How to Properly Recycle Metals

How to Properly Recycle Metals
See what you should do whenever you recycle metals.

Recycling should be your last resort. Before you recycle your metals, think about reducing and reusing. Recycling is easy to get your head around because it’s an action that lets you see the results of your labor. When you reduce and reuse, it’s not as easy to see how you’re helping the planet, so these actions often go overlooked.  Now, this doesn’t mean recycling isn’t valuable. It’s still a vital part of making the world a better place. Recycling your metals has to be done carefully, though. See what you should do whenever you recycle metals.

Aluminum Cans

Aluminum cans are one of the most valuable items you can recycle. They usually have drinks in them, so once you’ve finished drinking from them, tap out the remaining moisture in the can and put them in the curbside bin. You don’t have to crush the cans.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is something you can reuse. You should keep using it until it flakes or completely falls apart. If there is any food on the foil, make sure to wash it off and let the foil dry. After you dry the foil, roll it into a ball that has a diameter no less than 2 inches. Anything smaller could get lost and ultimately get into a landfill.

Steel Cans

About nine of every ten cans in a supermarket are made out of steel.  You can recycle these cans even if you don’t take off the paper labels on them. This is because the cans are exposed to incredibly high temperatures when you recycle them, and this burns off the labels. If you’re unsure if a can is made from aluminum or steel, you can perform a magnet test. Steel is magnetic, while aluminum is not.

When you recycle cans, you have to rinse them before they go into your recycling bin. If you don’t rinse them, food particles might get left on them, and these particles can ruin an entire bale.

Bottle Caps

Bottle caps that come on glass jars are either made from aluminum or metal. Just like with steel cans, you can do a magnet test to separate the steel and aluminum caps. Place steel caps in a steel can, and put aluminum caps in an aluminum can.

The cans should get filled about halfway with bottle caps, then put the lid on top. After that, crimp the opening of your cans to make sure the lids and caps don’t escape. At this point, your bottle caps are ready for you to recycle them.

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