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How Does Metal Recycling Work?

2 Mins read

At the moment, most industries are becoming more environmentally conscious in their production. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) encourages all manufacturing industries to fast-track product recycling to help protect the environment from pollution. Since metals account for large proportions of our daily waste, they should be given much priority when it comes to recycling. The good news is that metal is a material that can easily be recycled and brought back to use. But how does the whole process of metal recycling work? Well, you can read more to understand the whole concept.

Before we delve into the recycling process, it is important to know that almost all types of metal are recyclable. Secondly, metals can be recycled repeatedly without changing their properties. Lastly, the process of recycling involves high temperatures and sometimes chemical emissions. As such, safety precautions are very mandatory.

How Does Metal Recycling Work?


The first process of recycling is collection and segregation. Here, scrap metals are collected from various points to the recycling facility, where they are segregated based on their type, weight, and size. During segregation, the operators will also ensure unwanted products such as plastics, wood, and other nonessential products are separated from the metal.


The separated metal products are then taken to the next recycling phase, which is preparation. The metals are first cleaned then shredded into smaller stacks and pieces depending on the size of the furnace. This process ensures that the metal pieces are of the same size and shape. With the smaller lumps, it reduces the gas emissions during the combustion phase.


Once chopped into small, sizable lumps, the metal products are then taken into burning chambers for high-temperature combustion. The moment it reaches the molten state, additional metals or gases may be added to improve the product quality. In other cases, the molten metal may undergo electrolysis. A direct electric current is driven into the molten metal through electrolysis to introduce a chemical reaction, which facilitates high-quality purification.


The purified molten metal is then cooled and solidified to create various shapes and metal forms. The resultant product from the combustion can either take the form of ingots, billets, slabs, or rods, which are taken to the manufacturing industries for various uses. There are other situations where the recycled metals are made into powder form and transported to the manufacturing facility to create new products.


Metal recycling is not only essential for the economy but also eco-friendly. It helps return the old scrappy parts and copper into something good, new, and valuable. Understanding how the recycling process works helps you to start viewing the world differently. As such, you can always bring your clunky old car parts or worn-out utensils back to life for extra money.

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