You may not realize it, but calling on a professional junk removal service can actually help the environment. That’s right. When you dispose of your old items with a team of junk removal teams, you can actually help the environment because these teams do everything they can to keep as many items out of landfills as possible. In fact, most junk removal services strive to recycle and repurpose (usually through donations) as many of your old items as possible. And when it comes to recycling old items, scrap metals are one of the easiest of your old materials to be recycled.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at how scrap metal recycling works and how this process can make a positive impact on the environment, helping us to reduce our need for new products and preserve more natural resources.
Why is it Important to Recycle Scrap Metal?
Now more than ever, it’s important to protect our environment and preserve our natural resources. With a litany of environmental threats, including urban development, overpopulation, pollution, habitat loss, and the effects of climate change, we all need to do our part—no matter how big or small—to protect our planet. Recycling metals help keep the item from sitting on a landfill and even reduces our need to produce brand new metal materials.
Additionally, it’s valuable to recycle scrap metal from a sheer economic standpoint. Metal is a very valuable material that is used, to some degree, in thousands of different products we use every day. From buildings to vehicles to the appliances in your kitchen, metal is essential for our way of life.
And therefore, metal is incredibly valuable from a financial perspective. When you recycle metals, depending on your outlet, you can actually turn a profit from it. One example comes from selling your old car that won’t run anymore. Many companies will buy these “junk” cars for one primary purpose: they can then recycle the vehicle and turn a profit from the valuable metals that make up your vehicle. Whether for environmental or financial reasons (or both), recycling metal matters.
What Types of Metal Can Be Recycled?
In an effort to make their practices as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible, junk removal teams work to recycle as many of your old items and materials as possible—including scrap metal. Metal is an amazing substance for many reasons, but one of them is the fact that it can be easily recycled. Even when a piece of scrap metal is recycled multiple times, it usually still retains its original properties and strength.
Most junk removal services can recycle many common scrap metals, including:
- Aluminum: aluminum is one of the most commonly recycled materials that we find in a variety of products, such as aluminum cans.
- Brass: this metal can be melted down and reused for making a variety of different products.
- Copper: commonly found in wires, old pipes, and plumbing systems.
- Cast iron: you can easily recycle the metal from your cast iron skillets, pots, and pans
- Steel: believe it or not, but steel is actually the most recycled material on the planet. Even after numerous recycling processes, steel retains its properties, making it an ideal scrap metal for recycling.
- Zinc: commonly found in a variety of construction materials, zinc can be recycled and then used to protect steel from the corrosion process.
- Tin: tin can be recycled to be used for many new products, such as food cans, electronics, pots, pans, and other household items.
- Nickel: when recycled, nickel can be used in smartphones, kitchen utensils, belt buckles, and much more.
Are There Any Metals That Cannot Be Safely Recycled?
While professional junk removal services can haul away and safely dispose of and recycle most items, including most types of scrap metal, thee are certain types of metal that most of these companies will not take.
Metal products that usually are not recycled include:
- Propane gas tanks.
- Motor oil cans.
- Paint cans.
- Certain vehicle parts.
- Fluorescent lights as they may contain mercury.
- Radioactive materials.
- Lead found in old televisions.
Of course, if you’re not sure if some of your items containing metal can be safely hauled away or recycled, all you have to do is make a quick call. Call up your local junk removal team and inform them about which items you’re concerned about. They’ll be able to quickly determine if they can take the item, and usually, can even offer you a free quote.
How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Work?
When metals are taken to a scrap yard or recycling center, this is where the scrap metal recycling process begins. First, the scrap metal items go through a weigh-in station. Then, the scrap metal is sorted and separated through various means, including visual identification, magnets, spectrometers, and even electrical currents. It’s critical to keep metals sorted because the type of metal needs to meet certain quality standards.
Then, the metal is cut down to specific sizes and shapes to make the melting process easier. Scrap metal can be prepared via shredding, torching, or baling. Once the pieces of metal are sized and processed, they then leave the yard and go to a mill, foundry, or smelter so that the scraps can be turned into new pieces of metal.
Next, the melting and refining process occurs. While this process change depending on the type of metal, it usually comes down to the needed level of purity. Some metals even go through an additional process, like electrolysis, to create something as close as possible to new metal. Then, when the contaminants are cleared away, molten metal is transformed as it solidifies. The final form can be in a bar, wire, coil, or even sheet of metal. When the solidifying process is completed, the metal is ready to be used again.
Conclusion – How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Work?
With so many environmental issues to address, it’s important we all do our part to protect our planet. If you have metal items or old junk to get rid of, call on a team of junk removal pros. They may be able to recycle most—if not all—of your scrap metal items. This is an effective way to both prevent more materials from simply sitting on a landfill and to reduce our need from creating even more new products.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.