Scrap Metal Recycling Process

You see those large recycling plants and the giant trucks loaded with metal scrap all around town — but what are they actually doing. There are 3 basic steps to the recycling scrap metal. Let’s break the scrap metal recycling process down.

Collecting the Scrap Metal

First thing’s first, we need scrap metal before we can recycle it. Usually individuals and businesses will pile up their scrap metal and either dispose of it or sell it. Unless they are publicly owned, most recycling centers will purchase scrap at the market price for that metal. That metal will be weighed, sorted, and recycled right there at the plant.

On the other hand, scrap buyers are the middle men between the sellers and the recyclers. They will purchase the metal from the scrappers and then turn around it sell it to the recycling facility.

Melt Down!

Smelting_scrap metal recycling houston

Bins of scrap ready for smelting.

Scrap is usually sorted by metal groups by the time it reaches the recycling facility. The plant will double-check to ensure that all scrap can be broke down and that it is properly sorted.

Next, the scrap is dumped into a smelter, which is a machine that uses extreme heat and reducing agent to melt down the metal and remove other contaminants. Scrap made of different metals go into different smelters since each metal has a different melting point. When molten, the metal is formed into little bars called ignots and then cooled down.

Reusing that Metal

The ignots are then sold and distributed to manufacturers throughout the country. Once again, the metal is melted down and formed into whatever those manufacturers need. In the end, this saves energy, precious resources, and money!
To learn more about the scrap metal recycling process, please call Gulf Coast Scrap Metal at 713-868-4111