Sustainably recycling with a scrap metal shredder

You may know that recycled metal is a backbone of many manufacturing industries. But do you know how large quantities of metal are broken down, sorted, and processed, and how improvements to the recycling process can put more money in your pocket while helping the environment?

What is an industrial scrap metal shredding machine?

A scrap metal shredding machine is a large, industrial shredding machine capable of shredding scrap metal into small, uniform pieces. This is a key part of many industrial recycling processes.

Once your scrap has been accepted and sorted, it’s brought through the machine’s hammermill. Here it is shredded and sized before the ferrous and non-ferrous components are split out.

Our scrap metal shredder can process over 100 tons of scrap per hour, allowing us to get metal back into the circulation faster, safer, and more efficiently.

Why shred?

Shredding expedites the recycling process by increasing the rate that scrap can be broken down and through yielding a smaller, more homogenous product. Our Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) recycling plant helps purify output by separating fluff and other waste from recyclable scrap. 

Shredded materials are much more valuable to recycled metal buyers because they are more predictable and easier to work with. The smaller size of the output is better for the environment too. It can be compacted to a smaller volume, which increases the efficiency of transportation and storage.  

Industrial metal shredders provide the capacity for recyclers to handle larger items, including vehicles, in a sustainable and energy-efficient way. Recyclers without access to a metal crusher will have to manually shred their scrap. This adds time to the workflow and the resulting salvage is less consistent and has lower value. Machine-shredding scrap improves recycling at every stage.

Where does shredded scrap go?

The clean salvage from industrial shredder machines goes to steel mills for further processing. 

What can and can’t be shredded?

Many categories of metal can be shredded, including both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. One of the benefits of industrial shredders is that they can handle large pieces of scrap such as appliances, cars, or even buses.

To produce uniform salvage, it is important to control what goes into the shredder. While most light-gauge scrap can be shredded easily, end-of-life items such as cars and appliances are not pure metal. These often contain other parts that must be recycled or disposed of separately. Some components not fit for shredding include batteries, heavy forged materials, fuel, and hazardous materials. A full list of unacceptable materials can be found here.

How can I make sure my scrap is primed for shredding?

Keeping the industrial shredder’s infeed as clean as possible is the best way to recover consistent salvage and get the most bang for your buck. To get the most value for your scrap, ensure that it is free from contaminants and sorted roughly by material. This will keep the initial weighing as accurate as possible. Separating different components is a critical part of the recycling process, and by doing it in advance you can ensure that the entire process is as smooth as possible.

All in all, industrial metal recycling has tremendous environmental benefits as it is significantly more time, energy, and efficient on materials than mining. It is also a great way to offload unwanted appliances or scrap vehicles. Shredding is a green, clean, and safe procedure that maximizes the efficiencies of the metal recycling process.

If you are looking to recycle scrap metal, including junk cars, in Edmonton or need a free quote, reach out to our experts!

A Complete Guide To Recycling Your Scrap Copper, From Product To Pricing

Basics of recycling copper

Unlike many other metals, copper can be recycled multiple times without sacrificing performance or quality. This, along with the ease of grading copper, makes it a choice item for metal recyclers. Scrap copper comes from many items, including piping, tubing,  wire and electronics, as well as in sheet metal form. You can often transport your scrap copper directly to recyclers, but depending on the volume that you are dealing with it may be worthwhile to get a bin brought to your site. 

How is scrap copper pricing determined?

Scrap copper can be sold to recyclers and is priced by weight (usually on a per-pound basis). The pricing for copper can vary from day to day and is affected by many factors, so it is difficult to provide a standardized price. The value of scrap copper is primarily determined by its grade, which is based on the copper content, size, and condition of the scrap. Below are common copper grades, ordered by value.  

Bare Bright Copper (Wire only)

Bare bright copper is the most highly valued type of copper. It is made up of 99.9% copper and must be free of any impurities. The value of bare bright copper comes from its condition which reduces the amount of processing that must be done in order to successfully recycle it. Bare bright copper is used to make high-voltage power cables, and often comes insulated (so be sure to strip it to increase value). However, stripping it is not necessary as it  can be recycled either way. In order to qualify as bare bright copper, the individual strand within the conductor should be no finer than 14 gauge.

#1 Copper (Wire or pipe)

#1 copper is bare copper free of any contaminants such as coatings, soldering, or paint, or In some cases, #1 copper can have light traces of oxidation. #1 copper can be found in a few forms, including copper piping and bus bars, as well as insulated wires. Oxidized pipe is classified as #2. 

#2 Copper

#2 copper contains at least 94% pure copper, but may have some contaminants present. In some cases, #2 copper can be accepted in the form of scrap wire, bus bar and pipe or tubing. #2 copper is also present in electric motors and end-of-life vehicles. 

Light Copper (“#3 Copper”)

Light copper (sometimes referred to as “#3 copper”) is lower-grade copper and is unalloyed. It should generally have a copper content of 88-92%, and common sources include sheet copper, boilers, gutters, and radiators.

Copper-containing alloys

Copper-containing alloys can be recycled as well. The value of copper-containing alloys will depend on the type of alloy, and the form that it is in. Because the recycling process will be different for different types of alloys, it is especially important that copper-containing alloys are sorted in advance.

Copper recycling best practices

Proper sorting and preparation of your copper will ensure that you get the most value when bringing your copper to a recycler. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure you make the most for your metal.

  1. Sort your copper based on type and condition. By pre-sorting your copper, you can assist our staff in making grading and pricing easier.
  2. Check pipes for non-copper fittings and remove them in advance. Copper fittings on copper pipe may change grading due to solder. Fittings containing alloys or other metals should be removed to ensure maximum value. If you have the equipment to do so safely, you can remove or cut around non-copper components of piping to increase the grade of your copper.
  3. Strip copper wire to maintain the value of your scrap. Stripping the insulation from copper wire will reduce the amount of time required to process it and can result in your scrap being evaluated as a higher-grade copper. Stripping copper can be done by hand or with machines.
  4. Do not burn copper wire – ever. Burning copper wire is illegal in many places. It releases toxic fumes and taints your copper, which reduces its value and lowers the efficiency of the recycling process. It’s also bad for the environment. 

In short, recycling scrap copper is a straightforward and environmentally-friendly process that will allow you to make money back on old copper. Preparing your scrap in advance is easy and will ensure that you get maximum value.

If you are looking to recycle scrap copper in Edmonton or need a quote, reach out to our experts

New Website Launch!

Welcome to our new website–we thought it was time to scrap the old one! 

Our new website was custom-built to help customers better navigate through our products and learn more about our services. We’re committed to investing in new technologies that not only help improve our customers’ experience, but contribute towards a better tomorrow. This is why we’ve also recently launched our shredder division here at General Recycling! Our shredder allows us to increase our recycling capacity in a way that’s more efficient and sustainable. You can learn more about this new technology on our Shredder page

We’re excited to see what the future brings! As our business evolves, we’ll continue to keep our team, customers, communities, and environment at the forefront of every decision.

It Pays to go green

Recycle your scrap metal and get paid, ask us how!

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