What types of metal can’t you recycle?
In recent years, more and more people are learning about the importance of recycling. That’s why the recycling rates for materials like plastic, glass, and paper are constantly going up. But we can collect and recycle a lot more than just everyday household waste. In reality, some of the most recycled materials on the planet right now are metals.
How can metal be recycled?
It’s not really that surprising when you consider that things like steel construction elements and car parts can be recycled. But even at your home, you’ll probably find at least a few items that you can take to your local scrap yard and sell as scrap metal. Your old household appliances like fridges and dishwashers contain metals, so you can scrap them. Even if you’re not able to transport such things yourself, you can arrange a scrap metal collection in London and other cities.
When asked about it, we’d all say without hesitation that it’s much better to recycle metals than to simply throw them away, but why are metals recycled? Scrap metal recycling offers multiple benefits. It’s a great opportunity to clean up your property, earn some additional money, and do something good for the environment all at the same time.
What metals can’t be recycled?
Luckily, almost all metals can be recycled. So you won’t have a problem scrapping most of the items you have around the house that are made out of metal or contain metal elements. Yet, among various recyclable metals, there are some that won’t be accepted at a scrap yard (see the biggest challenges of recycling metal) or those that are simply too difficult or too dangerous to recycle.
- Radioactive metals: Of course, the chances are really small that you’ll ever even end up anywhere near Uranium or Plutonium, but nonetheless, such metals are not recyclable.
- Mercury: Radioactive metals are not the only ones that pose a threat to your health, the same can be said about materials that are simply too toxic to be recycled like Mercury.
- Lead: Even though lead is quite commonly used in electronic devices (lead-acid batteries, computer and TV screens, and so on) it is extremely dangerous and can cause several very serious health problems. Scrap yards will accept devices that contain lead and remove all the harmful elements before recycling other materials. (see the whole article)
But apart from metals that cannot be recycled, there are also certain items that you won’t be able to scrap even though they are made of recyclable materials.
- Contaminated cans: The issue here is not with typical aluminium food cans, those can be recycled without any issues, but with paint and motor oil cans. Such products can contain harmful toxins, and even cleaning the cans doesn’t give you a guarantee that all the chemicals are removed. Many recycling facilities may accept such cans, but you should always make sure beforehand.
- Household equipment: In this category, you can find all the things that contain Mercury and lead, but also gas tanks, batteries, and items like CDs cannot be scrapped as well. Even if the pans in your kitchen are made of metal, you won’t be able to recycle them with the rest of your scrap metal collection if they have any protective layer on them.
Can I put metal in a recycle bin? Of course, just because you cannot scrap certain metal items, it doesn’t mean you should just throw them into a regular bin with the rest of your household waste. You can take such things to the nearest Household Waste Management Centre in order to dispose of them in a responsible and environmentally-friendly manner.
Can all metals be recycled?
Even though many metals can be easily recycled without any loss in their quality, unfortunately, not all of them are recyclable. Some, for example, radioactive and toxic ones, are too hazardous to recycle.
What metal cannot be recycled?
Among the metals that cannot be recycled are radioactive metals like Uranium and Plutonium, and the toxic ones like Mercury and lead. Even though you’re unlikely to encounter materials from the first category, Mercury and lead are more common and are often used in everyday items.