[This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been revised, expanded, and updated.]
Many homeowners take their old equipment and appliances to a landfill. That's because they aren't aware that recycling scrap metal can be an easy option.
Many homeowners and even business owners feel that getting rid of scrap metal items is difficult. And especially if those items are too large to throw into their curbside trash bin.
What is Scrap Metal Anyway?
So, a really good question that many homeowners and others have, but may not really ask, is what exactly constitutes "scrap metal?"
According to Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, "scrap metal can include wire, rods, bars, sheets, radiators, cars, etc." Apparently it's an important subject if it's define in federal regulations! In fact, even the state of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control has something to say about scrap metal,
"Under California law, scrap metal means any one or more of the following:
- manufactured, solid metal objects and products;
- metal workings, including cuttings, trimmings, stampings, grindings, shavings, and sandings;
- solid metal residues of metal production; or printed circuit boards, excluding those removed from universal waste electronic devices, that are recycled.
Scrap metal originates from end-of-life products (for example, radiators, automobiles, major appliances, and railroad box cars), structures, and manufacturing scrap that can be recycled when discarded. Industry and common usage of the term “scrap metal” may differ from the above definition."
A word of caution: while common usage of the term "scrap metal" does include your old lawn mower, washer and dryer, the metal wheels off your old station wagon, and any number of other metal junk you might have, there are some metal things that are NOT considered scrap metal.
- Lead-acid storage batteries; waste elemental mercury; and water-reactive metals such as sodium, potassium, and lithium;
- Magnesium borings, trimmings, grindings, shavings, sandings, and any other forms capable of producing independent combustion;
- Beryllium borings, trimmings, grindings, shavings, sandings, and any other forms capable of Producing adverse health effects or environmental harm;
- Any metal contaminated with a hazardous waste, such that the contaminated metal exhibits any characteristic of a hazardous waste;
- Any metal contaminated with an oil that is a hazardous waste and that is free-flowing
Fortunately, the average home doesn't have any of these lying around in the garage or out in the backyard!
However, what many people do have are metal items that no longer work and that they want to get rid of. The easiest method would seem to be either placing the item into their residential trash or recycling bin - if it fits - or hauling it off to a landfill or waste transfer station.
If an old household item is a hopelessly broken appliance, for example, trying to sell it is not an option. And, while some people may consider recycling these things, that can be a challenge if they don't know how to go about it or where to take them.
While it isn't overly complex or difficult, recycling scrap metal yourself can be a much more difficult and even a bit more dangerous task than recycling your regular household trash.
But there's good news!
Yes, Almost All Scrap Metal Items Can Be Recycled
Everyone is used to recycling aluminum cans, but not everyone realizes that they can recycle all those other junk metal items they need to get rid of.
In fact, unlike the familiar items for recycling such as paper, glass and aluminum cans, information explaining and promoting the recycling of scrap metal is not easy to come by.
Unfortunately, most municipal disposal services have been lacking in educating their customers about advantages and availability of metal recycling, although this is changing. And the growing trend of widespread use of residential recycling bins has significantly increased the amount of metal waste that does get recycled.
But much more could be recycled and the statistics back this up.
In a survey by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), it was determined that more than 100 million American adults are unsure of what can and cannot be recycled, nor even where to get information about recycling.
Unfortunately, that number represents almost 50 percent of the entire adult population in America.
But the fact is that a vast amount of our household junk that doesn't seem to be reusable actually is. And this is especially true when it comes to your scrap metal items, which is why recycling is often the best disposal solution for them.
Scrap Metal Recycling is the Sustainable Option
The United States is typically able to recycle enough steel to make cars, enough aluminum to make soda cans, and other metals for various building construction materials. But this can only be accomplished with enough people contribute to the recycling stream.
When that does not occur regularly and consistently, then much of this potential recycled material is lost to a landfill. This unfortunate since scrap metal is such a great candidate for recycling. Part of the problem is a lack of awareness on the part of the public, and a need for more education on the part of the scrap metal industry.
To help illustrate the value of recycling scrap metal we created this graphic snapshot of the state of scrap metal recycling in the United States:
Who Can You Call for Your Scrap Metal Disposal?
Junk King will pick up and deliver your scrap metal to a local recycling facility so that your metal debris will become new recycled material using the most environmentally friendly methods. Junk King recycles more than other junk removal companies and our scrap metal recycling is available for any need, including:
Iron, steel, copper, aluminum, brass and more
Beams, wires, and other construction metal debris
Plumbing fixtures and other DIY home renovation debris
Any unwanted metal junk
Old lawn equipment and appliances
We are fully insured to protect you against any risk. We safely carry the metal debris off your property and load it into our large, heavy-duty trucks. We operate a fleet that includes many bio-fuel vehicles. From pick-up to transport, Junk King's scrap metal recycling service relieves you of an otherwise difficult chore.
Once you decide to outsource the trash and junk hauling part of your big cleaning project, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job, and Junk King really is the firm of choice.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly residential waste disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete. Our experienced debris removal team will break down and haul off any types of yard waste you have.
Contact us to schedule an appointment for scrap metal recycling and we will pick up any amount and variety of metal from your home, business, or construction site.
Schedule Your Scrap Metal Removal Today
Make the call today!
With Junk King, you only need to point us in the direction of your unwanted junk and our friendly, uniformed staff will take it from there. And we provide upfront pricing when we arrive. Schedule an appointment to get a free, no-obligation quote before we begin to work.
Call Junk King today at 1.888.888.JUNK (5865) or book online!