What Happens to Recycled Scrap Metal?

Recycled Scrap Metal

Scrap metal recycling is a well-established industry both here in Australia and overseas.

Firms that are involved in the industry recover recycled scrap metals such as iron, copper, zinc, aluminium and lead, amongst others. These get made into new usable materials suitable for the local and overseas construction and manufacturing market. Find out more about the process and benefits of scrap metal recycling.


Scrap metal is collected by community programs, businesses and local government in Australian capital cities. Some car wreckers and recyclers like MetalBiz offer a free pick-up service within a certain area and cash for scrap metal.


There are two main categories of recycled scrap metal: ferrous (containing iron) metal and non-ferrous metal (such as lead, nickel, tin, aluminium, copper, zinc and others). Ferrous metal is the most sought after and highly paid scrap metal. Special equipment, such as handheld analysers, are used to identify and sort scrap by alloy identification. Knowing exactly what metal the scrap makes it easier to sort it into low or high values and to determine the composition of what is eventually smelted.


Once the material is sorted into ferrous and non-ferrous material, large pieces of scrap metal are cut down into smaller sizes using a powerful shearing machine. Big industrial shearers can chew through up to 20 tons of scrap metal per hour.


The loose recycled scrap metal is then fed into an industrial baler which compresses it into a standardised bale or ‘block’ for transportation. The material is much easier and cheaper to store and move around and once it is in this form.


Scrap ferrous metal can be melted down to create new steel products. Non-ferrous metals are re-smelted and recast too as they are a renewable resource essential to the formation of new metals. In Australia copper, silver, zinc and lead smelting and refining are big industries.

Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal

Did you know that recycled steel has exactly the same strength and specs as new steel made from virgin iron ore? If one ton of steel is recycled it means 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are saved, so using recycled steel is a much better option.

By recycling scrap metal we also avoid:

  • dumped scrap metal leaching toxic chemicals into groundwater at landfill sites.
  • cars being dumped in rivers and being a hazard for swimmers and wildlife.
  • illegal dumping in the bush which attracts more litter and is a hazard for walkers.
  • scrap metal spontaneously combusting and causing bushfires.
  • destroying wildlife habitats and soil integrity.

Play your part today by reporting illegal dumping and recycling scrap metal so it can be environment-friendly given a new lease of life. Got scrap metal you want to get rid of? Contact Metal Biz we’re licensed auto wreckers and recyclers in Brisbane handling all types of scrap metal. We’ll take it off your hands and pay you cash!

Last updated on October 9th, 2023 at 05:21 am