Author Archives: Miso Gusic

Recycling Aluminum Cans Vs. Pop Tabs

Do a quick search over the internet and you will come across a lot of articles and website detailing various ways of recycling the aluminum cans and pop tabs. There are many rumors that the pop tabs on aluminum cans are the only part of the can that is made from pure aluminum. However, this is all wrong as both the aluminum pop tabs and cans are equally valuable as they are all made of pure aluminum.

Aluminum from recycled cans, including the pull tabs, is the same as the one that is smelted from virgin ore. Simply put, the can itself is equally as valuable as the pull tab. Note also that the whole can by far outweighs the pull tab. A pound of aluminum equals approximately 1000 pull tabs or 34 empty cans.

Collecting aluminum tabs

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Most of the aluminum tabs that find their way into the recycling plants are mostly collected by the locals in a given locality, or by national and local charities. The main reason for collecting only pull tabs is that they occupy less storage space and there is beverage residue mess to later on clean up. Other people who collect pull aluminum tabs are the children who mostly do it for fun.

Well, according to kids, it is a lot of fun watching the number of tabs pile up in the collection containers like pennies in a piggy bank. Parents also can decide to collect and donate aluminum tabs to the charities of their choice. People that collect aluminum pull tabs also need to remember to recycle the rest of the can as it is also made of pure aluminum as earlier mentioned. The collectors then can decide to donate the money they are paid for recycling aluminum can and pop tabs to charities of their choice.

How is aluminum recycled?

One of the easiest metals to recycle is aluminum according to metal recycling experts. Most of recycling facilities provide curbside bins for collecting discarded metal materials such as aluminum, copper, steel, and the likes. If a metal recycling plant near you does not offer pick up services, then simply do a simple internet search for drop-off locations near you.

Aluminum cans and pop tabs are first separated from the rest of recyclables where they are then condensed in larger bales or bricks ready for the recycling process. Afterwards, the condensed cans are burned to remove outside paint and then are shredded to tiny pieces and melted. The molten aluminum is then poured into over 20-foot long ingots that weigh more than 10 tons. Afterwards, the ingots are rolled and reduced to the wanted thickness ready for the manufacturers.

Price value

Both aluminum cans and pop tabs are recycled for the same price. Recycled aluminum varies depending on wide variety of factors, meaning that is not possible to have the same rates. Make sure to do some research online to get aluminum scrap dealers that will pay you the best rates for recycling your cans or pop tabs.

Benefits

Aluminum is one kind of a metal that can be recycled endlessly according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This being the case, aluminum cans made from recycled aluminum saves around 92% of the energy that is required when manufacturing cans form bauxite ore. Apart from saving energy, recycling aluminum cans ends up cutting down waste on our landfills.

Top 4 Metals That Can Be Recycled

Discarded metals are one of the easiest materials to recycle. Apart from this, metal recycling can be performed at many scrap metal recycling centers around the country, meaning that most of the collected metal pieces are able to find their way into a processing facility.

Metals hold their value fairly well compared to other recycling materials. Not only this, most kinds of metals can be recycled repeatedly with no apparent changes in their basic properties. So, it is recommended to recycle discarded metals whenever possible so as to gain economically as well as help protect the environment. This is by diverting waste from the landfills and decreasing energy consumption. Here are the some of the commonest discarded metals that can be recycled.

Lead

While lead is not considered by many as a recyclable material, it one of the commonest metals that is recycled. This metal can be found in car batteries, building materials, and also in scientific and medical equipment. If any of these objects is disposed of in landfills, the lead in them eventually ends up into the underground water supplies, where it harms the ecosystem. According to the Lenntech Corp, lead-contaminated water causes a wide range of health issues, including nerve and kidney damage, learning disabilities in children, and much more. To avoid all this, it is important to recycle discarded lead to make new products, such as protective equipment for doctors, batteries and the like. This way, no longer used lead materials are not left lying around to contaminate our ecosystem.

Aluminum

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Recycling aluminum only requires 5% of the energy that is needed to extract and manufacture a new can according to a research that was carried out by the Oberlin College. By recycling aluminum building materials, food containers, cans, and the likes, you will be helping to protect the environment, keep prices low on many everyday items, reduce emissions, and much more. Recycled aluminum can be used to produce new food containers, beverage cans, and the like.

Copper

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Recycled copper metal is used in building materials, jewelry, electrical wires, plumbing pipes and much more. Scrap copper has around 95% of value of new copper, making it one of the most sought after scrap metals by scrap dealers. You can conserve the world’s limited supply of copper by recycling the no-longer-used bits and at the same time earn money.

Steel

Recycled steel is used for a number of applications, including making cars to building framing making. Furthermore, recycling steel needs only a fraction of the energy that is used to extract new product from the ore. The more steel is recycled, the more the number of manufacturers that rely on cheaper existing steel supplies instead of new products, and hence keeping the prices low on a wide variety of everyday new products.

All in all, the above listed recycled metals can be used to manufacture a wide range of cheaper priced new products. These include the manufacture of new ships, metals piping, airplanes, metal tables and chairs, aluminum foil, cars, and many more.

How Is Recycling Metals Advantageous?

People use and discard huge amounts of metal annually, which comes anywhere from things such as small beverage cans to different parts from no longer operable machines and vehicles. Around 100 million tons of scrap is recycled each year according the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. This comprises of approximately 40% of the world’s available metal that is used for manufacturing. Metal recycling is beneficial in multiple ways. These include:

Environmental benefits

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Scrap or no longer used metal recycling has multiple benefits for the environment. When equated to making products from recycled metals, the production of new metals from mined ore releases huge amounts of greenhouse gasses that are very destructive to the environment. For instance, these gases are known to influence changes in the climate and can also cause harmful levels of air pollution in large cities. This results in potential respiratory health issues for the masses. Recycling metals reduces the said greenhouse gas emissions in a much significant way, and hence benefiting our environment.

Economic benefits

Recycling scrap metals produces 30 times more jobs compared to sending the same amount of metal waste to the incinerator, and six times more than disposing of the metals to the landfills. Also according to the National Recycling Coalition, metal recycling industry generates more than 230 million dollars each year and employs millions of people across the country.

So we can say that metal recycling is not only a way of assisting the planet, but also a chance for higher profitability, or getting better prices to the customers, or both. In purchasing fewer new materials, and recycling more waste metals, there are clearly positive economic as well as environmental gains.

Ore conservation

There is only a limited amount of metal ore remaining in our planet. As such, metal recycling reduces the amount of virgin metal ore required to be mined by offering manufacturers with a source of already mined metal. Recycling a pound of steel saves approximately 1.25 lbs. of virgin ore, while aluminum conserves around 4lbs. of bauxite ore.

Energy conservation

Recycling metal saves energy that could otherwise be used in ore drilling, metal refining, and so forth. However, it should be noted that that energy conservation levels vary from one product being recycled to the other. Recycling steel conserves around 60% of energy while recycling aluminum utilizes 95% less energy compared to deriving it from virgin ore. If a single aluminum beverage can is recycled, enough energy to power a single 60-watt light bulb for more than five hours is conserved.

So we can comfortably say that recycling discarded metals is more beneficial compared to throwing disposing them of in the landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that discarded metals account for most solid waste recovered for recycling compared to other recycling materials. This makes metal the second-largest segment of recycling industry after paper. All in all, the process of recycling metals consists of a number of steps including collection, sorting, shredding, baling and melting, and finally fabrication. It is important to understand these steps so as to maximise on your recycling efforts in Canada.

Five Common Mistakes You Should Avoid In Metal Recycling

The scrap metal business is one of the lucrative businesses that involve the recycling of waste. It is a way of disposing of waste without incurring much costs, but instead earning a good amount of money for the recyclable materials. It is, however, marred by a number of common mistakes that most scrap metal recyclers do. These mistakes can cause a reduction of profit and can even jeopardize your safety. Knowing the mistakes will therefore make your business operations safer as well as more efficiently. The common mistakes include:

Improper preparation of the metals

It is common to find scrap materials that have not been prepared well for recycling in scrap yards. Take for example a copper wire that is still insulated. Such a material will generate lesser money for you. Selling the stripped copper wire can generate more money than the insulated one. If you want to earn more from selling your scrap metals, prepare your metal waste adequately so that recycling them is a piece of cake.

Dealing with scrap yards that have a bad reputation

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Some scrap yards do not have a good reputation in the scrap metal business. Others lack the kind of customer care service that will keep their clients loyal to them. Such scrap metal facilities should be avoided at all cost as you are likely to get services below what you deserve. Do a proper search for a recycling company with a good reputation and one who respects you or your business.

Misinformation on the different grades

Most often, people who are new to metal scraping and recycling get misled on the different qualities of the scrap metal they are dealing with. They will think that they have the quality scrap metal, only to realize that all they have is low quality junk of metal. It is then important that you make yourself well informed about the metal grades you are going to deal with referring to their approximate values. Also know the grade of scrap that your dealer likes most. An example in the difference of grade is as seen in copper where we have the four grades being bare bright wire, copper tubing/flashing, copper tubing wire, roofing copper and insulated copper wire.

Mixing all your metals

Most scrap metal dealers do not think that separating the metals before the recycling process is a step worth taking. However, it is proven that sorting out your metals will ensure that you get the right value for the respective grade of metal you take to the yard. Most scrap yard owners classify all unsorted metals in the same low quality category, and this disadvantages sellers that come with unsorted metals.

Not knowing the price of your metals

Before deciding the dealer you will take your scrap metal to, it is important for you to know the estimated amount you will be paid for your metal. Contact a number of dealers and compare the different prices that are offered for the scrap metals you have. This will give you an idea of what your metal waste is worth.

As long as you avoid the common mistakes made when it comes to scrap metal recycling, it will help you get the most out of your scrap metals, regardless whether you are recycling metals as an individual or as a business.

Are Your Gas Cylinders Recyclable?

It is often not easy to dispose metal waste, especially when we are talking about bulky items. For some of such metallic items, you will also be doubtful if you will be able to recycle them. A very common example of such metals is your gas cylinders. Most people are skeptical on whether they should, and how they should recycle them.

Yes, your gas cylinders are recyclable but it is important to realize that it is not wise to recycle any gas cylinder you find. To enable you to recycle your gas cylinders safely, it is important to pay attention to some key guidelines as mentioned below

Know the type of metal your gas cylinder is made of

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It is essential to know what type of metal cylinders you are dealing with. Most gas cylinders are either made of aluminum or steel alloys. Aluminum gas cylinders help to cut on the weight of the cylinder and also reduces the corrosion the cylinder may experience from the substance it stores. Knowing the metal types helps you to know what weight you are likely to be dealing with and what method you will use to recycle them. Some metals need more energy than others to recycle.

Beware of the gas pressure in the cylinder

Gas cylinders hold substances that are often compressed (compressed gas). It is, therefore, important that before recycling gas cylinders ensure that they no longer have high pressurized gas in them. The higher the pressure, the more explosive your gas cylinders can be. So, check the pressure level of the cylinders and only deal with those that do not have any gas left.

The contents of the cylinder should be known

Most often, gas cylinders carry explosive and combustible gases. Therefore, before beginning your recycling endeavor, ensure that you know the contents inside the cylinder. If you are dealing with gas cylinders that have explosive components inside them, you should get help to make sure that your gas cylinders are punctured and empty.

Do not approach or touch cylinders that you are not sure about

There are gas cylinders that you are not sure about their contents or whether or not they are empty. In such cases, it is wise to approach safety authorities that will help you determine the safety of the cylinders. If the cylinders still contain any gas substance, these authorities will help you empty them for your safety.

Know the conditions of recycling the gas cylinders

Most gas cylinders are highly reinforced due to their contents and their pressure level. For this reason, to recycle them, you need some extraordinary conditions to be met. An example is gas cylinders that have been reinforced with Kevlar or fiber glass. Such gas cylinders would need to be baked at extremely high temperatures before recycling can take place.

In summary, recycling gas cylinders is possible but you have to make sure that you know the risks involved. When you work with a reputable metal recycling provider, the company will take measures to keep you safe and many a times, all you have to do is just hand over the gas cylinders to them and let them take over from that point onwards.

How To Stay Safe When Recycling Metals

The recycling of waste metals is an endeavor that is worth engaging in because of the many benefits it offers. However, there are also a number of hazards it comes with that may be life endangering. It is important to remember that your safety should be given priority during the whole process of recycling. Fortunately, there are equally many ways to ensure that your life is not threatened by these hazards during each stage of metal recycling.

Work within your limits

During the process of recycling metals, it is possible to get injured when lifting the metals. To ensure that you are safe from those injuries that are often experienced during lifting, do not try to lift a weight that is beyond what you can handle. Also, ensure that you are not lifting heavy metals for extended periods of time. Make sure that the posture you assume during the process of handling the metal is at a posture that you are comfortable with. Working in the right posture and on the right workstations minimizes the chances of injury during the process of lifting. It will also improve your work quality as it has an ergonomic effect.

Watch out for slips, trips and falls

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The most common injuries that recyclers suffer from are due to falling, slipping or even metal items falling on them. The slightest mistake in the steps you take may be enough to make you suffer a serious injury. Metals also have sharp edges so be careful when you are working around them so that you will not suffer unnecessary cuts. Watch out for a slippery floor and also be careful when it comes to obstructing objects that may cause you to stumble.

Handle machinery carefully and wear protective gear

How you handle the recycling machinery can determine your safety. Ensure that the machinery is properly positioned and well maintained. If your job scope involves driving work vehicles, always drive tactfully. You should also make sure that the proper safety gear is worn when operating both moving and non-moving machinery.

For those working in the metal recycling industry, certain injuries can happen due to direct exposure to the metal. This may be through contact with certain harmful materials such as iron filings and rust, noise, and more. Some of these injuries may even become a permanent disability so wearing protective gear such as earmuffs, gloves, and safety shoes will go a long way in ensuring your safety.

Watch out for explosive substances

Most of the substances found in the metal recycling industry are highly explosive and an example is welding gas. To ensure utmost safety, you should ensure that dealing with such explosive substances is done with extreme care.

By properly following the safety measures in the metal recycling industry, workers can keep themselves safe and healthy without risking their lives during their course of work. The management team at recycling facilities should always make it a point to regularly check that their employees abide by the safety guidelines at their workplace.

Cautionary Measures You Should Take When Recycling Electronics

Most of us own electronics and most of them will break down after a prolonged period of usage. Upon their malfunctions, most of them cannot be repaired or the cost of repair makes it not worth repairing. What then happens when your electronics have reached the end of their service lifespan and you cannot repair it? Do you throw it away? Probably.

But for most of us, it is worth recycling the metallic components of the electronics. The other aspect is regarding the security of the data these electronics have stored. For example, some electronics have hard disks for data storage. Before recycling them or handing them over to metal recyclers, it is very important to ensure your data is wiped off and will not be accessed by third parties.

This sensitive data may include bank account numbers, passwords, and even social security numbers. If this information gets into the public domain, you or your customers may end up landing into trouble. It is therefore very important to stick to some precautionary measures that will help you not to endanger your life or the security of your data:

Do a proper screening for the right electronics recycling services

Do a thorough search and screen through your available options to determine a trusted electronics recycling service. It is important to get a service provider that will assure you the safety of your personal data. This means that this recycler will not do any actions to compromise private data, should they detect it. Finding such a recycling provider may take time, so it will be wise to be patient and thorough in the screening process. If there is any data that you will like to recover before recycling, you can also consider using data recovery services.

Wipe your hard disks to remove existing data

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Another way of ensuring your safety when your computer parts are recycled is to wipe the hard discs so that you can remove any tangible information you may have on these parts. This may involve downloading software to help you accomplish the task. If you have the software, boot from the CD and select the drives to wipe. This assures you that no matter who your recycling service provider is, your sensitive data is irrecoverable.

Destroy the electronics parts onsite

For electronics recycling, there are services that promise that they will destroy the recyclable parts onsite while some will do it offsite. If you are sure that your electronics do not have any private data, it is not a problem to allow the recycling firm to destroy the parts offsite. However, if you are not sure that data has been completely wiped out, it is advisable to let the parts be destroyed in your presence.

Sign an official agreement

This is important because you can use it to indicate that you are the owner of any data may be recovered. You will also be able to hold the recycling service provider accountable for any breach of data in any adverse situation.

As you can see, the whole essence of taking these precautions is to ensure your privacy is safeguarded and your sensitive data stays confidential when you decide to do electronics recycling.

A Look At Gold Extraction From Computers

Electronic scrap such as individual components or whole computers contains gold and some other precious materials. People often wonder whether it is still worthwhile to extract precious metals from old and disused electronics like mobile phones and computers. These days’ consumer electronics are handled as almost disposable items and it is not difficult to pickup several outdated and broken down machines. You may also have a few old computers, laptops, mobile phones, consoles stashed away in the garage.

The presence of precious metals

People often get surprised when they are informed that their electronic devices contain precious metals, such as gold and silver. The computer circuit board has precious material traces that are in densities which are almost the same as that of iron ore. Gold is the second best conductor of electricity. Furthermore, it is the most malleable and is highly resistant to tarnish. Moreover, it is very ductile which means it can be stretched very far before it breaks; it can be designed into micron-thin leaf. 1 ounce of gold can be stretched 50 miles. These characteristics make gold suitable for use in electronics.

Extracting gold from computers

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Some people find it profitable to attempt to extract gold from computers, then refine and sell it. However, there is only a very small quantity of gold inside an old computer, thanks to its ductility. The process of extracting gold can be expensive and dangerous as a result of the corrosive chemicals required. A chemical such as sulphuric acid is often used to separate the gold from other precious metals. Sulphuric acid can burn when it comes into contact with the skin. It can also be volatile if handled incorrectly.

While there are people who seek to extract precious metals, including gold from old computers, it is not recommended. The process can be time consuming, dangerous, messy and can yield very small financial results. At the end of this all you will end up with is a pile of computer parts that need to be disposed of. This alone may cost more than the value of the extracted gold. Furthermore, if you want to ethically and legally dispose of chemicals that you have used it will certainly be a money losing endeavor.

What you will need for gold extraction

Scrap electronics, rubber apron, rubber gloves, goggles, muriatic acid, hydrogen peroxide, methyl hydrate, funnel filter, 2 large glass containers, stir stick plastic or glass, weigh scale mine, blow torch, borax, clay bowls and a measuring cup.

The role of a metal detector

If you are still interested in making money from scrap gold, it is advisable to invest in a metal detector. But you must do this with the understanding that there is very little gold that can be found in a single computer. Furthermore, it is time consuming and difficult to extract. In addition, extracting gold from PCs is dangerous. Moreover, you will be left with the PC to discard. Last but not least, the process of extracting gold from electronics is potentially damaging to the environment.

What Causes The Fluctuations In Price For Scrap Metal?

There is money in scrap metal. For as long as the crap metal industry has been flourishing, there has been a consistent rise in scrap prices. It is estimated that over a million tons of scrap is recycled around the world every year. As a result, it has become a business that has resulted in the generation of large amounts of revenue for different people. Scrap prices have been on the rise and there are a number of factors which contribute to the rise of scrap prices.

Growth of the industry

The growth of the industry is an indirect factor that has led to the rise in scrap prices. The growth of the industry is attributed to human demand for metal and demand by other countries.

• Demand for metal

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There is a human demand for metal, which continues to expand by the day. Metals are very important commodities to human beings. Man uses it in different areas of his life. Fortunately, metal can be recycled many times without losing its value.

• Demand by other countries

There are many foreign countries that demand ore and scrap metal, such as India. When the prices for coal, copper and iron ore rise, the prices of scrap also skyrockets, but this is still cheaper compared to buying new metal.

The environment

The economy and environment benefit in several ways from recycling of scrap. Recycling grants human beings an exhaustive resource of metals that can be reused again and again. This goes a long way in saving energy and lowering pollution. As long as there is demand for something, those who are in control of it will try to cash in as much as possible- making as much money as possible. Therefore, as the metal industry continues to grow, the scrap industry has also been growing steadily, with those who are in control of it demanding whatever they deem fit.

Market rate, quality, quantity and purity

There are a number of direct factors that influence the prices of scrap. The value of scrap material often rises due to the prevailing market rates. The quality, quantity and purity of the scrap will have a direct correlation to the price it fetches. The more pure the metal is, the more it will fetch in the market. The same applies to its quality and quantity. If the quality is high you can expect to fetch a higher rate. If the quantity is large, it is borne to fetch a higher price as well.

Region and community

Scrap metal prices often vary by region and community. But the reality on the ground is that the scrap metal that you have are lying around your homestead could potentially fetch you some big bucks. Junk cars, wiring or leftover copper piping, broken appliances and soft drink cans can be considered scrap metal. The prices of scrap metal vary on a daily basis, so before turning over your leftover metal it is a good idea to check out online so that you may have an idea of what the prices are. This will grant you the ideal opportunity of determining whether you are getting a fair deal.

Understanding the Airplane Recycling Industry

The airline industry looks forward to become eco-friendly, while cutting costs. Another area of increasing interest is that of aircraft recycling. Aircrafts are made of different materials and devices, including long and short glass, carbon fiber composites, wires, aluminum, textiles and carpet, electronic devices, landing gears, fluids, foam, engines, titanium, steel alloys and other parts. At the end of the aircraft’s useful life, the majority of these devices and materials can be recovered and reused. Because there are many different uses of old airplane parts, aircraft recycling has become a new, booming industry.

Different uses of end-of-service aircraft parts

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After they have been recovered and processed, the reusable materials of an old aircraft can be used to design circuit boards for phones, TVs and computers. Some aircraft parts are also used to produce brand-new aircrafts. Using old aircraft parts like trays, overhead bins and galley carts in the fitting of new aircrafts helps airplane producers to control their costs. This is particularly beneficial as cheaper flights are gaining demand in a highly competitive industry.

Utilizing these low cost aircrafts will encourage different airlines to charge cheaper airfares and thus helping them to become competitive in the market. Even selling an airplane that is out of order to a recycling company can help recover some of the initial costs. Furthermore, aircraft parts can be utilized to make a wide range of items, such as building cladding, houses, furniture and boats. Therefore, increasingly, aircrafts are being designed with recycling and reuse in mind.

Benefits of recycling aircrafts

In addition to the different uses of end of term aircraft parts, aircraft recycling offers a number of benefits. First and foremost, aircraft recycling and reuse reduces the allocations to landfill, energy demand and consumption of natural resources. Secondly, aircraft recycling ensures eco-friendly disposal of aircraft waste. This helps to reduce contaminations to air, soil and water.

The aircraft recycling process

The process of recycling aircrafts is a bit different from the normal recycling process (that involves collecting, sorting, processing and reuse). Some easily collectable items, like engines, passenger seats, etc are removed and what is left is a shell. Different parts of the shell are then broken down into smaller pieces and transported for the next phase of the process of recycling. You will discover different types of metals and plastics that need to be recycled.

A process of sorting is required, with a powerful magnet being used to separate steel and iron from plastics and aluminum. A manual check ensures an error-free sorting of the materials. Once all the materials are separated, each of them is used as raw material for purposes of producing circuit board for TVs, computers, phones and many other items.

Aircraft recycling industry trade association

The AFRS (Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association) is the leading global trade association that is devoted to pursuing and promoting environmentally best practice on matters of salvaging and recycling aircraft materials and parts. The association was established in 2006 to facilitate a sustainable management of end of term airframes and aircraft engines.