Published on January 29th, 2017 | by Guest Contributor
Things You Should Know about Metal Recycling
Unlike many other products, scrap metal is infinitely recyclable, so if you are so concerned about saving the environment from the ill effects of pollution, you must take a step forward towards metal recycling.
What is metal recycling?
Metal recycling involves processing waste metal to give it a new shape. This processed metal can then come to use in a number of industries, like construction, electronic and spare parts manufacturing. Here are some of the benefits of metal recycling:
- Reduces pollution enormously
- Helps save precious mineral ores
- Helps save a number of resources
- Reduces energy consumption
Know your Metal
Some people find it difficult to differentiate among the scrap they possess. This may be because they are unaware of some basic features about them.
- Copper: Copper is a red-coloured material. A brand new copper block will look shiny and spotless. On the other hand, worn out copper rod will look a little brownish and will be covered with green rust patches.
- Aluminium: Aluminium is a silver-coloured material, usually covered in white paint. All your soft drink cans and some kitchen utensils are made of aluminium. It is also used in some electrical equipments. It very easy to bend an aluminium plate if it is thin.
- Brass: Brass carries a golden yellow kind of luster. If you look thoroughly, you might find it imparting slight red shine as well. Brass is often used to make door keys, door handles, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures and plumbing equipments.
- Steel: Steel is one of the most commonly used metals throughout the world. It gets attracted by a magnet and can easily rust. There are very few manufacturers in the world that do not use steel.
Assessing if the metal is ferrous or nonferrous
Ferrous metal is that which contains of a large amount of iron and small amounts of other metals. Nonferrous metal is metals that do not contain iron. You can identify ferrous and nonferrous metals using a magnet before you visit a scrap yard. This is an important concept for metal recycling, as iron and steel do not have a high value in the scrap yard. Copper, aluminium, brass and stainless steel fall under the nonferrous group have a higher value.
Iron and steel fall into the ferrous group, and will attract a magnet, while nonferrous metals will NOT stick to a magnet.
As most metals have some value, people are more inclined to recycle their metals. For years many people would just dump scrap metal in Sydney in open fields, but as the value for recycled materials has increased, construction companies, plumbers, electricians, electrical equipment manufacturing companies, spare part production companies and car repair garages are some of the major sellers of waste metals to recycling yards.
This post was sponsored by Sydney Copper Recycling; image from Wikimedia Commons, By Airman 1st Class Dennis Sloan – Public Domain