Aluminum is the third most abundant elements found on the earth’s surface, and aluminum recycling is one of the most popular forms of scrap metal recycling. The metal is extracted from an ore called bauxite and widely used in car parts, jewelry, household items and appliances and packaging of the consumer products.
Aluminum can be recycled and reused severally for the same or other functions. It is estimated that recycling helps save over 95 percent of the energy that would have used in the extraction and purification of bauxite.
There are several types and sources of scrap aluminum as discussed below.
Consumer scrap includes aluminum items that are destined for the consumer market. They include aluminum beverage cans, cookery, household appliances, aluminum lids, and other small consumer items. It can also include such items as aluminum decorative items, and aluminum lawn chairs. Aluminum consumer scrap is widely available especially in areas with high population. Beverage can are usually aluminum bur food can are usually made of steel or an alloy of different metals.
Most of this scrap can be sourced free from waste bins and landfill. The consumers are always willing to get rid of the items that they are not using or have outlived their usefulness.
Vehicle scrap includes aluminum from car parts for recycle. Aluminum is widely used in the manufacture of vehicle parts because it is easy to bend, lightweight and sturdy. Common car parts that are made of aluminum include car rims, doors, panels, and several engine parts. Scrap aluminum from auto parts is widely available at auto salvage yards. The amount of aluminum found here is in large quantities than the consumer scrap. It is also very cheap too but depends on location of the salvage yard.
Industrial scrap comes from the leftovers from industrial processes. Companies that manufacture consumer products and auto parts with the use of aluminum always have lots of aluminum sheets and extrusions that are left from their processes.
Recyclers can find scrap metal from this source in large quantities. The scrap is always of very high quality and therefore requires little purification. The cost of the scrap depends on the individual manufacturing firms in terms of the price of the aluminum raw parts and the amount of scrap that is left behind by the processes.
Most of the scrap aluminum is not pure as other metals such as iron is added to it to make it sturdier. The recycling firms purify the aluminum once it is crushed and smelted.