How Is Metal Recycled? The Process Explained

Mon, Dec 12, 2022 at 10:05AM

How Is Metal Recycled? The Process Explained

Metal recycling plays an important role in ensuring both the economic and environmental sustainability of the industry. Both household and commercial scrap metal can be easily and affordability recycled into raw material for new products, construction, and other applications.

Collection for Metal Recycling

The first step in recycling metal is its collection, which can be handled similarly to garbage pickup. Homeowners and businesses rely on regular pickups from designated bins at their property, so make sure to sort your recyclables properly to avoid issues downstream. Dumpster rentals are another option for large projects and pickups.

Separating Different Metals

Scrap metal is taken to a facility where it is sorted. Metals will be sorted into specific piles depending on the specific types of material, including:

• Steel
• Brass
• Aluminum
• Other metals

While sorting by hand still plays a part, most of this process is handled by automated machinery. Magnets are useful for separating steel out of the scrap, and other techniques are used for other metals.

Shredding Scrap Metal

Once sorted, the first step in processing the metals for recycling is shredding them. A variety of machines rip and tear the metal apart, relying on hardened teeth to get the job done. Breaking the metals down into smaller pieces makes melting them down for the next step more efficient, helping reduce costs and save the environment.

Melting and Purification

Metal is easily recycled by melting it down. A furnace heats the scrap to its appropriate melting point. At this stage, further contaminants are removed using electrolysis, an electrochemical process that draws non-desirable metals toward electrodes, where they are accumulated and then removed.

Shaping the Recycled Metal

Molten metal is then cast into ingots of specific sizes and shapes, which can be further processed into sheets, tubes, bars, and other shapes before being sold to factories and other buyers to be used as raw materials for new products. These recycled metals are as strong as new metals and have less of an environmental impact.

Do Your Part to Recycle Metals

Do you want to do your part to help save the environment? You can take advantage of metal recycling in Gainesville and the surrounding areas to do just that. Find the right company to handle your recycling pickups, and make sure to sort your recyclables to make sure that any metal passing through your home or business is recycled again.

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