What Happens to Recycled Metals After Collection?

What Happens to Recycled Metals After Collection?

Scrap metal recycling is the process of reclaiming metals from manufactured items for use in new products. Collection is merely the first step in metal recycling; once recyclable metals have been collected, they will go through additional sorting and treatment before recycling begins.


In most cases, scrap metal is not sorted prior to collection. Thus, the first step in scrap metal recycling after collection is sorting. This step includes demolition or dismantling of appliances and other items so they can be broken down into their individual components. Because iron is magnetic, iron components can be sorted from other metals using a magnet, after which they are separated for processing. Non-ferrous metals are sorted using other properties, such as weight and color.


Metal meant for recycling must also be cleaned to remove materials such as paper, paint, food particles, dirt, and other potential contaminants. Even metals that have been rinsed prior to recycling are cleaned after sorting. Cleaning is an important part of the recycling process, as contaminants will affect the quality of the recycled product if they are not removed first.


The actual process of recycling metals occurs when the metals are broken down and reformed into usable pieces, called ingots. Different metals may go through various recycling processes, based on their properties. Tin is bathed in a saline solution and an electric current is applied, which collects the tin onto one of the two electrical plates. The tin is then melted and cast into ingots for manufacturing. By contrast, aluminum is typically shredded prior to melting, after which it is cast into ingots and delivered to a manufacturing plant for reuse.

At Tucson Iron and Metal, we are committed to making a positive impact on our environment. Our scrap metal business is capable of transporting materials and equipment anywhere in Arizona for roll off or pick up services. You can learn more about us when you click through our website, or by calling (520) 884-1554 to discuss your scrap metal needs.