From bridges and roads to tin cans, a number of things that we encounter in our day-to-day lives are created from repurposed products.

With almost half of the world’s annual production of steel, copper, and aluminum coming from recycled scrap metal, there is an enormous demand for scrap metal recycling. According to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), a number of manufacturers around Canada utilize the millions of tonnes of scrap metal that are recovered annually. Scrap metal plays a crucial role in the recycling industry, as new metal products also often require recycled materials. As such, metals that come from products such as old automobiles, household appliances, and structural steel are given new life after the recycling process. Here are some of the most popular ways in which scrap metal is repurposed.

Benefits of Scrap Metal

In most cases, the scrap metal recycling process often creates a product that is as strong as new metal. There are two predominant methods in which steel is created from reclaimed scrap metal: Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) and Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Much of the resulting product created through the EAF process is comprised almost entirely of scrap metal, and the scrap metal is refined more than once to create strong, sturdy steel. Because of this, recycled scrap metal is used in a number of projects that require reliable structural integrity, including buildings and roads.

Versatile Uses

Aircrafts, automobiles, household appliances, and equipment used for plumbing also make use of recycled scrap metal, and these items are commonly made from recycled parts of their previous iterations. Many governmental bodies, for example, aim to recover 95 percent of automobiles, with 25 percent of an automobile’s car being repurposed scrap metal. Almost 80 percent of a standard aircraft’s frame is made from recycled aluminum. Recycled scrap metals play a major role in the transport industry, as scrap metals are often used in building roads and railroad tracks as well.

Sorting Non-Ferrous Metal
Ensuring quality with a human touch.

One of the less obvious uses of recycled scrap metal is in food packaging. Recycled scrap metals like aluminum and steel are frequently used in food packaging, including canned goods packaging and beverage containers. Most canned goods packaging and beverage containers available contain at least some recycled scrap metal, with many of them made from 100% recycled materials.

Aluminum is one of the most commonly recycled and reused scrap metals due to the recycling process it undergoes. Recycled aluminum requires less processing altogether when compared to manufacturing food packaging with new aluminum, making it a highly cost-effective endeavour. As well, canned food packaging may take as few as eight weeks to be purchased from the grocery store, recycled, and ultimately reused as canned food packaging, making it one of the most eco-friendly recyclables.

Recycled scrap metal is often used in home furnishings. With a greater demand for recycled products in an effort to meet environmental demands as set forth by governmental agencies, such metal furniture as benches, tables, gliders and lamps are some of the home furnishings that also utilize recycled scrap metal.

Richmond Steel Recycling is a leader in the scrap metal recycling industry, accepting scrap metal from companies and the general public. Having over four decades of experience in the recycling industry and committed to the principles of environmental sustainability, Richmond Steel helps contribute to sustainable products that utilize scrap metal.

Learn about Richmond Steel Recycling’s core values, and for more information about scrap metal recycling, please contact your local facility.