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What Metal Items Can’t Be Recycled?


Recycling metal is a great way to reduce air pollution, save energy and conserve natural resources. Unfortunately, not all types of metal can be recycled. If you’re struggling to sort your scrap metal, here’s a look at some items you might have that aren’t recyclable.


Certain cookware

If you’re decluttering your kitchen cabinets or thinking about upgrading your cookware, you might be hoping to recycle a few of your old metal pots and pans. While some of your kitchenware may be recyclable, items such as non-stick pans likely aren’t. It’s a good idea to check with a local metal recycling facility to find out what types of cookware they accept.


Empty paint and motor oil cans

Your garage is probably home to a lot of scrap metal that can be recycled. However, contaminated cans, like empty paint and motor oil cans, aren’t always accepted by recycling facilities. Some places will take them, so it’s always good to check, but they often have to be disposed of at a hazardous waste depot. This is because it can be difficult to completely remove toxins from the cans during the recycling process.


Items containing mercury

Mercury is toxic, so items containing it has to be disposed of carefully. For this reason, they can’t be recycled. Mercury is heavily regulated these days, so there’s not likely to be many items in your home containing it. A few examples of places where mercury can be found are in light switches, fluorescent light bulbs and old thermostats.


Radioactive metals

Just like empty paint cans and items containing mercury, radioactive metals are hazardous and, therefore, can’t be recycled. In general, items containing radioactive metals aren’t anything to worry about, because the radioactive material is safely enclosed. It only really becomes an issue during disposal. Items like antique clocks, smoke detectors and fluorescent lamps are possible sources of radioactive metal. Since these metals can’t be recycled, you should drop them off at a hazardous waste depot.


Buy and sell scrap metal in Edmonton

If you have any more questions about what metals you can and can’t recycle, our team at General Recycling Industries Ltd. is happy to help. We buy and sell scrap metal at our two locations in Edmonton, and our recycling facilities are committed to creating a more sustainable future. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more, or drop by during our business hours to sell us your scrap metal.