Aluminum and Steel Recycling Decrease Scrap Metal Waste

Posted on November 14, 2012 by - Scrap Metal Recycling

Ferrous Processing & Trading (FPT) is one of the largest metal recycling companies in the industry.  Thanks to national trends, FPT and others will continue to see a rise in demand in the coming years. Americans use 200 million aluminum beverages cans and over 100 million steel cans every day, according to the National Energy Education Development Project. All of this used metal would certainly overwhelm waste management systems without metal recycling.  The choices are simple – the metal can be burned in waste-to-energy plants, deposited in a landfill, or recycled. Of the three options, recycling is recognized as the most efficient way to reduce scrap metal waste.


Aluminum Recycling

Unlike copper, iron and other common metals, aluminum is not a pure metal.  It only exists in combination with other elements. When aluminum is combined at a reduction plant or smelter, it forms an extremely hard material known as alumina. It is then transferred to large pots and dissolved in a liquid salt or molten. A powerful current is run through the liquid which separates the aluminum from the oxygen as the molten aluminum sinks to the bottom of a pot. The whole reduction process involves a large amount of electrical energy.


Making aluminum from recycled aluminum scrap, on the other hand, takes much less energy. Aluminum manufacturers save both energy and money by using recycled aluminum. For example, the National Energy Education Development Project reports that recycling four aluminum cans saves as much energy as equivalent to one gallon of gasoline. This decrease in energy gives aluminum items their high scrap value.


The aluminum recycling process begins as cans are taken by consumers to a scrap metal collection company. From there, it moves on to a metal recycling yard such as Ferrous Processing & Trading. Here, the aluminum is processed for recycling or may be sent off to be shredded and melted where it becomes an ingot, or molten aluminum. These ingots are fashioned into aluminum sheets or other forms. From there, the aluminum is made into new cans and the cycle begins again.


Steel Recycling

Steel is the most recycled material at FPT and other scrap metal recyclers in the United States. It dominates the recycling industry because it exists in endless amounts of steel scrap from cars, appliances, and torn-down buildings and bridges. Because recycled steel takes 60 percent less energy to make than iron ore, nearly all of today’s steel products are made with some recycled steel.


Steel can recycling follows almost the same process as aluminum recycling. Once steel scrap is collected from homes, metal recycling centers, or waste-to-energy plants it is shipped to a scrap processor.

Recycled steel is made into an endless array of products.  This includes automotive parts, construction materials, or storage containers such as food cans.  In the U.S., steel cans and other steel products contain at least 25 percent recycled steel, with some approaching almost 100 percent recycled steel.

The recycling of aluminum and steel is a process that can occur again and again. Both do not lose their strength or quality during the method of recycling. This never-ending process continues to save energy and resources.  Ferrous Processing & Trading is proud to support such a sustainable system and to continue to shape the future of metal recycling to support greener, more environmentally-friendly culture.

Learn More about Ferrous Processing & Trading

Ferrous Processing & Trading is one of North America’s premier processors, sellers, and recyclers of scrap metals of all kinds.  They are supported by the unique skills and experience of the management, commercial, and operations teams.  Their ownership assures both financial strength and a deep commitment to the industry and their customers.  FPT’s reputation is built on the core values of integrity, expertise, responsiveness, and creativity in the scrap metal recycling industry.


Ferrous Processing & Trading is a key supplier to the metals industry of North America.  They are also a major scrap metals management company for the U.S. auto industry.  From every stage of the metal recycling process from the assembly line to the used parts pile then through the scrap processing yard and into the furnace, FPT has the right answers for handling and marketing metal.


Ferrous Processing & Trading

3400 E. Lafayette

Detroit, MI 48207