Every year, the United States generates a whopping nine million tons of iron-free scrap that could easily end up tossed into landfills, but reusing nonferrous metals is a smart way to make the most of this precious commodity. Learn how recycling and reusing common materials with the help of ASM Recycling, Inc. could pad your bank account and save the environment at the same time.
What Are Nonferrous Metals?
There are two kinds of scrap metal. Ferrous metals are iron and iron alloys that either occurs naturally or result from man-made processes, such as when iron is combined with carbon to make steel. Nonferrous metals are those that don’t contain any iron, including:
Perhaps the most important attribute of nonferrous metals is that they can be melted down and rebuilt repeatedly without losing their core structural integrity. That makes these metals highly valuable and prime candidates for recycling. In fact, even though nonferrous scrap metal accounts for a mere 10% of the recycling market, it’s responsible for more than half of the revenue.
The Key Role Recycled Metals Play
An impressive amount of new metal products includes recycled materials. According to the Bureau of International Recycling, most aluminum contains over 33% recycled metal while lead materials are more than 35% recycled, and copper is nearly half pre-used materials. This isn’t merely a matter of convenience; nonferrous metals are in demand and take quite a bit of money to source and process. There’s also a significant amount of energy and environmental impact involved. Recycling addresses all these concerns, reducing our reliance on newly mined metals while increasing energy efficiency and allowing businesses to embrace eco-friendly practices.
Sourcing Nonferrous Metals
In order to recycle nonferrous metals, we first must find them. This is where businesses play a vital role by choosing to contract with an industrial metal recycling facility rather than chucking scraps in a dumpster where they’ll likely be lost for good. Once scrap metal is collected, it goes through a series of steps:
- Sorting: Sometimes scrap metal comes in on its own, ready to be processed, but other times it’s mixed in with or attached to other materials, such as plastic, wood, or glass. To increase efficiency, commercial sorters may use magnets and sensors to separate out and identify metals.
- Managing the Materials: Metals are then broken down into smaller pieces, often shredded before being melted and purified to remove contaminants.
- Reformation: Those melted metals need to be reshaped before they can be sold and shipped. Depending on the situation, metals may be poured into bar molds suitable for a variety of applications or made into specific shapes requested by the end client.
This basic approach to recycling seems complex, but it still requires less energy and resources than it would take
How Manufacturers Are Reusing Nonferrous Metals
Once they’ve been collected, sorted and processed, recycled nonferrous metals can be funneled into a wide range of products. Some metals may be made and remade into the same object — as is often the case with aluminum cans — or repurposed entirely, such as a soda can that becomes a window frame followed by a bicycle, a sheet of foil, and then a length of high-voltage wire transporting electricity from a transformer into someone’s home. This impressive life cycle offers a tantalizing glimpse into a world where components have endless utility, providing an eco-friendly alternative to ongoing mining efforts and the costly purchase of pricey materials.
Contact ASM Recycling, Inc. To Learn More
Despite the immense potential for profit and positive environmental impact that comes with scrap metal recycling, only 30% of metals are currently recycled. ASM Recycling, Inc. aims to shift the tide by giving businesses a convenient way to service their scraps. For more information on pricing or to schedule a pickup in the Mobile, Alabama, area, contact us online or call 251-470-0765.