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What Metals Can Be Recycled?

Metal recycling is a huge industry and, sometimes, people can become confused as to which are eligible for recycling and which aren’t. The truth of the matter is that almost all metals can be recycled – ferrous and non-ferrous. The discrepancies tend to appear when materials that we classify as hazardous and/or radioactive – things like uranium, plutonium, and mercury – however, these are seldom found domestically so there isn’t often anything to worry about.

Here at Craddock Metal Recycling, we have decades of experience in metal processing, so we have decided to use these expertise to run you through the metals you can take to a recycling yard and where you might find them.

The Metals You Can Recycle

As previously mentioned, almost all metals you commonly come into contact with can be recycled. These include the following:

Aluminium

One of the most common metals available, aluminium makes up a large portion of metals that are recycled. Due to it melting at low temperatures, it is great for recycling, too.

You can find aluminium in many places like vehicles, computers, gutters and electrical wiring.

Brass

Commonly found in household furnishing accessories such as doorknobs, brass is another metal that can be recycled many times as it maintains its material quality nearly as well as copper.

Copper

Copper is one of the most desirable metals for recycling as it has an almost infinite recycling life, which therefore means it can be recycled many times without compromising the quality of the material.

It’s most commonly found in the copper wiring of small electrical appliances.

Lead

Lead isn’t very commonly used today, however, there is an influx of this material for recycling as it is replaced by alternative materials. This is especially common with guttering from houses from the 1970’s.

Steel

Another very common metal for recycling is steel, which is used for infrastructure and construction so you will find it in buildings, tools, ships, and also cars.

Tin

Tin is one of the most economically viable metals for recycling as it requires up to 99% less energy to process through recycling than it does to create the metal from ‘new’.

Many kitchen items – such as ladles, woks, and pans – are made from tin.

Zinc

Zinc does not lose any of its material quality at all as a result of metal recycling. This is not as poignant as the metal is not as valuable as copper or brass, however, it’s good to remember.

Most of the zinc we receive is as a result of end-of-life vehicles, which can hold up to 10kg of zinc cumulatively, on average.

Economic Viability

We mentioned economic viability in reference to tin and why it is beneficial to recycle that metal specifically, but without the context ‘economic viability’ is essentially how beneficial it is to recycle certain metals.

In short, economic viability is whether the energy saved by recycling far exceeds that energy that is required for producing new, like-for-like metal.

Contact Craddock Metal Recycling

If you have questions about scrap metal recycling – including which metals can be recycled, as alloys can make things complicated, please reach out to us. You can call on 01527 66866 or fill out our simple contact form.

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