Stacks of recycled aluminum blocks

What Happens to Scrap Metal After it Goes to the Scrap Yard?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generates about 292 million tons of waste each year – and metal waste accounts for nearly 10% of that figure. Scrap yards play an important role in helping to keep reusable materials like metal out of landfills, ensuring that valuable metal parts and pieces from discarded items are repurposed safely and correctly. Sgt. Scrap serves customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware. Here, we explore how these scrap metal facilities help make a positive impact on the environment, reducing the need for destructive mining practices by recycling existing metal materials.

What Is Scrap Metal?

Scrap metal is the recyclable material left over from manufacturing processes, industrial equipment, and consumer goods. This metal can be melted down and reused by a wide variety of industries, including construction, transportation, and medical equipment. Sources of scrap metal include:

  • Copper pipes and wires
  • Radiators
  • Vehicle wheels
  • Metal turnings, sheets, and panels
  • Aluminum cans
  • Screws and bolts

In addition to scrap metal, some scrap yards (including Sgt. Scrap) accept other materials, such as:

  • E-scrap
  • Household appliances
  • Cars and trucks

A scrap yard may work with residential customers, commercial clients, or both. They typically pay a flat rate per pound of material. Non-ferrous metals are generally worth more than ferrous materials.

How Do Scrap Yards Recycle Metal?

Scrap yards are distinct from dumps or landfills. A professional scrap yard will only accept certain items – they must have valuable metal components that can be repurposed. When a customer drops off scrap material, the scrap yard will pay them based on the type, weight, and current scrap metal market prices. Then, the scrap material must be processed by the scrap yard with these steps:

  • Sorting: The first step in the recycling process is sorting scrap material into categories. Scrap yards typically will group metal by type (keeping aluminum separate from copper, for example). Industrial magnets often are used to sort ferrous from non-ferrous metals.
  • Cleaning: When scrap material arrives at a facility, it may not be ready for recycling. Items such as appliances and radiators, for example, will need to be disassembled. The scrap yard will remove nonmetal pieces, such as attached plastic or wooden parts. They also will clean the metal to remove paint, solvents, and other dirt and debris.
  • Processing: After scrap metal has been categorized and cleaned, it is ready to be recycled. Many scrap metal facilities will melt down clean metal material to be cast into solidified bricks called ingots. Before it can be melted down, metal may need to be shredded or crushed. The scrap yard may perform these processes themselves, or they may sell the material to a third-party refinery.
  • Reselling: Once a block of metal is cast into an ingot, it can be resold to a manufacturing plant or other commercial client. These ingots can be repurposed to make a wide range of metal products, from medical instruments to kitchen items. Using recycled metal allows businesses to save money, since high-quality scrap metal costs much less than new materials while reducing the environmental impact that mining new metal ore requires.

Recycle Metal and Earn Cash With Sgt. Scrap

When you need an experienced and professional scrap metal dealer, choose Sgt. Scrap. With two scrap yards in Haddon Township and Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, we proudly serve customers throughout the state as well as in:

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania, including:
    • Philadelphia
    • Bucks County
    • Chester County
    • Delaware County
    • Montgomery County
  • New York, including:
    • Long Island
    • Manhattan (Note: the minimum amount for Manhattan pickups is 1,000 pounds)
    • Staten Island

At Sgt. Scrap, we provide transparent, competitive pricing, and we make it easy for you to trade in your scrap for cash. You can drop off your material at one of our two NJ facilities, or you can schedule a mobile pickup. Need to collect scrap throughout a renovation or demolition job? Have one of our roll-off dumpsters delivered to your worksite. Sgt. Scrap also accepts cars and trucks at our auto salvage yard, and we offer a recycling service for household appliances. Our expert team is available to answer any questions you have about the scrapping process. For more information about our services, contact us today.

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