How is Scrap Metal Recycling Done?

How is Scrap Metal Recycling Done?

Even if you regularly recycle scrap metal, you might not be totally sure about how the scrap metal recycling process works. But you’re about to find out! In today’s post, we’ll tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about scrap metal recycling. 

That includes answering questions like:

  • What kind of scrap metal can you recycle?
  • How do you recycle scrap metal?
  • Who can recycle my scrap metal for me?
  • What is the highest paying scrap metal?
  • What kind of items contain scrap metal parts?

And many more. Let’s get started.

Everything You Want to Know About Scrap Metal Recycling

What kind of scrap metal can be recycled?

Let’s begin by discussing what kind of scrap metal you can recycle. 

The two categories of recyclable scrap metal fall under ferrous and non-ferrous materials. 

Ferrous metals are the most common, and this includes metals that have iron or alloys of iron, including stainless steel. On the other hand, non-ferrous recyclable metals include aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, titanium, zinc, and other alloys such as brass. 

What kind of items contain scrap metal parts?

Next, let’s talk about the particular items in your home or at your worksites that may contain materials suitable for scrap metal recycling. 

  • Stainless steel: You’ll find this material in many items around the home, including cutlery, appliances, and vehicles. There are many grades of stainless steel and its chemical makeup can include other elements like carbon, nickel, titanium, and copper.
  • Brass and bronze: These are other recyclable materials you can find all over your home, including in decorations, musical instruments, sculpture/art, and pipes. It’s also something you can find in radiators and heating cores. An easy way to identify if a metal is brass is holding it under a fluorescent light. If it is indeed brass, it reveals a yellow/brown color.
  • Copper: This is an incredibly valuable recyclable material that falls in the non-ferrous category. You can find this in various areas of your home, including in the wiring and electronics, as well as your cookware. To help you identify copper, keep this in mind: pure copper has a pinkish hue while tarnished copper is brown or reddish.
  • Aluminum: This is another recyclable scrap metal many people have around their home and office. In fact, it’s the most widely consumed non-ferrous metal in the country! It’s also easily recyclable, and can make its way back onto shelves as quickly as 60 days after being recycled. 

What is the highest paying scrap metal?

We know many people are also curious about which scrap metal will get them the highest dollar value upon recycling. So let’s talk about that next! 

When it comes to scrap metal recycling, copper is king! It’s for generating a consistently high value upon recycling—higher than any other base metal.

Brass is another material that’s highly coveted for its value upon recycling. Scrappers can get a good return on brass products, and one of the great things about recycling this scrap metal is that it takes a much lower toll on the environment than discovering new materials. 

Keep in mind, no matter what kind of metal you’re recycling, one of the best ways to ensure you get the most for them is working with scrap metal recycling experts. At Scrap Gators, we do this by working with a variety of commercial and industrial industries to ensure they get the most money for their material! Additionally, all of our customers receive free pickups of their material so they don’t have to waste time loading and transporting their material.

How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Work?

Now, let’s explore the scrap metal recycling process in greater detail. Keep in mind, the process can vary a bit depending on the specific product you are recycling. However, there are certain steps and a particular process that takes place for most materials, and we’ll tell you about those now. 


The first step involves collecting the scraps metals for recycling. Some people choose to do this themselves, while others rely on companies like Scrap Gators to take care of everything for them. Whether you’re looking to remove outdated mechanical systems, clean out vacant buildings, in the middle of construction and need more space, or simply want to get rid of some extra junk, we have the know-how to make sure your projects run smoothly. 


Next, it’s time for sorting the scrap metals. If your metals are sorted before taking them to a recycling facility, this can help you get a higher value for your products. This is another advantage of working with scrap metal professionals who can take care of the sorting process for you.

At a recycling facility, the sorting process happens by separating scrap metals from other metals or materials. In some cases, recycling centers use a magnet for this. Some facilities will also use sensors for this process.


Now it’s time to process the metal into smaller pieces that are easier to melt down. This also means it takes less energy for the shredded metals to be melted down. Saving energy this way is another advantage of recycling scrap metal rather than generating new materials. 


Next, it’s time for the melting process to begin. For this, the metals are taken to a furnace which is specific to the type of metal it melts. Melting metals can take a few minutes or up to a few hours. This depends on the type of metal that’s melting, the size of the furnace, and the volume of heat.


The purification process takes place next and this involves ensuring the melted material is of the highest quality and free of contaminants. There are a few different ways of doing this depending on the metal. Electrolysis is one common method for purifying copper, for example.


Now it’s time for cooling and transforming the metal. Scrap metal is typically cooled into bars or sheets, depending on the material and its next purpose.

Transporting the metal

Finally, it’s time for the cooled and solidified metal to be transported out of the scrap metal recycling facility! They’ll be sent to facilities where they can be transformed into new products, including aluminum cans. Then, once the product is sold and recycled again, the entire process can begin all over again.

That’s another one of the great things about recycling scrap metal: many of the metals you recycle can be recycled an infinite amount of times! This has a significant environmental advantage. Saves valuable resources that would otherwise be spent on sourcing virgin raw materials. 

Who can recycle my scrap metal for me?

We’ve gone over a lot in this post, including answering all of your top questions about scrap metal recycling. But now it’s time to talk about where you can recycle your scrap metals. You’re in the right place! At Scrap Gators in Fort Pierce, FL., our goal is to assist in the efficiency of our team when cleaning and identifying scrap metal recycling. 

We deliver quality service in a timely manner so that you can continue business as usual. Our team is passionate about what we do, and this includes keeping as much as possible away from our landfills by donating or recycling approximately 70% of what we pick up.

Don’t wait another day to get money for the valuable materials lying around your worksite. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

Did you learn a lot about scrap metal recycling in this post?

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