How to: Metal Recycling


Metal is just one of many materials that can be recycled. The objects that usually get recycled range from aluminum cans to old silverware to old household appliances to old scraps that are typically made of steel. The metal gets broken down for reuse in making new items, and the process uses 75 percent to 95 percent less energy than starting with new raw materials. That saves natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. As with anything, there is an appropriate way to recycle metal, and you can do so properly.

  • Ask a delivery company to remove your old appliance or machine. For instance, if you have ordered a new refrigerator, ask the deliverymen to take your old one to a place where it will be recycled.

  • If your community offers curbside pickup, place metal items and scraps out on predetermined days. You may have to arrange the pickup with your city's solid-waste department.

  • Contact a transfer station about location and hours. The facility should accept almost all metal items; typical exceptions would be automotive parts, paint cans and oxygen or propane tanks. Deliver your old metal to the transfer station.

  • Visit an automobile salvage yard. This is the appropriate place for recycling of your old automotive parts. Not only are auto parts recycled, they can also be reused.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you bring your old metal to a scrap recycling facility, you could be paid for the items.
  • Never dispose of old metal items by putting them in the garbage. They will end up in the landfill, which wastes resources and is detrimental to the environment.


  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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