Scrap metal recycling is a great way to get money while preventing sharp metal from clogging up a landfill. If you have scrap metal and are considering bringing it to a scrap yard but aren't sure you'll actually go, you may want to learn more about recycling this category of metal. Taking it to a scrap yard is the best thing you can do.
You Actually Can't Put Scrap Metal in Residential Recycling Bins
If you've ever tossed a food can into your home's recycling bin, you know metal can go in those receptacles without a problem. But it's not metal itself that's the issue here. Scrap metal is a specific category that includes sharply edged sheet metal cuttings and other industrial materials. These can both be dangerous for recycling workers and damaging to recycling equipment that usually handles smaller items like cans. However, you can take cans and bring them with you to a scrap yard if the cans are clean.
Metal Sent to Be Recycled Actually Is Getting Recycled
Over the past few years, recycling efforts have come under scrutiny as people learned that a lot of plastic was simply headed to landfills even though the plastic had been sent to recycling companies. However, metal remains one of the most recyclable materials in use. It can be reused over and over again, and recycling it is much better than constantly mining for the resources to make more metal. When you bring metal to a scrap yard, you can bet that the metal is either getting repurposed or melted down and reformed into new products. This is one form of recycling that is working very well.
Some Scrap Metal Should Be Treated as Hazardous Waste Instead of Being Recycled
Scrap metal that has come in contact with hazardous materials may not be recyclable, depending on the material. An empty aerosol can may still be recycled, but sheet metal that was splashed with motor oil, for example, may need to be turned over to a hazardous waste centre instead of being taken to a scrap yard. If you know the source of the scrap metal you're picking up, then you should have no problem separating out what can't go to the yard, obviously. But if you collect random scrap metal that you find, it's going to be more difficult to determine if the metal is safe to recycle. Don't try to recycle anything that appears to be covered in oil or oily substances, and tell the scrap yard if any of the metal you're bringing to them was collected from random sites. It's not nice thinking that some of the scrap metal may not be recyclable, but you're still doing the environment a service if you can get that metal to a hazardous waste centre instead of leaving it in the pile where you found it.
Recycling scrap metal isn't always easy, but it is one of the more simple ways to help clean up the environment and get some money in the process. Remember to call the scrap yard the day you want to go there to find out the daily prices of various metals, and to find out if any of the metals you have are in demand or not.