Scrap Metal Recycling: Understanding Acceptable and Unacceptable Materials
Scrap metal consists of the 'waste' materials that are left over during the production process and after consumption of metallic goods. For example, the common scrap materials are obtained from old automotive parts and unused surplus metal from building supplies. Scrap metal is valuable, unlike normal waste, because the material can be reprocessed in recycling plants to produce new commodities for fresh consumer application.
This practice is favourable because it consumes less energy compared to processing fresh ore. In addition, recycling reduces the constant demand on the non-renewable natural resources which could be depleted. Therefore, you should consider collecting scrap from your residential and commercial property and providing it to a specialist dealer. You might be able to earn some money if the quantity of metal is substantial. Here is a description of acceptable and unacceptable scrap metal materials.
Scrap metal dealers and recyclers will accept both pure metals and alloys for reprocessing. In simple terms, any metal is acceptable in its basic and uncontaminated form. Iron and steel are the most common materials in your home or business premises. These are not highly valuable for sale, but you can find significant quantities especially after renovation and general construction projects. You can identify these metals when sorting by checking their magnetic properties. Copper is more valuable and it is often installed in electrical and plumbing system. You will also find alloys like brass and bronze installed as cabinet handles, door knobs and decorative items. Aluminium scrap is also acceptable, including drinking cans and foil paper.
There are metal products that are not directly acceptable by recyclers because they are contaminated or the pertinent scrap is too hard to process. Therefore, you will need to understand the acceptance policy of your scrap dealer or collecting station before delivering the items. For example, lead acid batteries are relatively hazardous, so they cannot all be processed. However, the internal plates can be acceptable if they have soft lead and are free of dross. Transformers are also acceptable on condition that the structure is drained completely of oil. Other scrap items that you should discuss with regard to conditional acceptance include electric motors, radiators, firearms and capacitors.
There are scrap materials that will not be accepted because they are hazardous and handling them requires special skill and knowledge. For instance, products like measuring instruments containing mercury cannot be sold to scrap dealers. In addition, scrap metal with non-metallic recyclables, non-lead batteries and anything labelled hazardous or toxic is unacceptable.