A SOLID MATERIAL THAT IS TYPICALLY HARD, SHINY, MALLEABLE, FUSIBLE, AND DUCTILE, WITH GOOD ELECTRICAL AND THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY
Metals are created by mining a type of rock called ore from the earth. The metals are extracted in a variety of ways from the ore and refined. More and more of earth’s metal resources are in use above ground than in reserves below ground – so capturing these valuable commodities through reuse and recycling is incredibly important.
In terms of recycling, scrap metals can be split into two broad categories ferrous (contain iron and magnetic) and nonferrous (do not contain iron and are not magnetic).
Ferrous metals include steel and iron. The main sources of recyclable ferrous scrap are automobiles, appliances, equipment, industrial buildings, infrastructure related to transportation (e.g. railroads, ships, bridges), and steel cans.
Nonferrous metals include aluminum, copper, lead, tin, zinc, and others. Aluminum is the only type of nonferrous metal that can be recovered from the municipal solid waste stream – all others are recovered by private processors. Some of the largest sources of recyclable nonferrous scrap are aluminum beverage containers, electronic circuitry, aluminum siding, and car and airplane parts.
How are metals recycled?
Sorted → crushed/baled → sent to scrap yard → sorted by magnet → shipped → shredded → melted → processed into ingots or sheets
Metal Recycling Fun Facts
• Using recycling aluminum offers manufacturers a 95% energy savings over virgin sources
• Two-thirds of aluminum is still in circulation
• Metals are technically infinitely recyclable