Recycling scrap metal is a good way to help the environment, get rid of the unwanted junk in your home, and potentially earn a bit of cash. A lot of different types of scrap metals can be recycled, but there are some that scrap yards will reject. Some are simply dangerous and others are quite difficult to recycle altogether. It’s helpful for you to know the types that cannot be recycled, particularly for your safety, and to prevent you from wasting time trying to acquire and scrap metal that is not worth the effort. Here’s a look at some metals that cannot be recycled and the reason behind them.
Radioactive metals cannot be recycled. There is some degree of radiation-emitting material in many household items, but it’s safely enclosed and is not a health risk. When it comes to disposal of these items, there is the concern of the enclosure failing and the radiation-emitting material released into the environment. Smoke detectors, clocks, and fluorescent lamps are examples of household items that can contain radioactive material.
Mercury-containing items are too toxic to make it into the recycling bin. Mercury exposure has serious health risks and can have serious environmental impacts. It can be found in appliances, electronics, and vehicles. If you plan on recycling scrap metal, ensure that’s it’s not from an item that has mercury. Don’t try to remove mercury on your own if you are not equipped to handle this hazardous waste material.
Contaminated or unclean metals tend to contain harmful toxins and cleaning is often ineffective at ridding these items of the harmful chemicals that they contain. Paint cans and motor oil cans are two examples of contaminated metals. Latex paint, for instance, may contain mercury. Toxic chemicals have been emulsified within the metals of the motor oil cans and this could have serious environmental implications and even harm air quality.
Scrap metals that contain asbestos are hazardous to human health and exposure can lead to asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen and specialist disposal is typically required in the interest of safety. Some construction and insulation products tend to contain asbestos. If you have asbestos-containing metals to dispose of, don’t try and do it on your own. A DIY job is not what’s needed. Your metals need to be free of asbestos before taking it to the scrap yard.
Second Street Iron & Metal can help you identify and recycle scrap metal with our expert team of professionals who are knowledgeable on all things scrap metal. If you have questions regarding what metals you can and cannot recycle, we are here to provide you with the answers. Contact the team at X and make us your number on choice.