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What Happens to Recycled Metal?

RedFish Recycling makes recycling easy for you and your business. Once you toss your recyclables into one of your bins, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But what happens to all of the metal you recycle?

On your scheduled pick-up day, RedFish will come and pick up your bin and start the sorting process. The metals you throw away are separated from the paper and the plastics. The metals are then sorted into different bales before the recycling process can begin.

We sort the metal into tin and aluminum bales, and then send the bales to the processing plant. There the tin and aluminum go through slightly different processes. Tin cans are usually made of steel as well as tin, so they go through a process of “detinning”, where the cans are stripped of the tin. Once separate, the tin is melted and turned into metal cast or blocks and the steel is melted into sheet-like molds and then turned into new products, such as cars.

When aluminum reaches the processing plants, it is either shredded or ground into small chips. This helps the melting process. Aluminum is melted down and turned into blocks, which are then shipped to manufacturing plants to be rolled into sheets and reused as cans or car castings.

Recycling metal from cans uses only around 5% of the energy and emissions needed to make it from the raw materials. The recycled material can be recycled again and again without losing any of its properties, so think before you throw that can away!