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What Are The Different Types Of Metal Recycling?

In the UK, metal recycling is a £5.6 billion industry. Processing both ferrous and non ferrous metals into secondary raw materials, the industry worldwide recycles over 400 million tonnes each year.

Why Is It Important To Recycle Your Metal?

Virtually all metals can be recycled into a new high quality metal. The process of recycling varies for different types of metal, but the end result generally produces metals of an equivalent quality.

• Ferrous scrap metals – these are metals which contain iron, such as mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron and wrought iron.
• Non- ferrous metals – these contain no iron, such as aluminium, copper, brass, silver and lead.

New raw metals are a finite resource that will eventually run out. To prevent further depletion of these natural resources, the use of secondary raw metals from recycling is imperative. New metal compounds, such as iron ore for steel making and alumina and bauxite for aluminium smelting, are all non-renewable resources we need to protect.

Aside from preventing the depletion of raw metals, metal recycling also saves considerably on energy and reduces CO2 emissions from production. If new metals are made using recycled metals, the potential for energy savings is huge:

• Aluminium – energy saved from metal recycling 95%
• Copper – energy saved from metal recycling 85%
• Lead – energy saved from metal recycling 60%
• Steel – energy saved from metal recycling 62-74%
• Zinc – energy saved from metal recycling 60%

Stats from

Understanding Your Metal Recycling

It is estimated that every year using recycled metals cuts CO2 emissions by several million tonnes. Not only that, it also reduces air and water pollution, along with excessive water use. In the UK metal recycling contributes, more than any other sector, to targets for waste prevention of ‘end of life’ products. Items such as packaging, vehicles, WEEE and batteries contain a considerable amount of metal, andthose who recycle it are leading the way in research for other recyclable materials.

Waste recycling can be broken down into several steps:

• Collection – this includes the weighing, sorting and distributing of metals. At Recycling Services we collect from a range of industries including small traders such as plumbers, as well as large corporations and businesses.
• Shearing – If large pieces of metal are collected, it will need to be cut into smaller pieces for transportation.
• Bailing/compacting/shredding – Using magnets and air classification methods, the metals can be processed and shredded for ease of handling and recycling.
• Media separation – further separation of any remaining non-ferrous metals is completed using liquid density, hand or mechanical sorting methods.

Here at Recycling Services we can implement all types of metal recycling. Helping you to maximise the value of your waste stream, we can bulk collect your mixed scrap metal and segregate it into high value metals such as copper and aluminium. At Recycling Services we can help you to achieve the best possible revenues for your scrap.

If you would like more information about metal recycling for your business, talk to one of our team members today. Call us today on 01952 204471 or email


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