What to do with Scrap Metal?
Shivankar Rawat 20 November 2022. 7:20 p.m. IST.
Scrap Metal is everywhere you look- from your brass door knobs to the components of a bike frame, scrap metal is prevalent everywhere.
What qualifies as Scrap Metal? Anything composed of at least 80% of metal: from refrigerators to airplanes and the wiring running through both, we are continuously surrounded by metal and therefore scrap metal products.
So why the abundance? The miraculous quality of metal that it can be used forever if extracted and repurposed makes it the shining– or lustrous– candidate to champion a model of recycling!
This quality is, however, undercut by the bitter fact that metals cannot be created. This double-edged sword makes recycling metal and scrap metal products both environmentally essential and logical to best utilize these qualities.
How to dispose of Scrap Metal?
When it comes to Scrap Metal, it can be confusing how to properly and ethically dispose of them.
Most people have come to realize a keener sense of responsibility towards the environment and know of basic responsible waste disposal. This is mirrored by businesses using ESG reporting to manage and showcase their environmental goals.
Some familiar household contenders for potential metal recycling include: air-conditioners, paint cans, window frames, pipe fittings, door-knobs, light fixtures, soda cans, pots and pans,,bike frames and old appliances.
So how do large businesses and manufacturers remove scrap metal from their campuses?
They use a waste disposal service such as Waste Management or CheckSammy for recycling scrap metal.
Such items’ sheer mass and weight require a customizable and capable service that responsibly and effectively takes care of the hauling, processing, and eventual metal recycling.
Individuals have also now turned to such services for their capability and catering. Compared to a local scrapyard, an on-demand service not only caters to you by hauling your recyclables, but also ensures efficient reuse and repurposing of the materials collected.
The Difference between a Ferrous Metal and a Non Ferrous Metal
Determining the difference between metals of different types and separating them is an essential first step when recycling. You can quickly identify the metal in your possession by pulling out a magnet.
Hint: You can always use magnets in the fridge. If the magnet stays on the metal, you have a ferrous metal!
Ferrous metals don’t have value at scrap yards or anywhere you want to sell scrap metal, although scrapyards can ensure they’re disposed of appropriately.
Conversely, non ferrous metals are not magnetic. Non-ferrous metals can be more valuable, with Copper being the most popularly known one. Check with your local service to understand what your non-ferrous scrap is worth!
The most significant sources of scrap ferrous metals in the U.S. are found in durable products such as appliances, tires, and furniture. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 27.8% of all recycled ferrous metals in 2018 came from these durable goods.
A whopping 4.7 million tons!
You guessed it, from the Latin ferrum and New Latin ferrous implies the existence of the iron- elemental symbol Fe.
The presence of iron determines whether an item has a magnetic field and will attract or be attracted to a magnet.
Below is a list of the most prominent metals found in homes, along with an indication of whether they are ferrous or non ferrous metals, to ease your separation and start your first step in scrap metal recycling!
Types of Scrap Metal Found in Your House
Ferrous (Will Attract a Magnet):
The most apparent household sources of cast iron are pans, skillets, and pots, but you can also get them from boilers, old bathtubs, and radiators.
Metal on sinks, lighting elements, kitchen appliances, cookware, and automotive parts.
Non-Ferrous (Will not attract a Magnet):
Old electrical appliances, plumbing pipes & Copper wiring, home decorations, and cookware. Copper is a highly desired commodity in scrap metal recycling.
Old door-knobs, drawer pulls, piping, vintage ornamental objects, and sometimes bed frames.
Tin cans or tin-coated copper wires are some examples. Additionally, some cookware, like pans for cakes or dishes for pies, can be made of tin due to its ability to withstand higher temperatures.
In addition to recycling old cans, you can also get Aluminum from old fencing, faulty electronic devices, bakeware and cookware, and bike frames.
When donating scrap metal to be recycled, separating them into ferrous and non-ferrous items is a good practice to help the recycling process. How to do it? Just use magnet sticks!
Why Should You Recycle Scrap Metal?
Metal can be recycled quickly and efficiently, making their careless disposal a waste.
Metals and old appliances can be repurposed and donated.
Air conditioners, Refrigeration units, old metallic home furnishings, tools, and pots & pans are just some items that would need minimum to no processing to be passed on to someone who can put them to good use.
Given that it takes less time and effort to process scrap metal than virgin ores, taking your recyclables to a recycling center or adopting a junk or scrap metal recycling service greatly contributes to preserving natural resources.
Saving the Environment:
The production from the recycling of metal requires significantly lower energy costs than mining virgin ores.
Recycling also saves water and reduces CO2 emissions, preserving air pollution. Reusing materials such as scrap steel, copper piping, and other metals also reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and uses reclaimed electricity for other uses, such as heating and lighting.
Reduces CO2 emissions. Reusing materials also reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. Some large appliances contain refrigerants producing toxic chemicals for surrounding land and water bodies.
States like Vermont have banned these items from landfills and encouraged citizens to seek responsible disposal methods and services. The list includes radioactive metals like uranium and plutonium and toxic metals like mercury.
However, some metals or metal items that scrap yards will not take, often for liability reasons. Other things they may charge due to the extra processing costs.
Checking with a scrapyard or service beforehand is wise.
Not only does scraping virgin ores deplete an exhaustible source, but new resources and areas must also be dedicated every time mining occurs, deforesting the local landscape and adding to the environment’s air pollution.
Given metals already being used do not need to be discarded and can be reprocessed with the same grade and quality- even more fortified, in fact, than its source – discarding becomes an unnecessary waste of time and resources while simultaneously deteriorating our environment and health.
Recycling metals not only significantly reduces waste but most recycled material- something as simple as recycled aluminum cans- add a significant amount of awareness and fortify the individual effort with those of big businesses.
What can you do?
- Use a metal recycling bin and determine which items and metal can be recycled:
Nails, nuts and bolts, bottle caps and wire, Aluminum cans, lawn furniture, cast iron skillets, griddles, pots & pans are just a few common metals and metal items you can toss in the bin- some which can act as good as new materials for the less fortunate.
- Support and champion the metal recycling industry: local scrap yards, a nearby recycling facility, subscribe to a scrap metal recycling service – CheckSammy has initiated deploying SmartBins for local municipalities and businesses that automatically alert their team when at 85% capacity so it can be picked up and hauled off!
- Make a buck! Keep scrap metal worth selling! Precious metals, copper piping, and other recyclable metals- Check with a local scrap yard or recycling facility to see what your haul is worth!
Advantages of Recycling Scrap Metal Versus Mining New Ores
Advances in metal refinement technologies now allow scrap metal to be fortified to make it more robust than it was before, elongating its life and durability.
Steel beams, construction materials, and car parts are just some examples of recycled materials repurposed with improved quality.
Did you know Scrap Metals have a lower melting point than their virgin origins?
Meaning less energy needs to be used to recycle scrap metal than mine raw materials, saving both time and resources for businesses.
Additional Advantages of Recycling Scrap Metal
Here are some exciting and surprising reasons why you should recycle scrap metal:
- Scrap metal is also a byproduct of steel manufacturing, creating an off-shoot recycling system in the manufacturing process.
- Did you know? Using a blast and reverberator furnace, recycled steel, stainless steel, and copper metal scrap can be turned into higher quality products
- Scrap metals of Iron purify Industrial wastewater supply systems. How? The Scrap Iron attracts, degrades, and detoxifies toxic chemicals in the water!
- The collection, processing, remanufacturing, and sale of recycled metals boost the economy by lowering the cost of manufacturing products, savings that reflect to the consumer through lower prices.
So what comes next?
Well, after collection and transportation to a facility, your scrap metal is then processed and repurposed to be sent back into the chain of high-demand usable goods and materials:
The Processing Scrap Metal
Foreign object removal: Scrap metal processing facilities first sort and strip the metals of foreign materials, such as plastic coating from wires.
Ferromagnetism: Once rid of non-metallic materials, the metals are then separated into ferrous and non-ferrous scrap via magnets, even though they have already
-ideally- been separated by the donator.
Metals are separated based on key physical features. Color, weight, and fundamental physical features.
Copper, for example, is yellowish-red in appearance and often malleable, while Aluminum is a clear silver.
The next separation comes in terms of purity: Magnets, Infrared scanning, and X-rays are used to determine the purity of the separated metals to best determine further processing and uses.
Metals are compressed and compacted using Hydraulic Machinery, cutting them into large pieces. The product is shredded into smaller pieces using hammer mills, which eases the melting of the metals to be repurposed.
The product is then melted in an industrial furnace. The furnace is set for each metal because each requires different heat levels. This is because different metals are made out of different properties.
The size of the metal and the furnace will impact how long it will take to melt. It can be anywhere from minutes to hours.
While this process does involve using energy, it is far less than needed to mine new metals.
The metals are finally purified through a process such as electrolysis – using an electric current to help assess and separate the purer content metals.
The general process for most metals involves the metals being passed under an industrial-grade magnet to separate each.
The resulting purified metal yields are added with chemicals to add desirable properties based on future use. The customised, melted product is put through a conveyor belt and relayed to a cooling chamber for solidification.
Some metals are melted into sheets, while others are into compacted blocks in a process called scrap metal baling.
After Scrap metal is processed, several sectors make use of the recycled product, decreasing carbon emissions and keeping these metals away from landfills and allowing a circular economy.
Manufacturers can then make recycled products out of these metals. The products are sold to consumers, and the process starts all over. From here, the recycled metal is used in industries such as Construction, Manufacturing, & Transportation.
Scrap Metal You Can’t Recycle Directly
Some appliances also contain environmentally harmful materials, like refrigerants, that facilities must remove and manage carefully. Therefore check with your recycling facility or service to ensure they handle hazardous waste.
Some items that most facilities do not take:
- Propane tanks (can be brought to salvage yards)
- Tanks of compressed gas (except certain helium tanks)
- Oil filters
- Electronics (like TVs, Computers, Laptops, and Desktop Printers)
What CheckSammy Can do:
Comes and Collects all your scrap metal- even those with hazardous waste- from your doorstep or business. A capable resource of trucks and equipment is sent via their CheckSammy Fleet to haul away all your scrap metal from your property, no matter the volume or facets of the order. Do not deal with the hazards of sharp edges and mass of these items; leave it to them to haul, sweep and handle all post-processing of your goods.
Lowest Competitive Pricing
Offers Prices 30-40% lower than all lead competitors in the space. With a wide array of 5000+ drivers, 25,000+ Reverse Recycling Partners, and a link of 100 + Global Recycling Partners, CheckSammy is akin to paying wholesale pricing for your waste to be taken away.
With Customers such as Amazon, Lowes & The Cheesecake Factory along with 60M pounds of waste diverted from landfills annually, CheckSammy is effectively reducing and managing waste for a cleaner Earth!
A deep set of comprehensive and extensive lines of data reporting details every speck of the post-pick-up process: live tracking, waste assessment including cataloging and weighing, processing, and repurposing details. Not only does this give individuals insights and transparency throughout the entire process, but it also provides verifiable encouragement via their proof from photos and reporting.
See images of your items throughout the entire recycling process. From pick-up to its final destination, follow your waste throughout the journey..
For Businesses and Organizations:
- All-in-one ESG reporting resources. Get granular with your recycling data. Drill down to the number of units, weights of specific items, percentage diverted from landfills, and more
- Leveraging the power of Microsoft BI, get customized data to fit your unique needs and goals.
- With SmartBINS and detailed analytics, the need for waste audits is eliminated- reports provide all the insight and recommendations you’ll need
- Get reports required for local, state, or federal compliance. All data is EnergyStar, GRESB, and LEED verifiable.
- Track and Trace: Get reports on your sustainability programs, with the entire chain of custody details and weights by item category. After every haul, you get an itemized catalog of all the waste they manage.
Capability and resources catered to your doorstep, CheckSammy has progressed the waste management arena with both prowess in technology but also welcoming service to match.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Take a positive step toward reducing landfill waste. Contact us to discuss how we can help you level up your sustainability initiatives with our commercial junk removal, recycling, and analytics solutions today.