Across the EU, about 100 million tonnes of scrap steel are recycled every year. Along with a handful of other metals, you can recycle steel over and over again without it ever losing its properties. For this reason, metal recycling has become more and more popular.
But what can you do with metal scraps? Where do you take that extra material? What happens to it afterwards?
The good news is that many industries are working towards using recycled scrap metal for manufacturing. Read on to learn seven things your scrap metal could be used for.
You might be surprised by how much scrap metal is inside your home right now. Metal scraps are in a lot of the furniture that you use every day.
If you have a metal bed frame, for example, then chances are you’re sleeping on top of scrap metal. The springs in your mattress could also be made of scrap metal from another company’s manufacturer waste. Even the screws holding together your dining table and chairs can be made from scrap metal.
The hinges and hardware that let you open and close your doors are also often made of scrap metal. These small pieces are easy to form from pieces of scrap metal from other manufacturers.
Oftentimes, recycled scrap metal is still sturdy, especially scrap steel and iron. Therefore, it’s perfect for supporting the structure of almost any furniture you have in your home.
If you have a lot of scrap metal that would well for making some smaller items, then you might consider giving it to a furniture maker to use.
2. Building Materials
Another type of structure that needs strong materials to support it are tall commercial buildings such as skyscrapers. They need strong materials that won’t bend or wobble to keep the entire building standing upright. To achieve this goal, construction workers use large sturdy metal beams to form the frame of the building.
Today, builders use a lot of scrap steel to make these beams. The steel goes through a scrap metal baler for easier transport. Then the construction crew melts all of the material they need together.
When it cools, it creates the massive beams that support the structures of all tall buildings you see in cities today. These beams will never rot since they’re not made of wood, and they’ll never rust since the outside of the building protects it from the elements.
The next time that you’re in a skyscraper or other large building, you can be amazed at how well this scrap metal does its job. And if you’re not sure what to do with all of the scrap steel and iron that you have, then you can always see if any construction material companies want it.
Any canned goods you have in your pantry or see in the store are aluminium. It’s a safe way to preserve and package a lot of food and beverages such as soup and soft drinks.
Aluminium doesn’t rust. It’s malleable in thin sheets, but in greater thickness, it becomes much more sturdy. This is why aluminium is in so many other products from foil to aeroplanes.
Since so many other products are made from aluminium, manufacturers often end up with a lot of scraps. Most of the time, these scraps go right into the cans your soup is in.
Any food that uses aluminium packaging, therefore, most likely sits inside recycled scrap metal. Soups, soft drinks, and even premade baked goods often use scrap aluminium.
Furthermore, while rare, some cans are also made from steel. These steel cans are also made from recycled scrap metal.
In other words, if you have some leftover aluminium or steel, then see if a cannery wants it. This way, you can dispose of your scrap metal without being wasteful. You help your business and help protect the environment at the same time.
Think about how many light fixtures you have in your home. Maybe you have a chandelier above your dining table. You might have some pendant lights in your kitchen.
Chances are, at least some parts of these fixtures are made of metal. Light fixtures use all sorts of metals to make the base. It might be steel, iron, or maybe even aluminium forming the frame of your lights.
In many cases, these are made from recycled scrap metal from other manufacturers. Lighting manufacturers melt down the metal to form the right shape for your lighting. Then you purchase and install it in your home, where it most likely stays until you eventually no longer own the house.
Therefore, every time you turn on a light in your house, you could be seeing the handiwork of scrap metal. It’s amazing how scrap metal can create so many different new shapes. You would probably never know that it was recycled.
If there’s a business that makes lighting fixtures near you, then you might think about taking your scrap metal there. They’ll be more than happy for the extra supplies.
5. Cars and Aeroplanes
Cars and aeroplanes are some of the most common methods of travel, especially over long distances. Most people will probably use both of these vehicles at least once throughout their lifetimes. However, you may not have given much thought to what they’re made of.
These vehicles need to be as light as possible to move as quickly as they do. They also need to protect the people inside of them if something goes wrong. For this reason, cars and aeroplanes are primarily made from aluminium and steel.
These metals maintain the structure of the vehicle so it stays together. In the event of an accident, the body of a car crumples to take most of the damage while leaving you mostly unharmed. It also makes both cars and aeroplanes lighter to allow for faster movement and better fuel economy.
Both of these vehicles use a lot of metal, and many companies are starting to turn to scrap metal to reduce waste. So a car or aeroplane plant is a good place to take scrap metal from your own business.
6. Roads and Bridges
Steel beams also make up the structures of roads and bridges. Bridges specifically need to hold the weight of the cars crossing them for many years without breaking. It takes much more than thick concrete to achieve this goal.
Inside that concrete, steel beams create the frame of the bridge. Then they’re encased in concrete to make the road across it, allowing cars to cross over it without issue.
The beams provide support and strength to the bridge so that cars can continue to cross it for years without fear. Only minor repairs to the concrete will be necessary for a very long time.
To save some costs and to help protect the environment, builders try to use recycled scrap metal from other companies to create these beams. It’s just as strong, and it helps builders get enough materials to build the bridge.
If you’re looking for a place to dispose of your business’s scrap metal, then you might want to try finding builders working on your local roads and bridges. This helps the environment, disposes of your waste, and contributes to your local infrastructure all at the same time.
Finally, many artists enjoy creating art with anything available to them. This includes items that others are disposing of such as scrap metal.
They’re always looking for materials for their next piece for a reasonable price. Most of the time, they don’t need a lot of metal to make something interesting.
Artists will use these pieces to make sculptures and abstract art. They might melt it down to create an engraving piece. If it’s already gone through a scrap metal baler, then they might even turn the blocks into a sculpture.
Either way, these become amazing and fun art pieces for people to enjoy. Maybe you’ll see it every day on your way to work as a public art piece. Or maybe it becomes part of a private collection or goes to a museum.
Selling your scrap metal to an artist at a reasonable price solves a few problems for you. First, it’s less wasteful than throwing your scraps away. Second, the artist may then sell their creation after they make it.
Finally, you may also get to enjoy a beautiful piece of public art later.
Recycle Your Metal Scraps Today
Using any of these options to recycle your metal scraps is a great way to help the environment and reduce waste. It ensures that all of your materials see use. Furthermore, most metals don’t lose any of their properties even if they’re recycled a hundred times over.
And if you’re looking for an easy way to transport your scrap metal, then you can get the best metal balers here at Anis. We’re the best in all of Europe for metal baler machines and parts.
Get a quote today and see how we can help you.