Thursday, April 18, 2024

How Are Scrap Car Metals Recycled?

You’ve probably heard the saying Reduce, Reuse, Recycle countless times during your childhood. But what does it truly mean, especially when discussing metal recycling?

Metal recycling is a process where these three principles harmonize to safeguard the environment. By choosing to recycle your scrap metal, you’re essentially contributing to reusing the metal and lessening the necessity for extensive mining and production.

Now, delve into what precisely occurs when scrap metal goes through recycling. In this article, you’ll uncover a step-by-step walkthrough of how metal recycling happens, covering everything from the beginning to the end.

To get started, review your actions before delivering your scraps to a metal recycling facility. 

  • Collection

Start by setting up bins in your garage or facility for collecting scrap metal. Make sure these bins can handle the weight and size of the metal safely. If you’re dealing with a lot of scrap metal, recycling centers might assist you in arranging transportation.

  • Sorting

After the recycling facility gathers your collected scrap metal, they begin sorting. While you might have done some initial sorting, they do this to ensure quality. Initially, they separate metals from other materials, removing plastic from wires and isolating metal pieces. Magnets come into play to separate ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Metals are further sorted by type based on their color and weight. For instance, they distinguish copper’s yellowish-red hue from silver aluminum. They also consider cleanliness, whether the metal is pure or not. This step often involves advanced tools like magnets, infrared scanners, and X-rays.

  • Processing

Now comes the scrap metal processing phase. They compress the metals to reduce their size using hydraulic machinery. This equipment employs fluid pressure to cut large metal pieces effectively. They then move on to shredding, breaking the metal into smaller fragments using hammer mills. This shredding simplifies the melting process by increasing the surface area relative to volume.

  • Melting

Using a large furnace, the metal is melted down. Each metal requires a specific furnace setup due to its distinct melting points dictated by its properties. The melting time varies depending on the metal’s size and the furnace’s capacity, from minutes to hours. Although melting demands energy, it’s notably less than what’s needed to mine new metals.

  • Purification

Quality is a priority, so the metals undergo purification to eliminate contaminants. One purification method is electrolysis, which involves the passage of an electric current through the metal. This process deposits pure metal at the cathode and dissolves impure elements, ensuring the final product’s integrity.

  • Solidifying

The next step in the metal recycling journey is solidification. Certain chemicals are introduced to the molten metal to achieve specific desired properties. Afterward, the melted metals are guided along a conveyor belt leading to a cooling chamber, where they undergo the process of solidification.

Various metals are transformed into sheets or compact blocks, a method known as baling. This preparation simplifies the manufacturing of new products down the line.

  • Transportation

With the metals now purified and solid, arranging their shipment to manufacturing facilities is time. The purified metals are carefully packaged and loaded onto trucks for transportation. Manufacturers can then use these metals to craft entirely new products. Once these products are ready, they’re made available to consumers, thus completing the cycle and initiating the process again.


Metal recycling has served as a significant source of materials for the manufacturing and construction sectors over numerous years. This industry collaborates closely with the economy, contributes to creating fresh products, and plays a vital role in environmental preservation.

If you find yourself keen on enhancing your company’s recycling initiatives, possess unused items searching for a new purpose, or seek further insights into scrap metal procedures, reach out to

The well-informed team at is genuinely enthusiastic about repurposing and would be thrilled to receive your communication!

Frank Nadia
the authorFrank Nadia