What are the Main Steel Recycling Methods?

April 7, 2023

Why Recycle?

Scrap metal is one of the most valuable materials that you can recycle, and it’s in so many consumer products. From washing machines and refrigerators to coat hangers and old cars, metal is everywhere in our homes and businesses. Other sources of metals are large steel structures, railroad tracks, and construction or farm equipment

How Exactly is Metal Recycled?

Scrap metals are collected and delivered to a scrap yard, where they’re sorted and separated by type. Some recyclers use magnets to separate the ferrous metals from others like aluminum or copper.


After being separated, the metals are shredded and compacted. The shredding process creates more surface area so that the metal can be melted using less energy.


The various metals are separated by type of metal, then fed into melting furnaces designed for that particular metal. Depending on the heat of the furnace and the type of metal, this process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Although the furnaces use a significant amount of energy, the amount used is generally less than the energy it would take to produce the same metals using raw materials.


After melting, all the impurities in the metal are removed to ensure that the final product is pure. There are different ways of purifying metals, with electrolysis being the most common. Some metals can also be simply passed under a powerful magnetic system to remove any foreign particles.


After purification, the molten metal is carried by conveyor belts to a cooling chamber where it solidifies. At this stage, certain chemicals can be added to the molten metal to alter its density or change some of its other properties. It is also at this stage that metals are made into different shapes and sizes. In most cases, the processed scrap metal is formed into bars or blocks which can be easily transported.

What Now?

The final step in this process is to deliver the solidified metals to locations where they can be used to make new products. Once those products have reached the end of their useful lives, the cycle will start all over again.

Final Words

Recycling is good for business and for the environment as well.  Recycled materials can reduce manufacturing costs, and the recycling industry uses less space in landfills while creating jobs.

For generations, Okon Recycling has been a trusted leader in the international metal recycling industry.  Founded over 100 years ago, we’ve sustained our company by forming solid partnerships with our clients. We completely understand our clients’ systems and workflow, and we provide customized recycling solutions according to their specific needs. Over the years, we have kept millions of pounds of scrap out of landfills. By doing so, we’re paving the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future for generations to come.  If you would like to learn more about our company and the recycling services we offer, please visit our website or contact us at 214-717-4083.