We all know the environmental benefits of recycling – it results in less energy being wasted, smaller amounts of fossil fuels being used up and a vast reduction in the amount of water required. However, there is a little curiosity that is commonly expressed among both individuals who are looking into metal re-use for the first time and those who are seasoned recyclers. The question is this: what will my metal become once it has been recycled?
Different Metals Can Be Re-Used in Different Ways
Naturally, metals all have different properties and can be re-used to varying effect. Copper can be melted and reshaped endlessly, while aluminium is actually easier to melt and reshape when being recycled than in its primary, just-mined form. Other metals can actually be strengthened and improved during the recycling process. So what can manufacturers create from your old scrap? Well – pretty much anything!
Construction and Industrial Uses
Repurposed iron, steel, copper and aluminium are highly sought-after in the construction industry. Copper is ideal for use in electrical wiring and the creation of water pipes, as it is easily melted and bent into shape again and again with no loss of its original facets. There are many more copper deposits still unmined in the earth, but, with the versatility of the copper that is already in circulation, there is little point in sacrificing the time and effort required – or allowing the negative environmental impact involved – in the mining procedure.
Also regularly used in construction is recycled aluminium, which is famously durable and resistant to corrosion. That’s why it’s regularly used in windows and large industrial roofs. It’s also popular to use in heating and air conditioning units.
Iron and steel have been exceptionally popular in construction for centuries. They are strong and, in certain forms, capable of supporting large amounts of stress. This is why they are often found in bridge construction and in the inner skeletons of buildings.
Another interesting and more obscure use of iron and aluminium is its application in the purification and detoxifying of waste water when reused in the form of electrodes.
Recycled copper, in particular, is extremely popular and widely used within electronics – not just as wire, which was previously mentioned, but also as various different elements within circuit boards and computer hard drives. Many people are surprised that silver and gold are also regularly used materials within electronics.
Almost any scrap metal you can think of can be used within automotive design and construction, as well as in the building of elements of public transport such as trains. From the central electronics to the creation of chassis and carriages, a huge range of metals can be used. Planes, too, require large quantities of aluminium and aluminium alloy, as it is a very lightweight metal.
Furniture and Fittings
Iron, steel, aluminium, copper and many other metals besides can be reused in numerous ways within the home. From lamps to chair and table legs to kettles, door handles and window latches, there are so many elements that we use everyday and don’t ever pause to think about. Recycling metal to create these is a much cheaper, environmentally friendly way of furnishing your home – so next time you’re doing a bit of decorating, remember to take a look at furniture and fittings that are made from recycled metal. It’s important to do your bit, and you’ll be surprised at the number of attractive and elegant items that can be fashioned from repurposed scrap.
Imagine if every food producer reused the materials that went into their packaging? From aluminium foil to tin cans, containers and protective materials of all kinds, highly effective, economical packaging can be created as a result of metal recycling. The food industry already uses a great deal of reused metal, which is a huge win for the environment.
Tools and Equipment
There are a number of means by which iron and steel can be treated to make them tough and strong. Steel itself is created by combining iron with carbon, and this metal in turn can be turned into stainless steel – useful for the creation of cutlery, pans, saws and a great deal of medical equipment. Woodworking and metalworking tools are also extremely popular uses for recycled iron, steel and aluminium.
If you have a collection of recyclable metals to hand, you could be aiding in the creation of any of the above when you hand it over to a trusted scrap dealer. Remember to be sure of the reputation of the dealer you choose, however, as you should always be properly remunerated for your materials according to their current value.
We at Maxilead work hard to ensure a strong, ongoing relationship with all of our clients. We are an experienced family enterprise that places the customer firmly at the centre of everything we do, so you can be sure that you’ll received the true value of your metals as well as superb service every time.