Everything You Need to Know About Scrap Metal Recycling

Don’t let the name deceive you; in the right hands, scrap metal is far from scrap. In fact, scrap metal recycling is actually profitable, good for the environment and saves businesses time and energy. So, what do you need to know to get started?

Check out our comprehensive guide to scrap metal recycling below, and then get in touch with the SL Recycling team to get the ball rolling.

What is scrap metal?

Put simply, scrap metal is any old, surplus or waste metal. Often there is lots of it at construction sites or in broken or old appliances and furniture. Since metal is also used to transport other materials, businesses often find they have bits of packaging metal lying around too.

There are two different types of scrap metal – ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metal is more common and includes anything made of either steel or iron, meanwhile non-ferrous metals are defined by the fact that they won’t lose their chemical properties during the recycling process. This means that non-ferrous metals (such as copper, aluminium, gold, silver and zinc) can be recycled again and again, making them extremely valuable.

Where to recycle scrap metal?

To turn your old scrap metal into brand new products (for someone else) and cold hard cash (for you), you’ll need the assistance of an expert waste management company with a scrap metal yard. At SL Recycling we have been recycling scrap metal since 2016 and have extensive expertise when it comes to the whole process.

We can provide free advice, arrange collection of the scrap metal itself, and then give you a competitive price for it too. If you regularly produce surplus metal, we can even set up a waste management plan, to help you stay on top of it. To make sure everything is by the book, you’ll also receive full paperwork and required Waste Transfer Notes, documenting the tonnage and price of your scrap metal as it enters our site.

How is scrap metal recycled?

The process of actually recycling scrap metal once it reaches a scrap metal yard is where things really get interesting. At our Ystrad Mynach site, SL Recycling process 250 tonnes of scrap metal per week – that’s a lot of metal, so we’d like to think we know a thing or two about how it all works!

First things first, the scrap metal has to be sorted, to make sure non-ferrous and ferrous metals are separated, and to remove non-metal materials from the loads. Even within the non-ferrous and ferrous metals groups, individual metals will also be separated, to ensure they meet high quality standards and don’t cross-contaminate each other. This process is all achieved through rigorous manual identification, as well with the help of machinery, magnets and electrical currents.
Next up, all metal has to be cut down into manageable sizes and shapes, to make the melting processes easier. Once that’s done, the melting begins. The process for melting varies from metal to metal, and also depends on the level of purity that’s needed from the scrap, but the result is always the same. As metal is melted, impurities rise to the surface, and these can then be separated and removed – leaving only the pure metal, which can be recycled.

The final step in the scrap metal recycling process is the creative bit – turning the raw molten material into the finished new product. This could take the form of a metal bar, metal wire or even large sheets of metal, and there are various moulds which can be used to ensure the exact size and specification is achieved. As the molten scrap cools, it will solidify and transform, and is then ready to be used again.

Why is it good to recycle scrap metal?

There are several reasons you should consider recycling any scrap metal you have lying around, not only for the sake of your business, but also for the environment. Here are the top three reasons it’s good to recycle scrap metal:

Profitable

Let’s start with the obvious, by recycling your scrap metal with a waste management company like SL Recycling, you are earning a profit from any scrap that can be used. It’s a no-brainer really – why have scrap sitting at your site, when you could sell it for money that can be reinvested into your business?

Conserves Raw Materials

Essentially, the less virgin metal ore that needs to be mined out of the ground, the better off our planet will be. By recycling scrap metal you are putting old metal back into the system and reducing the need for new virgin metal, which is great. Since mining and purifying virgin metal requires extremely high levels of energy, recycling scrap metal also produces less greenhouse gasses – which is another win for the environment.

Reduces Landfill

By recycling scrap metal instead of simply throwing it away, you are reducing unnecessary landfill. As well as being unsightly and taking up space, landfill is extremely bad for the environment, as it can lead to decaying particles contaminating the surrounding landscapes. In the case of metal landfill, it’s metals like lead and mercury which are particularly hazardous when they break down.

Recycle your scrap metal with SL Recycling today

If you have scrap metal lying around, get in touch with the SL Recycling team and find out how you can start making a profit from scrap metal recycling today. Our expert team will be happy to provide a free quote and can advise on the best processes for your individual needs.

For more information about the kinds of recycling services we offer, get in touch today.

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