The Basics of Recycling Metal

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Recycling is an integral part of being as efficient and environmentally-conscious as possible. When you read the word "recycling", chances are you picture the average American family collecting metals, plastics, and paper materials in separate bins for recycling. While it's certainly true that many families and individuals are doing their part to be efficient, many companies are also stepping up to the plate and doing their own recycling and reusing of materials. Metal is a very common material that is both used and recycled, and it's found just about anywhere in both residential and commercial industries.


With an average of 300+ million aluminum and steel products being used each day, it makes sense to collect metal scraps and then turn them over to a metal recycling and management plant for re-purposing. But while aluminum and steel are the two most common metals used, the percentage of them that are being recycled and then used for other purposes has been decreasing. It's important to keep in mind not just the monetary value of recycling these and other metals, but the importance of conserving the resources we have by taking part in the three Rs: reducing, recycling, and reusing.

Companies can take part in recycling metal, often within their own factories. Melting down metals is a relatively simply process, and there are many companies who will gladly purchase recycled metal for use in their own construction and manufacturing projects.


As an individual, you can easily take part in recycling. To recycle metal, simply keep an extra bin in your home that is just for metal scraps. Anything that is metal, from an empty soup can to an empty soda can to discarded metal pull-tabs, can be recycled. Simply make sure metal cans are empty, and remove any paper or plastic wrapping. Once your metal collection is full, you can take it to a local metal recycling plant. These plants, such as Sims Redwood City, will accept your collection, further sort the metals by their makeup (steel will be separated from iron and aluminum, for example; copper and other ores may be put aside for special uses), and then melt them down for re-use.