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June 2012

How Is Scrap Metal Turned Into New Materials?

When you throw out your old aluminium soft drink cans or sell your old bomb of a car to a junkyard, have you ever wondered how all of this scrap metal is turned into something new? The recycling process is fairly easy, providing that you have the right tools and equipment on hand, and is essential for ensuring that we have enough metal to use in the future.

How is the scrap reclaimed?
Basically, there are several different processes through which old metal can be reclaimed – individuals and companies can sell it to recycling centres, it can be collected from junkyards, and it can be collected from dumping sites. It is then sent onto a processing plant for recycling.

How is the scrap metal sorted?
Once the old metal is collected, it often becomes mixed in with other recyclable materials, like plastic. To sort all of these materials into their various groups, it is generally shredded and then split up using a magnet (which the scrap sticks to) or a sifter.

How is the scrap recycled?
Once it has been sorted, the scrap is put into a blast furnace that melts it at extremely high temperatures (which also destroys any impurities and leftover materials). In its liquefied form, the metal is poured into moulds for the creation of new products.

As you can see, the process to completely recycle scrap metal is a fairly simple one that can be undertaken in no time at all. The next time you have a bunch of old scrap that you no longer have use for, instead of throwing it into landfill, consider selling it to a recycling centre to make some extra cash (and something completely new).