What Businesses Should Know About Metal Recycling

Metal recycling is a problem that many commercial operations have to deal with. Whether you're doing it to recoup some money or make a difference for the environment, recycling metals can make a difference. There are, however, a few things the commercial recycling company you'll be working with would like you to know.

Ferrous vs. Non-Ferrous Metals

This is the big divide in the types of materials that are recycled. Ferrous metals are products that are derived in some way form of iron. These include wrought and cast iron, alloy steel, and carbon steel. If you're not sure whether something is a ferrous metal, simply apply a magnet to it. Iron products will happily hold onto magnets, and many people in the industry keep magnets in their pockets just for checking.

Non-ferrous metals are pretty much everything else you have. They're not magnetic, and that makes them popular for use in wiring. Some examples of non-ferrous metals that are commonly recycled include aluminum, copper, and tin. Precious metals like gold and silver also fall into this category.

Some rare earth metals can be tricky to sort out with the magnet test. For example, neodymium is highly magnetic but non-ferrous. You'll rarely see large quantities of it, though, outside of electronic waste.


Generally, if you have a pile of nothing but metal, there isn't a great need for sorting. For the most part, the ferrous and non-ferrous products can be separated using powerful magnets.

You may want to sort out other materials, such as plastic and rubber, that may be attached to the metals. Contaminants, such as oil and lubricants, should be separated, too. It's also worth separating the metals if you're fairly sure there are more valuable materials in the pile, especially gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Check Published Scrap Prices

It's normal for a commercial recycling company to publish its rates on a website. Bear in mind, it's important to understand what it is you're being paid for. For example, some alloys may be worth less than their constituent elements because work will have to be put into breaking them up. Following the metal recycling rates, though, will help you understand why you're being paid a specific amount of money for a load.

Don't jump at the best-looking rate in all situations. Reputations matter in the metal recycling business so it's best to keep an eye on the reputable dealers rather than getting caught chasing a number. For more information, click this link: http://www.sunwestmetals.com.