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Metal Recycling 101: A Quick Guide

Metal Recycling 101: A Quick Guide

Metals can be recycled over and over again without losing any of their qualities. Steel is by far the most recyclable material in the world, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Aluminium, silver, copper, gold, and brass are some of the other commonly recycled metals.

What Is the Purpose of Metal Recycling?

Metals are precious resources that can be recycled multiple times without losing their quality. Scrap metal has a monetary value, which encourages individuals to gather it for recycling.

There is even an environmental necessity in conjunction to a financial one. Metal recycling allows us to conserve natural sources while consuming less energy in the operation than creating new items from pure raw materials. Recycling reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases released into the atmosphere. It also saves a lot of money and allows manufacturing companies to lower their production costs. Recycling also generates employment.

Types of Metals Recycled

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are the two types of metals. Iron and carbon are combined to form ferrous metals. Alloy steel, carbon steel wrought iron, and cast iron are all popular ferrous metals.

Non-ferrous metals, but at the other hand, includes copper, aluminium, zinc, lead, and tin. Nonferrous metals are valuable metals. Platinum, gold, silver, iridium, and palladium are the most popular valuable metals.

The Method of Metal Recycling

The following are the main steps of the metal recycle process:


Metals have a different scrap metal pickup than other commodities due to their significant salvage value. As a result, it’s easier for them to be sold to salvage yards rather than thrown away in a landfill. Scrap autos are the most common source of scrap ferrous metal in the United States. 

Large steel constructions, train tracks, vessels, farm machinery, and, of course, household scrap are among the other sources. One-half of ferrous scrap supplies comes from prompt scrap, which is generated during the fabrication of new products.


Metals are separated from a combined scrap metal stream or a mixed multi-material trash stream during sorting. Sensors and Magnets   are utilized in automated recycling systems to aid in material sorting.


Metal is shred to enable for further processing. Shredding is used to speed up the melting process because shredded metals have a high surface-to-volume ratio.

As a consequence, they require far less energy to melt. Aluminium is usually transformed into tiny sheets, and steel is transformed into steel blocks.


In a huge furnace, scrap metals are melted. Each metal is placed in a furnace that is specifically built to melt that metal. This phase necessitates a significant quantity of energy.


Purification ensures that the finished product is of excellent quality and free of impurities. Electrolysis is among the most frequent purifying processes.


Solidifying process is that melted metals are transported by conveyer belt to cool and harden. Scrap metal are shaped into precise shapes, such as bar, which can be utilized to make a variety of metal products at this phase.

Metal Bars are transported in a variety of ways

The metals are prepared to use once they have chilled and hardened. They are then transferred to various manufacturers, where they are employed as raw materials in the manufacture of brand-new products.

When the goods manufactured out of these metal bars reach the end of their useful lives, the scrap metal process begins all over again.