If ever there was a contender for steel as the most recycled metal on the planet, it would be iron. Iron is the most abundant metal on Earth (as well as the fourth most abundant element found in the Earth's crust). Iron is potentially the most important metal on the planet, since it is the key ingredient in steel. Additionally, iron is a popular choice for those looking to invest in a Self Directed Gold IRA.
This is why approximately 90% of all refined metal is iron; the demand for steel is so high that it must be met with the right supply. The metal recycling industry is one of the most important industries for the economy and also for the environment. By recycling metals, these companies play an important role in reducing greenhouse gases and energy use. Economically, the metal recycling industry employs hundreds of thousands of workers and helps generate some of the country's highest GDP revenues.
While metal recycling companies can recycle any type of metal, some types are more in demand than others. Read on to learn about the types of metals that are most commonly recycled. Although all the metals mentioned in this blog are valuable in the industry, steel is arguably the most recycled metal of all. The reason why steel is so common is because of its versatility and the enormous volume of its presence in commerce.
Manufacturers use steel to build cars, train parts, appliances, tools, and more. In addition, steel is one of the most common metals preferred by recyclers because of its ease of removing impurities with an industrial magnet. Most, if not all, metal recycling facilities have copper wire granulators on-site because copper wire is one of the most valuable metals currently being recycled. Copper is valuable for several reasons.
First of all, copper is one of the oldest metals and is present in plumbing and electrical work in most homes. In addition, recycling copper is much more energy efficient than making new copper. Therefore, for many manufacturers, the benefit of reducing energy costs is valuable, increasing the demand and overall value of copper. When the average person thinks of aluminum, they probably picture the can in which their favorite beverage comes.
However, aluminum is also a common metal for automotive parts and household accessories, such as gutters and door hardware. Although aluminum isn't the most valuable metal on this list, the process of recycling aluminum is much faster than that of many other metals. Metal recyclers tend to look for heavier metals such as iron, specifically cast iron and wrought iron. Although iron was considered to be one of the best metals for fencing, home heating and more, today iron has mostly been replaced by less corrosive materials such as steel.
That said, iron is still a valuable metal because it's relatively easy to melt and apply to other applications, such as steelmaking. Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? In North America, we recycle around 80 million tons of steel every year. That's more than the weight of all the cars in the entire state of California. It's also more than all the paper, plastic, aluminum and glass that we recycle every year together.
Copper is one of the most valuable metals for most scrappers. Pound for pound, it is worth more than most base metals and is the king of non-ferrous metals. However, not all copper products are worth the same and the price of copper can change dramatically over time compared to other metals. The price you are paid for scrap copper will depend on the market value that day, as well as the type and condition of the copper you brought in.
Copper foil, for example, is more valuable per pound than plastic-coated copper wire because it has a higher copper content. Brass and bronze are commonly found in pipes; as copper alloys, they still have some value, but not as much as copper itself. .