Have you considered what happens to metal once it’s scrapped, processed and recycled? Metal is everywhere and, in this article, we’re talking about the different uses of recycled materials – they can be used for packaging, art, home décor and so much more, so it’s important to bring awareness to the benefits of scrap metal recycling.
Which Metals Can be Recycled?
Almost all metals can be recycled; in the UK, the two most commonly recycled materials are iron and steel, which comes from industry and household waste. Scrapping metal helps to protect natural resources and doesn’t change the basic properties of the materials, which means they can be used and recycled over and over again.
Morecambe Metals handle both ferrous metal recycling and non-ferrous metal recycling at our facilities. Non-ferrous metals don’t contain iron in their composition and are not magnetic because of this; in this group are aluminium, lead, copper and tin. Ferrous metals include cast iron and steel and are often used in cars and appliances.
Ferrous metals are often scrapped in greater quantities and non-ferrous metals are worth more because there’s a higher demand for them.
Uses of Recycled Metal
Once metal is scrapped, processed, recycled and ready to be used again, there are endless possibilities regarding its applications.
Recycled metal can be found in home furnishings, as it makes them durable. Tables, chairs and sofas tend to have recycled metal in their design, and many people are reusing metal in interesting ways as well, such as taking oil drums and transforming them into chairs.
Much of the metal recycled goes into industrial applications, like building materials, aircraft, plumbing and appliances. They are also present in roads and bridges and are incredibly useful to detoxify wastewater as well.
Recycled metal, mainly aluminium, is useful for domestic, commercial and industrial appliances, from washing machines to coffeemakers.
Stainless steel is not only resistant to corrosion but it’s also a hygienic and easy-to-maintain alloy. This is why it’s often found in the healthcare industry, form the operating theatre and surgical instruments to patient beds and equipment parts.
Scrap metal is also a popular material for artistic purposes. People are getting creative with old metal and turning it into sculptures – many non-professionals are even choosing to create pieces to decorate their own homes, such as with wall art. With an increased focus on sustainability, a lot of people are turning to reusing metal for their art or home décor, which also gives each piece a distinctive, unique feel.
As we mentioned, scrap metal is often used to make vehicles. Several different metals are used in cars, including steel and zinc, which is used for galvanised parts. When the car is scrapped, the zinc is recycled and reused without losing its qualities. This metal is also a crucial component in paints.
The food industry relies on scrap metal, especially in packaging. Aluminium cans are common and can be made from 100% recycled metal. Materials can be collected, recycled and transformed into new products in a matter of weeks or months, which means recycling metal is not only efficient but also cost-effective.
Iron and steel are common metals in the construction industry. From metal roofing to your home foundations, metal is a key component found in large quantities in both older and newer builds. This means that, without recycling metal, the world would be consuming all resources and emitting even more CO2 into the atmosphere.
Many metals can be used to make fixtures around the home, and brass is definitely at the top of the list. This alloy is found in light fixtures, taps and keys, not to mention plumbing, and it’s a popular material worth more money than some common metals.
You can also find recycled metal – mainly copper – in electric products, such as pipes and wires. Copper is valuable and used often in manufacturing due to its excellent properties; these include thermal and electric conductivity.
Recycled steel has many different uses, including in farms across the nation. Machinery like tractors can have a large quantity of the recycled metal in their composition and, once the vehicles or equipment are no longer viable, they can be scrapped, and their metal reused.
Metals like zinc and lead are vital in batteries, be it the ones found in vehicles or in remote controls. Lead is one of the most recycled metals in the world and choosing a recycled material instead of new can cut down CO2 emissions by 99%. Lead is also important in the healthcare sector, especially for radiation shields.
As you can see, recycled metals have a wide range of applications. Metal is all around us, which is why it’s crucial to meet demand while minimising the strain on natural resources.
Our ‘Scrap My Car’ service allows you to dispose of your vehicle in an environmentally-friendly way so, if you have an end-of-life car you no longer drive, get in touch with Morecambe Metals. Feel free to ask us any questions about our processes as well, and our friendly team will be more than happy to answer them. We’re also available on 01524 69191 and on firstname.lastname@example.org.