How Is Metal Recycled?

You probably realize that your commercial property’s recycling bin serving Chicago plays a crucial role in its waste management. However, do you know what happens to metal after you toss it into the bin? Here’s a look at the process of metal recycling: metal - recycling

Collect

The first step in metal recycling is the collection of materials. This can be done by bringing scrap metal to a metal recycling yard, or by simply tossing recyclable metal into your recycling bin.

Sort

Once the material makes its way to a recycling center, all of the materials are sorted. This step is an essential part of the process, as it’s responsible for pulling out any non-recyclable materials, and for ensuring that anything that ends up recycled is of good quality.

Process

After a piece of metal is approved for recycling, it’s dropped onto a conveyer belt to get crushed and compacted. The belt then transports the crushed metal to a shredder. At this point, the metal is broken down into small pieces, which allows it to be further processed with less energy than it would require if the parts were left whole. During this stage, aluminum is usually crushed into sheets, and steel is converted into cubes.

Melt

Next, the metal that’s been broken down into sheets or small pieces is transported to a large furnace. Each furnace is designed to heat a particular type of metal, so aluminum, for example, will be sent to a different furnace than steel. Each furnace heats up to the proper temperature to melt the metal that it holds.

Purify

Once the metal is completely melted, it moves on to the purification process. This stage is important for removing impurities from the material, and for ensuring that the end product is of high quality.

Solidify

Finally, the purified, molten metal is carried to a cooling chamber. The metal can be solidified into a variety of shapes and sizes, after which it will be sent on to factories and companies that require metal.

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