Metal recycling process
- Food or beverage container
- Foil ball larger than 3 inches in size
- Decorative metal tin smaller than a 3 gallon pail
All other random metal items have the potential to rip or jam the equipment at the facility or injure collection or sorting staff. Metals are sorted from other materials using magnets and reverse magnets.
- Steel and tin are magnetic (ferrous metal)
- They are pulled off the conveyor belt by a magnet.
- Aluminum is not magnetic (non-ferrous metal).
- Aluminum is sorted by a reverse magnet called an eddy current. When the conveyor belt goes over the eddy current, the aluminum repels itself away from it into a separate area.
After sorting, metals are baled and the bales are shipped off to their respective recyclers. At the next facility they are cleaned and melted to be made into new metal items.