Hardware Resources:
A Guide to Recycling Metal

Recycling metal is an important part of the environment. Aluminum and steel can be recycled continuously. It takes over 400 years for aluminum to naturally degrade. Not recycling metal can increase land and water pollution. The damage cause by not recycling metal is detrimental to the environment. By recycling metal greenhouse gases and energy consumption can be reduced. Not only does recycling metal benefit the environment it benefits the economy. In 2007, 36 billion aluminum cans were placed in landfills. That’s a value of over $600 million. Rather you recycle for the environment or for the economy you’re conserving a natural resource.

Household Metal

Anything that is metal and meets your states requirements can be recycled from home. Depending on the size of the product it may need to recycle through a recycler. All metal products such as cans, foil, gutters, siding and scrap metal can be recycled. Out of all the products ones made out of aluminum, such as cans can recycle endless with out losing integrity.

Scrap Metal

 Scrap metal is a recyclable material derived from all sorts of products. These products are comprised predominantly of copper, copper wire, tin, steel and aluminum. The recycling process can include sorting, shredding, media separation, shearing and bailing. After scrap metal is recycled it can find its in products such as railways, buildings, appliance, vehicles and of course cans.

Metal Recycling Resources For Educators

  • About Cans: A list of seven metal lesson plans.
  • Aluminum Lesson: A 4th and 5th grade science and English lesson on aluminum in PDF format.
  • Make it into Art: A fun and artistic way for kids to learn about metal recycling.
  • Math and Aluminum: A 7th and 8th grade lesson focusing math and the economics of aluminum recycling using math comprehensive.
  • The Process: A 1st and 2nd grade aluminum lesson plan.
  • Fact Sheets: Over 10 educational fact sheets on metal recycling.

Government Resources

  • Preventing Lead Poisoning: There are reports and fact sheets for preventing lead exposure while recycling metal by the New York Department of Health.
  • Starting an Aluminum Program: The aluminum-recycling program of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Recycling for Kids: A fun website for kids to learn about all types of recycling. This page is dedicated to aluminum.
  • It’s a Resource: A brief definition of aluminum and tin cans and the benefits of recycling.
  • Environmental Benefits: Not only does the Ohio of Department of Natural Resources describe the environmental benefits of recycling aluminum. It also explains the marketing value of this type of recycling.
  • Resource Conservation: An Environmental Protection Agency factsheet on recycling aluminum.
  • Recycling Statistics: Factsheets, publications and reports on metal recycling and statistics.
  • Products Made from Metals: See what products are made from recycled metal.


Recommended Reading

  • Aluminum and Steel Recycling: A detailed article on the reasons we should recycle. Also explains the process of recycling.
  • Commonly Asked Questions: The questions are common questions that can be geared towards any metal recycling facility.
  • After Collection: The University of Oregon explains what happens after tin cans and aluminum is collected.
  • The Economics of Aluminum: A University of Delaware resource article on the history, forms and benefits to recycling aluminum.
  • Ways to Recycle Aluminum: A research paper examining the way to recycle aluminum.
  • Scrap Metal Recycling Issues: The Health Physics Society explores the politics surrounding scrap metal recycling.
  • Recycling Metals: Ever wonder why you should recycle scrap metal? Planet Metals gives you precise reasons why you should.
  • Scrap: Scrap Magazine is the scrap metal recycling industries leading publication.