How to Recycle Different Types of Materials

Today, we’ll cover the three main types that should be recycled. Remember, be a smart, Earth-friendly consumer and think of the children! Here are the 3 types of materials:

  • Metals (Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals)
  • Newspapers
  • Aluminum

Metal is metal to most consumers, but when it comes to recycling plants, there are differences to note. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are processed in totally different ways when being recycled.

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous refers to the presence of iron in a metal. These metals are magnetic because of this fact. Due to their magnetism, these ferrous metals need to be processed on there own, away from their non-ferrous counterparts. This metal is often collected for scrap and reused. One way ferrous metals are recycled is by re-melting them to then be re-cast. Because it is less expensive to re-cast this metal than processing new ferrous metal, it is important that it is recycled.

Non-Ferrous Metals

These are metals that do not contain iron. Generally, the non-ferrous metals that are recycled are aluminum, lead, copper, and zinc. This metal is processed in its own unique way. The steps in this process include:

Sorting: Different types of non-ferrous metals must be separated from each other for processing.

Bailing: These metals are pushed together into large blocks to process.

Shearing: This is used to cut the metal into more reasonable sizes.

Media Separation: During this step, more separation is done to remove non-ferrous from ferrous metals. This is done with magnets, as well as with air and water currents.

Melting: These recovered metals are melted down and shaped into ingots. At this point, the recycled metal can be reused.

These two types of metal require processing in different facilities. This is why it is important to separate the two before they are taken to be processed and recycled. If you are in doubt about what type of metal you are dealing with, then use a magnet to differentiate between ferrous and non-ferrous metals—the magnet will be attracted to the ferrous metal and won’t be attracted to the non-ferrous metal.

Aluminimum to recycle

The aluminum recycling process has saved an abundance of energy and heavily reduced carbon dioxide emissions associated with aluminum manufacturing in the century or so that it has been practiced. Today, a wide variety of aluminum materials and other non-ferrous metals can be recycled, including:

Aluminum Cans

The first object most people think of when they hear the word “aluminum” is the aluminum can. After they are crushed, tested, and shredded, aluminum cans are melted together to form solid bars of aluminum. These bars are then flattened and rolled into sheets, which can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from car and building construction to pharmaceutical aerosol cans.

Scrap Aluminum

Aluminum scrap from vehicles, building supplies, and other materials is almost always recyclable. Recycling scrap metal results in major savings in terms of energy, water use, and raw material usage. It also helps to decrease overall air and water pollution levels associated with the manufacturing and use of metals.

Aluminum Wheels

Aluminum alloy wheels, once they have served their purpose in helping a motor vehicle roll over thousands of miles of asphalt, can be recycled to serve other purposes. Many trash collection and recycling companies will collect your old rims and bring them to a recycling center for you.

Recycle copper

While the economy is still on the rebound, the need for living prudently and money managing wisely has not changed. Recycling can produce a small income on the side if carried out consistently.

Many people don’t know that you can recycle certain outdated items in your house or around your business. Anything with copper wire is highly recyclable and will actually fetch you some cold hard cash at your local recycling facility.

Along with it being good for your bank account, recycling copper indirectly helps save the environment. Here are a few reasons you should be recycling copper:

Environmentally Conscious

By recycling copper, you are helping to preserve the environment. Less time goes into mining for more untouched copper from the Earth. In turn, this reduces the fossil fuels that are used in the process. Also, toxic chemicals are released during the refining process of copper.

Financially Sound

Many recycling centers will pay you most of the original price of the copper you recycle with them. Copper has been increasing in price year to year, and it’s one of the best ways to generate a small income.

Save Resources

By recycling copper, you ensure that there is no future depletion of copper resources for later generations. The more you throw out copper in trash containers, the more miners have to irritate the environment to tap into copper mines.

Recycling in general may be somewhat of an annoyance in the beginning. However, like any other good habit, it will take a few times to get into the routine of things. We guarantee that you’ll feel better about yourself by doing your part to preserve the environment and natural resource reserves. At the same time, you’ll be making some extra cash to help pay the bills.

Recycling Paper

Our homes are filled with all kinds of paper and paper-based products. While a lot of our paper waste ends up in the trash, nearly all of it can actually be recycled at your local Las Vegas recycling center. Here’s a look at some of the common paper products you have around your home or office that should be recycled.


Most Americans that subscribe to a daily or weekly newspaper find that new editions arrive much faster than they can be read. Unfortunately, this means that many newspapers end up in the trash or, worse yet, abandoned on the front porch. Recycling newspapers can help to minimize the amount of wasted newsprint accumulated in landfills, which sums up to 30 million trees worth of paper!

Cardboard Boxes

Although cardboard boxes are still ideal for moving and storage, they tend to degrade fairly quickly when left in damp basements or dirty garages. If you’re replacing boxes or upgrading your storage system altogether, have your old cardboard boxes recycled so they can be turned into new paperboard and cardboard boxes.

Old Records

If you hang on to every single letter, paycheck stub, or tax return, your home is probably filled with old records and documents that aren’t really all that important any more. Shredding sensitive documents and recycling these papers will help you to recover space in your home for other items and will make managing your paperwork easier.


With the Internet widely available, phonebooks are more or less obsolete. But instead of chucking that ugly yellow book in the trash, put it in your recycling bin along with old coupons, store ads, and other unwanted mail items.

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