How does metal recycling work?

In the recycling industry, metal is among the most presently recycled items. Scrap metals are usually recycled into new metals, a method that is essential in minimising wastages thus reducing expenditure. Scrap metals are readily available and since obtaining them is effortless, the industry has hence grown significantly.

In most cases, the whole process starts with the collection of the scrap metals done by probably small operators. They then sell the collected metals to a larger company thereby reprocessing them. Nearly all type of metals can be recycled though there are some metals known to be commonly recycled.

However, there are more technological advancements every day hence more, and more methods are discovered to help reprocess the metals.

Which tasks are involved in recycling metals?

Most large metal recycling companies usually carry out almost similar activities during the recycling process. For example, metal recycling in arizona is done almost similarly by most companies since they deal with the same types of metals. Outlined below are the tasks that are undertaken by these particular companies.

1. Shearing process is done to reduce the size of large metal pieces usually by manually cutting them down into smaller pieces.


2. Further reduction of the size of the scrap metals which is done using powerful shredding machines, a process referred to as shredding.

3. In some cases, the scrap needs to be transported to a distant processing company. It has then to be compacted for more comfortable transportation, a process known as baling.

4. After the scrap metals are sheared, foreign materials are then sorted out and separated from the useful content. The method can be carried out in various means such use of a magnet to attract magnetic metals or sucking to remove small and fine particles. In some cases, hot air blasting is applied to remove plastic coatings on the metals.

How does recycling take place?

Once the metals are correctly sorted out, it is now time to get to the actual recycling process. The scrap is put in a furnace and heated until it turns into a molten state. While in the molten solution state, it is checked for purity and if need be, the content levels are adjusted. Adjustments are achieved by heating the metal to specific known temperatures where impurities and unwanted compounds will be expelled out of the molten solution. Other processes that can be used for purification is electrolysis, which applies electrical assistance to achieve the required results.

Metal Recycling

After attaining the desired quantities, the solution is poured into different containers of different shapes to take such forms. Some are cooled a bit and either flattened into sheets or drawn into wires and rods. They are then cooled down hence transported and ready for use.

Recycling process can be applied to a particular metal repeatedly. Once the recycled metal attains the maximum lifetime, the process can be carried out over and over again.

Metal properties are still retained even after these repeated processes. Steel is the most recycled metal together with other metals including silver, copper, brass, aluminium among others.


Recycling is done due to several reasons, mainly being preserving natural resources by avoiding their over-usage. There is also an aspect of scrap metals being a source of money. Most people will collect the metals and sell them to companies hence earning themselves some pennies. We cannot overlook the fact that the process is friendly to the environment.