Metal Recycling

How is Steel Recycled?

Steel objects for recycling are collected from can banks, skips or from our kerbside recycling collection scheme. They are sorted and the cans are bled at Mr. Binman then returned to the steelmaking plant/factory.

The steel is melted down, together with other ingredients called iron ore and limestone.

The liquid metal is poured into a mould and then left to cool down. When it's hard enough, a machine chops it into big blocks. These are taken away to be made into new steel products

Recycled steel may be found in cars and ships and construction beams; in appliances, file cabinets, and paper clips.

Facts and Figures

  • Making steel from recycled materials uses up to 75% less energy than making steel from new materials.`
  • Every tonne of steel from recycled cans saves: 1.5 tonnes of iron ore, 0.5 tonnes of coal and 40% of the water used in production process

How is Aluminium Recycled?

Aluminium cans are picked up from can banks and Opti-Bags and is taken to Mr. Binman.

At Mr. Binman the cans are sorted, then squashed together into big bales, which are taken by lorry to the aluminium can recycling factory in the UK.

At the factory, the bales are shredded into small pieces and cleaned. The shreds are melted down into big blocks of aluminium, called ingots.

The aluminium ingots are rolled like pastry into very thin coiled sheets.

New cans are made out of these coils. The cans are filled with drinks and sent to shops to be sold.  And the whole cycle starts all over again!

You can also find recycled aluminium in aeroplanes, bicycles, foil, toys, and electronics. 

Facts and Figures

  • Recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the power needed to make aluminium from raw materials.  20 cans from recycled aluminium use the same power as just 1 can made from new aluminium!
  • Aluminium uses a lot of raw material – 5 tonnes of bauxite (aluminium ore) is needed to make one tonne of cans – and so much electricity is needed that smelting plants (the factories that make new aluminium) need their own power plants.
  • The energy saved from recycling one aluminium can will operate a computer for three hours.