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5 common metals that can be recycled

  Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Almost all metals can be recycled into new high-quality metals, as their properties are not diminished during the recycling process. Environmentally, metal recycling has many perks, as fewer raw materials need to be extracted which reduces carbon emissions, and financial reward as many companies will buy and recycle your unwanted metal.

Metals suitable for recycling are generally sorted into ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and most are readily available in your home or your everyday life.

What is the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals?

The main difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is that ferrous metals contain iron and non-ferrous metals don’t. Ferrous metals are also mostly magnetic, whereas non-ferrous don’t contain magnetic properties, making it relatively easy to tell them apart.

What are the five most common metals that can be recycled?

Steel

As a ferrous metal, steel is a major component in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, cars, machines and appliances used across the world. According to environmental agencies, most steel items today contain between 25% and 100% recycled content.

Aluminium

Aluminium is a similarly popular metal that’s capable of being melted at comparatively lower temperatures than steel, making it particularly attractive for recycling. Aluminium cans use just 5% of the energy needed to produce them from scratch during the recycling process; as well as releasing only 5% of the amount of greenhouse gases. Just a single recycled aluminium can could save enough energy to power a 100-watt bulb for up to four hours

Sources for recycled aluminium include end-of-life vehicles, aircraft, boats, bicycles, computers, cookware, gutters, siding and electrical wiring.

Copper

Premium-grade copper can hold up to 95% of the value of the original primary metal itself. Scrap copper wiring can be one of the easiest sources of scrap metal: sourced from the base of televisions and computer monitors; inside laptops and DVD players; within large and small electrical appliances; and in handheld electronics.

Brass

Malleable, conductive and resistant to corrosion and fatigue, brass is a popular metal for recycling. Energy costs for recycling brass are lower compared to those of other metals, and it can be recycled multiple times without diminishing the composition. Common items which contain brass that could be recycled include plumbing fixtures and vehicle radiators.

Zinc

One of the most often overlooked scrap metals, zinc can be recycled indefinitely without the loss of chemical or physical properties. End-of-life vehicles can be pulled apart and parts containing zinc can be recycled and transformed into like-for-like parts with the same material quality.

If you’ve discovered some scrap metal at home and you’d like to know how much it is worth to you, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll give you an up-to-the-minute valuation.

At ASM Metal Recycling we don’t just take in aluminium and steel for recycling. Take a look at some of the other metals you can scrap with us, with a quick guide as to where you can find these types of metals at home.

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