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"Scrapping" redirects here. Scrap_sentence_0

It is not to be confused with scraping. Scrap_sentence_1

"Scrap metal" redirects here. Scrap_sentence_2

For other uses, see Scrap Metal (disambiguation). Scrap_sentence_3

Scrap consists of recyclable materials left over from product manufacturing and consumption, such as parts of vehicles, building supplies, and surplus materials. Scrap_sentence_4

Unlike waste, scrap has monetary value, especially recovered metals, and non-metallic materials are also recovered for recycling. Scrap_sentence_5

Processing Scrap_section_0

Scrap metal originates both in business and residential environments. Scrap_sentence_6

Typically a "scrapper" will advertise their services to conveniently remove scrap metal for people who don't need it. Scrap_sentence_7

Scrap is often taken to a wrecking yard (also known as a scrapyard, junkyard, or breaker's yard), where it is processed for later melting into new products. Scrap_sentence_8

A wrecking yard, depending on its location, may allow customers to browse their lot and purchase items before they are sent to the smelters, although many scrap yards that deal in large quantities of scrap usually do not, often selling entire units such as engines or machinery by weight with no regard to their functional status. Scrap_sentence_9

Customers are typically required to supply all of their own tools and labor to extract parts, and some scrapyards may first require waiving liability for personal injury before entering. Scrap_sentence_10

Many scrapyards also sell bulk metals (stainless steel, etc.) by weight, often at prices substantially below the retail purchasing costs of similar pieces. Scrap_sentence_11

A scrap metal shredder is often used to recycle items containing a variety of other materials in combination with steel. Scrap_sentence_12

Examples are automobiles and white goods such as refrigerators, stoves, clothes washers, etc. Scrap_sentence_13

These items are labor-intensive to manually sort things like plastic, copper, aluminum, and brass. Scrap_sentence_14

By shredding into relatively small pieces, the steel can easily be separated out magnetically. Scrap_sentence_15

The non-ferrous waste stream requires other techniques to sort. Scrap_sentence_16

In contrast to wrecking yards, scrapyards typically sell everything by weight, instead of by item. Scrap_sentence_17

To the scrapyard, the primary value of the scrap is what the smelter will give them for it, rather than the value of whatever shape the metal may be in. Scrap_sentence_18

An auto wrecker, on the other hand, would price exactly the same scrap based on what the item does, regardless of what it weighs. Scrap_sentence_19

Typically, if a wrecker cannot sell something above the value of the metal in it, they would then take it to the scrapyard and sell it by weight. Scrap_sentence_20

Equipment containing parts of various metals can often be purchased at a price below that of either of the metals, due to saving the scrapyard the labor of separating the metals before shipping them to be recycled. Scrap_sentence_21

Thieves sometimes sell stolen items to scrapyards. Scrap_sentence_22

Copper pipes and wiring, bronze monuments and aluminium siding have all been targets of metal theft, with the number of thefts increasing as prices rise. Scrap_sentence_23

Manhole covers have also been stolen. Scrap_sentence_24

In the 1970s, the term "newsjacking" was coined to describe the theft of newspapers for sale to scrap dealers. Scrap_sentence_25

Resources Scrap_section_1

Scrap prices may vary markedly over time and in different locations. Scrap_sentence_26

Prices are often negotiated among buyers and sellers directly or indirectly over the Internet. Scrap_sentence_27

Prices displayed as the market prices are not the prices that recyclers will see at the scrap yards. Scrap_sentence_28

Other prices are ranges or older and not updated frequently. Scrap_sentence_29

Some scrap yards' websites have updated scrap prices. Scrap_sentence_30

In the US, scrap prices are reported in a handful of publications, including American Metal Market, based on confirmed sales as well as reference sites such as Scrap Metal Prices and Auctions. Scrap_sentence_31

Non-US domiciled publications, such as The Steel Index, also report on the US scrap price, which has become increasingly important to global export markets. Scrap_sentence_32

Scrap yards directories are also used by recyclers to find facilities in the US and Canada, allowing users to get in contact with yards. Scrap_sentence_33

With resources online for recyclers to look at for scrapping tips, like web sites, blogs, and search engines, scrapping is often referred to as a hands and labor-intensive job. Scrap_sentence_34

Taking apart and separating metals is important to making more money on scrap, for tips like using a magnet to determine ferrous and non-ferrous materials, that can help recyclers make more money on their metal recycling. Scrap_sentence_35

When a magnet sticks to the metal, it will be a ferrous material, like steel or iron. Scrap_sentence_36

This is usually a less expensive item that is recycled but usually is recycled in larger quantities of thousands of pounds. Scrap_sentence_37

Non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminum, and brass do not stick to a magnet. Scrap_sentence_38

Some cheaper grades of stainless steel are magnetic, other grades are not. Scrap_sentence_39

These items are higher priced commodities for metal recycling and are important to separate when recycling them. Scrap_sentence_40

The prices of non-ferrous metals also tend to fluctuate more than ferrous metals so it is important for recyclers to pay attention to these sources and the overall markets. Scrap_sentence_41

Hazards Scrap_section_2

Great potential exists in the scrap metal industry for accidents in which a hazardous material present in scrap causes death, injury, or environmental damage. Scrap_sentence_42

A classic example is radioactivity in scrap; the Goiânia accident and the Mayapuri radiological accident were incidents involving radioactive materials. Scrap_sentence_43

Toxic materials such as asbestos, and toxic metals such as beryllium, cadmium, and mercury may pose dangers to personnel, as well as contaminating materials intended for metal smelters. Scrap_sentence_44

Many specialized tools used in scrapyards are hazardous, such as the alligator shear, which cuts metal using hydraulic force, compactors, and scrap metal shredders. Scrap_sentence_45

Benefits of recycling Scrap_section_3

According to research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, recycling scrap metals can be quite beneficial to the environment. Scrap_sentence_46

Using recycled scrap metal in place of virgin iron ore can yield: Scrap_sentence_47


Every ton of new steel made from scrap steel saves: Scrap_sentence_48


  • 1,115 kg of iron ore.Scrap_item_1_6
  • 625 kg of coal.Scrap_item_1_7
  • 53 kg of limestone.Scrap_item_1_8

Energy savings from other metals include: Scrap_sentence_49


  • Aluminium savings of 95% energy.Scrap_item_2_9
  • Copper savings of 85% energy.Scrap_item_2_10
  • Lead savings of 65% energy.Scrap_item_2_11
  • Zinc savings of 60% energy.Scrap_item_2_12

Metal recycling industry Scrap_section_4

The metal recycling industry encompasses a wide range of metals. Scrap_sentence_50

The more frequently recycled metals are scrap steel, iron (ISS), lead, aluminium, copper, stainless steel and zinc. Scrap_sentence_51

There are two main categories of metals: ferrous and non-ferrous. Scrap_sentence_52

Metals which contain iron in them are known as ferrous. Scrap_sentence_53

Metals without iron are non-ferrous. Scrap_sentence_54


  • Common non-ferrous metals are copper, brass, aluminum, zinc, magnesium, tin, nickel, and lead.Scrap_item_3_13
  • Usable coins can be deposited in banks. Damaged US coins can be redeemed for money via the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program.Scrap_item_3_14

Non-ferrous metals also include precious and exotic metals: Scrap_sentence_55


  • Precious metals are metals with a high market value in any form, such as gold, silver, and platinum group metals.Scrap_item_4_15
  • Exotic metals contain rare elements such as cobalt, mercury, titanium, tungsten, arsenic, beryllium, bismuth, cerium, cadmium, niobium, indium, gallium, germanium, lithium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, vanadium, and zirconium. Some types of metals are radioactive. These may be "naturally occurring" or formed by nuclear reactions. Metals that have been exposed to radioactive sources may also become radioactive in settings such as medical environments, research laboratories, and nuclear power plants.Scrap_item_4_16

OSHA guidelines should be followed when recycling any type of scrap metal to ensure safety. Scrap_sentence_56

Ferrous metal recycling Scrap_section_5

Ferrous metals are able to be recycled, with steel being one of the most recycled materials in the world. Scrap_sentence_57

Ferrous metals contain an appreciable percentage of iron and the addition of carbon and other substances creates steel. Scrap_sentence_58

Description Scrap_section_6

In the United States, steel containers, cans, automobiles, appliances, and construction materials contribute the greatest weight of recycled materials. Scrap_sentence_59

For example, in 2008, more than 97% of structural steel and 106% of automobiles were recycled, comparing the current steel consumption for each industry with the amount of recycled steel being produced (the late 2000s recession and the associated sharp decline in automobile production in the US explains the over-100% calculation). Scrap_sentence_60

A typical appliance is about 75% steel by weight and automobiles are about 65% steel and iron. Scrap_sentence_61

The steel industry has been actively recycling for more than 150 years, in large part because it is economically advantageous to do so. Scrap_sentence_62

It is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine iron ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new steel. Scrap_sentence_63

Steel does not lose any of its inherent physical properties during the recycling process, and has drastically reduced energy and material requirements compared with refinement from iron ore. Scrap_sentence_64

The energy saved by recycling reduces the annual energy consumption of the industry by about 75%, which is enough to power eighteen million homes for one year. Scrap_sentence_65

According to the International Resource Panel's Metal Stocks in Society report, the per capita stock of steel in use in Australia, Canada, the European Union EU15, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand and the US combined is 7,085 kilograms (15,620 lb) (about 860 million people in 2005). Scrap_sentence_66

Basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) uses 25–35% recycled steel to make new steel. Scrap_sentence_67

BOS steel usually contains lower concentrations of residual elements such as copper, nickel, and molybdenum, and is therefore more malleable than electric arc furnace (EAF) steel, and is often used to make automotive fenders, tin cans, industrial drums, or any product with a large degree of cold working. Scrap_sentence_68

EAF steelmaking uses almost 100% recycled steel. Scrap_sentence_69

This steel contains greater concentrations of residual elements that cannot be removed through the application of oxygen and lime. Scrap_sentence_70

It is used to make structural beams, plates, reinforcing bar, and other products that require little cold working. Scrap_sentence_71

Downcycling of steel by hard-to-separate impurities such as copper or tin can only be prevented by well-aimed scrap selection or dilution by pure steel. Scrap_sentence_72

Recycling one metric ton (1,000 kilograms) of steel saves 1.1 metric tons of iron ore, 630 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone. Scrap_sentence_73

Types of scrap used in steelmaking Scrap_section_7


  • Heavy melting steel – Industrial or commercial scrap steel greater than 6 mm thick, such as plates, beams, columns, channels; may also include scrap machinery or implements or certain metal stampingsScrap_item_5_17
  • Old car bodies – Vehicles with or without interiors and their original wheelsScrap_item_5_18
  • Cast iron – Cast iron bathtubs, machinery, pipe, and engine blocksScrap_item_5_19
  • Pressing steel – Domestic scrap metal up to approx. 6 mm (0.24 in) thick. Examples - "White goods" (fridges, washing machines, etc.), roofing iron, water heaters, water tanks, and sheet metal offcutsScrap_item_5_20
  • Reinforcing bars or mesh – Used in the construction industry within concrete structuresScrap_item_5_21
  • Turnings – Remains of drilling or shaping steels. Also known as "borings" or "swarf"Scrap_item_5_22
  • Manganese steel – Non-magnetic, hardened steel used in the mining industry, cement mixers, rock crushers, and other high-impact and abrasive environments.Scrap_item_5_23
  • – Rail or tram tracksScrap_item_5_24

Example Scrap_section_8

Ship breaking Scrap_section_9

Main article: Ship breaking Scrap_sentence_74

The hulls of ships, with any usable equipment salvaged and removed, can be broken up to provide scrap steel. Scrap_sentence_75

For a time countries in south Asia carried out most ship breaking, often using manual methods that were hazardous to workers and the environment. Scrap_sentence_76

International regulations now dictate treatment of old ships as sources of hazardous waste, so ship breaking has returned to ports in more developed countries. Scrap_sentence_77

In 2013, about 29 million tons of scrap steel was recovered from broken ships. Scrap_sentence_78

Some of the scrap can be reheated and rolled to make products such as concrete reinforcing bars, or the scrap may be melted to make new steel. Scrap_sentence_79

Economic role Scrap_section_10

United States Scrap_section_11

Main article: Recycling in the United States Scrap_sentence_80

The scrap industry was valued at more than $90 billion in 2012, up from $54 billion in 2009 balance of trade, exporting $28 billion in scrap commodities to 160 countries. Scrap_sentence_81

Since 2010, the industry has added more than 15,000 jobs, and supports 463,000 workers, both directly and indirectly. Scrap_sentence_82

In addition, it generates more than $10 billion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments. Scrap_sentence_83

Scrap recycling also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserves energy and natural resources. Scrap_sentence_84

For example, scrap recycling diverts 135 million short tons (121,000,000 long tons; 122,000,000 t) of materials away from landfills. Scrap_sentence_85

Recycled scrap is a raw material feedstock for nearly 60% of steel made in the US, for almost 50% of the copper and copper alloys produced in the US, for more than 75% of the US paper industry's needs, and for 50% of US aluminum. Scrap_sentence_86

Recycled scrap helps keep air and water cleaner by removing potentially hazardous materials and keeping them out of landfills. Scrap_sentence_87

Image gallery Scrap_section_12


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See also Scrap_section_13


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