused multiple times. Whether you are running a busy office or a well-stocked retail store, recycling metal is crucial. Today, we are looking at what happens to metals when they are recycled, and how each type of metal is handled differently by recycling equipment.

The Metal Recycling Process

The recycling process for metal starts off at your business premises. You might recycle metal by collecting it in a recycling bin, or by using recycling machines. Small items such as aluminium, tin or steel cans can often be collected from your company, but large items might need to be sent to a recycling centre. After collection, recycling centres will sort the metal by type, usually using large magnets or other metal separation equipment.

Once sorted into various types of metal, the materials will be shredded in order to make them easier to melt. Before being melted, shredded metal is compressed using a baler so that it can be transferred easily. The baled cubes of metal are then placed into a furnace which heats it until it is molten. This molten metal is carefully poured into moulds or casters and allowed to cool and harden. After this, the metal is put into a recycling machine which rolls it down to flat sheets. The metal sheets can then be used to create new materials including appliances, tubes, pipes, and cans.

Types Of Metal Recycling

Different types of metals are recycled in slightly different ways, and then used to create new everyday objects. Some of the most common types of metal recycling include:

  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is one of the most commonly recycled materials around. It is resistant to bacterial growth, easy to clean and can be sterilised, which makes it popular for surgical instruments. Stainless steel is also very strong and rust resistant, making it a great option for cookware, vehicle parts and buildings.
  • Aluminium: Most of the aluminium used today was produced many years ago. It takes just 5% of the energy required for sourcing new aluminium to recycling the existing material. It is most commonly found in beverage cans, food tins and foil. Aluminium is also used for car engines, window frames, and saucepans.
  • Lead: Lead must be recycled very carefully because it has a high toxicity rate and can release harmful substances. It is most commonly used in batteries, but you will also find it in aprons used to shield x-rays, radiation, and nuclear waste.

For more information on metal recycling equipment, speak with our team of experts today.