Many metallic materials also have a great advantage: they can be recycled many times over. The less positive aspect is that it cannot be done at home, as the treatment processes are complicated and must be carried out in specialized plants.
Recycling metal: where to dispose of it?
The container where to dispose of metal depends on its shape and condition. It is most common to want to recycle metal containers or small items, such as glass jar lids. In these cases, as long as the object is clean of chemicals or remains of what it contained, it should be thrown in the yellow container. In the case of residues, they should be deposited in a clean point, where other objects such as pans, utensils, or tools should also be deposited.
Most metals can be melted down to create new metals. Aluminum, lead, iron, steel, copper, silver, and gold are easily recycled when they are not mixed with other elements. They melt and change shape or adapt to the same shape as before, greatly reducing production costs and environmental impact.
Also, the advice: check the current scrap metal prices before choosing a recycling company.
The metal recycling process
But what happens to metals after they are thrown away? The recycling process begins when the user separates his waste. The different metals are then collected and sorted to be processed separately.
Aluminum and steel cans are compressed and taken to the corresponding recycling plant. They are then crushed, and a magnet separates the steel from the aluminum. From this point on, each of the metals follows a different process. Aluminum is melted and converted into ingots that will later be transformed into new cans or objects. On the other hand, steel will also be melted down and transformed into new objects, such as tin cans, which are mostly made of steel with a layer of tin inside to prevent oxidation.
Which metals can be recycled?
Metal objects that can be recycled include canning or beer cans, glass jar lids, buttons, sheet metal, aluminum foil, wires, frying pans or saucepans, etc.
Everyday metal objects that can be recycled usually have different materials or other elements. Therefore, the first step in the treatment is to separate these compounds, but that does not mean that they are not recyclable. Recyclable metals are:
- Steel: This is a very common metal found in cars, appliances, cans, or nails, among other things. Steel products are long-lasting and, in addition, it is a material that does not lose properties when recycled.
- Aluminum: This metal is present in objects such as soda cans. The production of virgin aluminum is a great expense (15,000kw/h per ton) and great pollution, so its recycling is a huge saving.
- Other metals: Copper, bronze, brass, lead, gold, silver, etc., can be recycled. Although the recycling process is somewhat more expensive, it is always less than the cost of producing them from scratch.
Metals that cannot be recycled are those that are contaminated, such as paint buckets or toxic waste, or aerosol cans. These wastes must be deposited in a clean point.