Which Metals are Not Recyclable and Why?

Nearly all metal and objects containing metal are recyclable. But there are, however, certain metals (most of which are not even accessible by common person) that are not recyclable, or not accepted at scrap metal recycling centers because they are hazardous waste. Continue reading to learn about these particular metals, and where to recycle metal in your community.

Non-Recyclable Metals

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

The most common (and obvious) non-recyclable metals are Uranium and Plutonium. These are referred to as radioactive metals. Now unless you are a scientist, physicist, military engineer, or some secret government nuclear power mastermind, you are not going to ever see or come into contact with Uranium or Plutonium. But just as food for thought, they are radioactive metals that are not suitable for recycling because they are extremely detrimental to our health and environment.

There is a third metal too toxic to recycle, and that metal is Mercury. This also includes anything made with or containing Mercury. Lastly, another metal that should not be recycled is lead; like lead-acid batteries and cathode ray tubing found in television sets and computer monitors. Although most scrap metal recycling centers will accept these commodities, they will remove the toxic metal components before the salvaging process. To further understand more about Uranium, Plutonium, and Mercury, and why these metals are not safe to recycle, check out the brief descriptions of each below:

Plutonium – Plutonium starts out brightly-colored silver and gray, but quickly changes to duller colors, even greens and yellows, when exposed to oxygen. It has a high boiling point and is a good conductor of electricity, but a poor conductor of heat. It is brittle and hard, but can be more malleable if combined with another metal. Human exposure to plutonium, for instance through inhalation, can cause genetic impairment, radiation poisoning, lung cancer, and death.

Uranium – Uranium is a heavy and dense metal that is named after the seventh planet from the sun, Uranus. It naturally occurs in rocks and oceans. It was first discovered in a mineral called pitchblende in 1789 by a German chemist named Martin Klaproth. The slow, radioactive decay of Uranium is what heats the Earth’s core, making it an abundant source of concentrated energy. It causes convection and continental drift too. It is found in familiar commodities like yacht keels and airplane counterweights, but it is also used for radiation shielding.

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Mercury– You may recognize Mercury better by its nickname, Quicksilver. It is the only metal that is a liquid at standard pressure and temperature conditions (with the exception or Bromine), and has the lowest boiling point. Like Plutonium, it is a good conductor of electricity, but poor conductor of heat. A person can get mercury poisoning from eating seafood contaminated with traces of mercury, inhaling Mercury vapors, or exposing themselves to water-soluble forms of Mercury, like Methyl-mercury or mercuric chloride. Familiar commodities that use mercury include thermometers, barometers, and fluorescent lights.

Lead– As the heaviest non-radioactive metal, Lead is soft, malleable, and appears as a bluish-white color until exposed to air. It then turns to a dull gray-like color. It is mainly used in today’s society for building construction, lead acid batteries, ammunition, and as a shield for radiation (just like Uranium). Lead is a neurotoxin, poisonous to both humans and animals if ever ingested or inhaled. It can cause brain disorders, blood disorders, and nervous system damages.

To learn which metals can be recycled, contact your local scrap metal recycling center. They will have all the information you need regarding metal recycling and more.

Zore’s Recycling

Zore's Metal Recycling Indianapolis, IN 317-244-0700

Zore’s Metal Recycling Indianapolis, IN 317-244-0700

Call Zore’s Recycling at 317-244-0700 to recycle metal in Indianapolis. We are a family owned and operated company that has been serving the Hoosier communities for over 80 years! That means you can trust that we offer top quality services, 24 hour customer support, and we make metal recycling easy for you! We accept and pay cash for all metal and objects containing metal, including cars, boats, auto parts, appliances, construction equipment, computers, electronics, and much more. Call 317-244-0700 for information about our Indianapolis scrap metal recycling services, today.

The Importance of Recycling Metal

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Each year, thousands of commodities are produced with metal parts and components. Items such as cars, boats, appliances, planes, ovens, railroads, and more are all central assets to our everyday lives, which we couldn’t have without metal. It is a versatile and valuable material that we need in order to maintain the pace of the modern age. For obvious reasons, it is important to recycle and reuse these types of precious resources. The best thing about metal is that it can be recycled over and over again.

To better understand the importance of metal recycling, continue reading to gather more information about the industry in general.

Steel and Aluminum Metal Recycling

The most common metals found in everyday households and businesses are steel and aluminum. When a person hears “aluminum”, they most likely think, soda can. Many people associate aluminum with pop cans, but what about other items made of aluminum that is recyclable? Recycling aluminum cans is a big part of metal recycling, and very encouraged; but there are other things made of aluminum to add to the recycling bin. For example, baking trays, kitchen foil, door knobs, laptops, bathroom fixtures, and more can all be made from aluminum.

When it comes to steel, there are various household items we wouldn’t normally think about recycling. Food cans, cutlery, and even garden shovels can all be made of steel; and all steel is recyclable. You can easily detect the difference between aluminum and steel by using a magnet. If the magnet sticks, the metal is steel; and if it does not stick, it’s aluminum. This is how metal is generally separated at a recycling center. They divvy up the nonferrous metals from the ferrous metals.

Non Ferrous Metal and Ferrous Metal

Ferrous metals are metals such as steel and iron. This includes scrap metal from cars, food cans, appliances, and more. This type of scrap metal is always high in demand, and continues to grow exponentially each year. Nonferrous scrap metal is made from the waste of metals like aluminum, copper, brass, lead, titanium, nickel, and more.

Recycle Metal at Home or Work

It is always a good time to start recycling at home or in the office. Doing your part to help the environment and assist in the reuse of precious materials is very rewarding for everyone and everything involved. It is better to reuse available resources rather than continuing to deplete our natural ones. It can be as simple as collecting food and soda cans. Just this little bit of effort goes farther than you think! If you have questions about recycling metal, follow up with a local metal recycling facility. One phone call can get you all the answers you need.

Indianapolis Metal Recycling

Indianapolis Metal Recycling 317-244-0700

Indianapolis Metal Recycling 317-244-0700

For more information, call Zore’s Recycling in Indianapolis today. We are Indy’s leading metal recyclers that offer the most convenient metal recycling services in town. We offer transportation and pickup services, roll-off services, metal processing, junk car recycling, and much more! Call 317-244-0700 and talk to a metal recycling specialist in Indianapolis, IN today!