Scrap metal recycling

According to research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, recycling scrap metals can be quite beneficial to the environment. Using recycled scrap metal in place of virgin iron ore can yield:


savings in energy


reduction in water use


reduction in air pollution


savings in raw materials used


reduction in water pollution


reduction in mining wastes

Every ton of new steel made from scrap steel saves:

1,115 kg

of iron ore

625 kg

of coal

53 kg

of limestone

Energy savings from other metals include:

savings of

95 % energy

savings of

85 % energy

Lead savings of

65 % energy

Zinc savings of

60 % energy

The more frequently recycled metals are scrap steel, iron (ISS), lead, aluminium, copper, stainless steel and zinc. There are two main categories of metals: ferrous and non-ferrous.

Metals which contain iron in them are known as ferrous where metals without iron are non-ferrous. The process of metal recycling is no different from the usual recycling procedure. Metals are sorted on the base of their properties. For example, if we would have to separate ferrous metals; then their magnetic proportion will help with separation. It is important that we should have basic knowledge about metals so that we can help in keeping the land green. The recycling process involves following steps:


Collection and sorting

The first step in metal recycling is the collection of all the materials which are made up of metals. There should be an organized system for the collection of metals. Containers should be used to collect them. For that there should be recycling centers in all big cities and there should be recycling bins at home and in the shopping malls that should be taken directly to industry.

The second important step is sorting the kind of metals which are good for recycling. The quality of metals matters a lot when it comes to recycling. A good recycled product can only be made if the original metals are of good quality. So leave nothing to check the quality of metal.



The next step is to compact the metal. All the appliances are squeezed and squashed in the machines so that they don’t occupy that much space in conveyor belts.



After crushing and breaking the metals, shredding of metals takes place. They are broken down into small sheets or pieces so that they can be processed further with ease. The small size has large surface area and it can be melted with less energy required. Steel is usually changed into steel blocks or ingots while aluminum is processed into sheets.


melting and purification

The next step is to melt all this scrap metal in a large furnace. Each metal has a specially designed furnace depending on its properties. The melting utilizes a lot of energy in the form of fuel still the fuel required is less in this case as compared with the making from raw material.

Then after melting the metals are purified by using different methods. Electrolysis is also used for metal purification. These metal blocks are then transported to different mills for their remaking into other products. Recycling saves almost 75% of energy.