Metal Recycling 101

Like other recyclable materials, scrap metal of all shapes and sizes can be collected and repurposed into new items rather than left to decay in landfills. This practice has a variety of positive effects on businesses, individuals and the environment as a whole. Here at General Recycling, we take metal recycling seriously. Read on for an overview of what can be recycled, how it’s recycled, and why.

Why recycle metal?

Metal can be transformed and reused over and over without altering its fundamental properties. This means that scrap metal from construction sites, old cars and a variety of industries is highly valuable and should definitely be recycled, rather than being sent to a landfill.

Which types of metal can be recycled?
Here at General Recycling in Edmonton, we accept virtually all types of scrap metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous. This includes:

• Copper
• Aluminum
• Steel and steel alloys
• Iron and iron alloys
• Lead
• Zinc
• Tin
• Brass

How is metal recycled?
The metal recycling process involves the following main steps:

1. Collection. Apart from the scrap metal industry auto recyclers make up the largest source of metal that ends up being processed by recycling facilities. Other sources of scrap metal include construction sites, farms, small business and industry and the general public.
2. Sorting. Once enough scrap metal has been collected, that metal must then be sorted according to its type. This can be done manually or with the help of magnets and sensors.
3. Processing. After the metal has been sorted by type, it’s cut to size or shredded. This is done to facilitate the next step, melting.
4. Melting. Because different metals melt at different temperatures, each type is taken to a furnace designed specifically to melt it down as efficiently as possible. This can take a couple of minutes or several hours, depending on the type.
5. Purification. Usually accomplished through electrolysis, this step filters out impurities found in the melted metal to ensure maximal purity of the output.
6. Solidification. The purified liquid metal is then poured in to bar shaped moulds to solidify. Once this step is complete, the recycled metal is ready to be transported and repurposed.

Make the smart choice—recycle your metal!
Whether you’re a contractor in need of scrap metal recycling services in Edmonton or if you just have a pile of scrap metal taking up space in your garage, turn to the friendly folks here at General Recycling. Not only will you leave our practical drop-off facility with more money in your pocket than when you arrived, but you’ll also be contributing to a greener future where resources are used as efficiently as possible. Now that’s what we call a win-win situation! So no matter how big or small your scrap metal recycling needs, give us a call, or visit one of our two locations in Edmonton today.