It is easy to think that glass, metal and plastic are equally valuable after they are recycled. In reality, not all recycled materials are valued equally. Recycled metals can be melted down countless times without losing their value, while most plastics can only be recycled two or three times before their quality is so degraded that they are no longer usable.
As recycled metals maintain their quality no matter how many times they are recycled, it is crucial to recycle the non-renewable resource as much as possible. To do so, it is important to understand the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals and how this impacts the way they are recycled.
Ferrous metals are metals that contain iron. These metals are heavy and magnetic. Nonferrous metals do not contain iron and are not attracted to magnets. There are many nonferrous metals including copper, brass, gold and silver.
Although both ferrous and nonferrous metals can be recycled continuously, there is a higher demand for recycled nonferrous metals. This is because non-ferrous metals are a finite resource. There are only a certain amount of these metals available on earth and as the resource depletes, their prices increase.
The price of non-ferrous metals has also increased as digital technology has grown increasingly popular. This is because non-ferrous metals are used in the circuitry of many electronic devices including smartphones, computers and smartwatches. As the global popularity of these devices rises, so does the importance of recycling non-ferrous metals. Though, there are many types of non-ferrous metals with many unique recycling needs.
Copper, like many other non-ferrous metals, is a non-renewable resource that is becoming increasingly scarce. Copper is becoming scarce for a few reasons, but the most significant culprit in the tech industry. Copper wiring in buildings is another area where copper is necessary. As development increases globally, it is important to ensure that the copper we have is still in circulation.
Recycling copper wiring is one of the ways to solve this issue. When copper wiring is replaced in a home, the old wires must be taken to a proper recycling facility where they can be stripped, melted down and made into new materials.
Brass is another non-ferrous metal that must be recycled properly. Brass is a rare non-ferrous metal that needs to be properly conserved to ensure that there is brass for future generations. Recycling brass at a metal recycler can bring a decent amount of money, as they will pay for the value of the metal.
It is easy to find brass around firing ranges, as a lot of ammunition is made of brass. Brass is used in ammunition because it is great at conducting heat. A lot of old furniture and light fixtures contain brass. This means that thrift stores and Craigslist are great places to find brass for recycling. Wherever you find brass, it is important to ensure that you are getting the best price from your scrap yard. Check current market prices before you sell.
Aluminum is used in many everyday products. Aluminum foil is used to cover leftovers, people drink soda and beer out of aluminum cans, and to-go food is kept in aluminum containers. It is important to clean these food items before they are taken out to the curb for recycling.
Many people put their aluminum in municipal recycling; however, those with a little extra time can bring their aluminum cans into a recycling facility and receive a little extra money. The price of aluminum has continued to rise as the demand for non-plastic single-use products has increased and many suspect that it will continue to rise, making aluminum recycling a much more lucrative venture in the future.
A wire is a huge source of non-ferrous metals. Wire can be a great source of copper. However, not all wiring is copper. Before recycling wiring, ensure that the wire is made from copper and not another source or metal.
Electric motors have always been a tricky item to recycle and with the advent of affordable electric cars, folks are thinking more about how to recycle electric motors. The key to scrapping and recycling electric motors is to take the motor apart before selling it. By taking the motor apart and selling the constituent parts separately, the motor’s worth is quadrupled.
Starters and alternators are popular items from vehicles for recycling. Both contain large quantities of wound copper wire, which, as mentioned above, can fetch a pretty penny. When scrapping a starter or alternator, remember that many scrap yards will not accept them, and it is best to go to a specialty auto recycling center.
Like all scrap metals, it is important to watch the prices of scrap alternators and starters before investing the time and energy into recycling. Currently, these products can make you around 30 cents per pound in North America, but regional prices may vary.
There are a few methods for recycling motors. While some will take the time to disassemble motors by hand, others recycle motors by shredding them and using magnets and other methods of separation to remove the valuable constituent parts.
Copper transformers are a great source of copper for those interested in recycling copper. By cutting through the copper components rather than the steel and pulling the copper out through the other side.
Recycling scrap nonferrous metals are not only a good way to make a little bit of money, but also a way to ensure that future generations have a good supply of recycled metals. It may seem daunting at first, but many find that it can be a rewarding experience.
Majestic Corporation has been a leading precious metals recyclers, non-ferrous metals and Catalytic converter provider for around five decades. With a presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and more, as well as a network of precious metals refineries around the world, we work with major customers and partners in a transparent and discrete manner and only offer the highest quality services at competitive prices.
Contact us here for more information.