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Fun Facts About Scrap Metal Recycling

Fun Facts About Scrap Recycling

Want to learn more about scrap recycling? Whether you’re just interested in the process in general or you want to start scrapping for yourself, here are a couple fun facts and tips that a lot of people outside the industry simply don’t know.

1. How Scrap Metal Recycling Protects the Environment

We all have at least a vague idea that recycling in general is good for the environment. Why is it good, though, and how does scrap metal recycling in particular help?

Recycling is good for the environment because almost all recycling takes less energy than the process for creating or mining new materials does. Scrap metal recycling is particularly beneficial because of the huge amounts of energy used to mine, refine, process, and ship metals, as opposed to the relatively tiny amount of energy taken to recycle it.

Scrap metal is also great because most of it can be recycled over and over again with no loss in quality. Glass is similar, but paper and plastic can only be recycled a certain number of times before their quality is too compromised for re-use.

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Sell It or Scrap It: An Age-Old Conundrum

Sell It or Scrap It: An Age-Old Conundrum

If you get a scrappable item that’s in good working order—or close enough to it that you feel you could polish it up—it’s often hard to decide whether you should take it down to your local scrap yard or put a little work in and try to sell it yourself.

A lot of items that are still perfectly usable end up in recycling and trash facilities over time, and we all know that reusing is just as good for the environment as recycling. How to decide whether or not an item is good for resale?

Know Yourself

A lot of whether you should scrap an item or fix it up and resell it as something fully functional comes down to your expertise and interests. If you repair computers professionally or as a hobby, there’s a much better chance you can give that old laptop its shine again than if you don’t. The same holds true for a mechanic with an old, beat-up car.

In addition to your own expertise and interests, though, there are a few general rules to follow when it comes to deciding whether to scrap or sell a given item.

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Recycling Pewter - Garland, TX - Encore Recyclers

How to Find (And How to Scrap) Pewter

Pewter is a metal you don’t hear as much about as the ever-popular copper or ubiquitous steel, but it can still have some serious value at the scrap yard. That being said, finding it for scrap can be a real challenge sometimes.

Pewter is most often used in decorative objects and silverware, and is most commonly found in antique items. Shopping for potential scrap at antique shops can be tough, because antique dealers usually know what they have and price their items at much greater than their scrap value. However, this can occasionally be a fairly successful way to find this metal for scrap.

That being said, there are better ways to find pewter, and it can net you a fair price at your favorite local scrap yard!

What Pewter Is (and Why It’s Valuable)

Pewter is an alloy consisting mainly of tin mixed with other metals and a metal known as antimony. Tin is generally speaking the most valuable component in this alloy, so pewters made with more tin than anything else are usually the most valuable. That’s because tin is a metal with a wide variety of uses, and there’s a lot of demand for tin in the market.

Of course, as with any alloy, the other metals used in creating a given piece of this alloy play a big role, too. One of the problems with scrapping pewter is that the quality and component metals vary pretty widely, which can mean that one two-pound piece is worth a lot more than another that looks almost exactly the same.

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Future of Scrap Metal Recycling - Dallas, TX

The Future of Scrap Metal Recycling

It’s amazing how much the scrap metal recycling industry—and the world at large—has changed in the past 20 or 30 years. Knowing how much things have changed already, it’s impossible not to think about what the industry and our planet will be like 20 or 30 years into the future.

Predicting the future is a tough business, but there are plenty of people—from scrap collectors to environmental activists to corporate executives—who are interested in knowing where scrap metal recycling is going.

With all the data we have access to today, combined with experience and know-how in the world of scrap, many of us think we know where things are headed. The good news is that, though there are a few challenges, the future of scrap metal recycling looks very bright.

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Recycling Neoprene in North Texas - Garland, TX

Can You Recycle Neoprene?

In the recycling business, one of the most common questions we get is whether or not a particular material can be recycled. The answers can be complicated—for example, some facilities recycle certain products that other facilities don’t, and some recyclable materials are valuable while others are not—but we always like to help people get to the bottom of it when it comes to recycling. Neoprene is one of those materials that we get asked about periodically. It is a synthetic rubber material commonly used in wetsuits, work gloves, and electrical insulation, so it’s easy enough to find—but can it be used and reused like metals and other recyclable materials?

What Is Neoprene, Anyway?

Neoprene is actually a family of similar materials, though they may vary slightly in the ways they are manufactured and used. All of them are synthetic and rubber-like.

Neoprene is used because of its water and heat resistance, and because it is both malleable and strong. In addition to wetsuits and protective gear, it’s also used in laptop, tablet, and phone cases, because it can be molded to fit these devices snugly and is strong enough to protect them from damage.

Neoprene also has many applications in the medical field, such as in gloves for doctors, nurses, and surgeons.

Because it is used so often and for such a wide variety of products, recycling it can be great for the environment.

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Post-Christmas Scrap Metal Recycling - Dallas, TX

Post-Christmas Scrap Metal Recycling

Christmas brings families together and provides fun for young and old alike. However, the extra work at home, the extra money spent on all those gifts, and the mess left by wrapping and decorations can cause some real strain as you go into the New Year.

Luckily, recycling can prove a great solution to all of these problems if you think creatively. By recycling everything the holidays leave behind, you can keep the environment thriving for many Christmases to come—and if you find the right things, you can even put some extra cash in your pocket.

Scrap Metal Recycling After Christmas

Know anyone who has a metal tree stand? These are often made of iron, and can be worth some money because of their weight. There are also plenty of other great opportunities for recycling just after Christmas.

For example, all those lights and extension cords that have finally given out can be sold as insulated wire. While this may not net you a fortune, it can at the least make buying replacements for next year a bit easier!

In addition to netting you a little cash, recycling electrical wire can have a huge benefit for the environment because so much of it simply goes to the landfill—and because mining new metal for wire isn’t cheap or great for the Earth.

Some tree ornaments, too, are made of valuable metals like brass and aluminum. If you find that you simply have too many ornaments, you could see if any of them are worth anything. Older ornaments are more likely to have scrap metal value, but all of them are at the least worth looking into. 

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Construction Site Scrap Metal Recycling - Dallas, TX

Myths About Construction Site Recycling

Starting up a recycling program at your business’s next construction site or demolition job can give huge benefits to the environment and our community by keeping recyclable waste out of local landfills. It can also be beneficial to your business!

There are a lot of negative myths about on-site recycling going around in the construction world. Most of these are left over from days gone by, when recycling was much more expensive and less common. However, now it’s easy to integrate recycling into your construction or demolition plans. Here are a few of the most common myths, and the positive truths that prove them wrong.

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Recycling Lawncare Equipment - Dallas, TX

How to Recycle Lawncare Equipment

Old lawncare equipment can be a lucrative source for recyclable scrap metal, but dismantling old lawnmowers, edgers, and other outdoor tools can be a real chore. However, with the right tools and know-how, the whole process gets a lot easier, and can even be a lot of fun.

Even if you aren’t a regular scrapper yet, getting rid of old lawncare and landscaping equipment can be tough, and the money earned from selling your old lawnmowers, weedeaters, and even tractors to a Dallas scrap metal recycler can help offset the costs of an expensive upgrade or replacement.

However, you will earn far more money for your equipment if you can dismantle it yourself. This holds true for virtually all other kinds of scrap as well. Because dismantling machinery allows for more precise weighing of recyclable materials and saves the recycling facility money, you can be paid more.

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Recycling Titanium - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Recycling Titanium

Like other recyclable metals, we’re happy to take titanium materials here in Garland at Encore Recyclers. However, there’s a lot people don’t know about this metal. Here’s some important (and even fun) information for all you scrappers out there.

The Uses of Titanium

Titanium is an amazing metal for several reasons, especially its durability, low weight, and extremely high melting point. It’s used in a variety of both everyday and highly specialized tools and pieces of equipment, including things like

  • Frames for eyeglasses
  • Bicycle frames and components
  • Airplane engines
  • Replacement hips
  • Ballistic armor
  • Watches and jewelry
  • Motorcycles and automotive parts

As you can see from the wide variety of uses it’s put to, titanium is quite versatile. This can also make it a valuable metal, especially if it’s clean and otherwise in good condition. It can be easy for scrappers to find, too!

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BOPA Event in Dallas - Recycling Batteries Oil Paint Antifreeze

Set Your Calendar for the November BOPA Event in Dallas

As the Dallas Sanitation Services department tells us, there are some things that simply can’t be thrown away in the trash or recycled at municipal recycling centers or paying recycling facilities like Encore Recyclers. This material is important to dispose of properly—but it’s also dangerous and difficult to work withHowever, there is a solution! The city of Garland, the city of Dallas, and Encore are all concerned with the health of our community and our environment, so we thought we’d let you know about an upcoming opportunity to dispose of some of your hazardous materials ethically and responsibly. The city of Dallas puts on BOPA collection events a few times every year, and the next one is coming right up on November 11th. Mark your calendars—it’s time to do some good in the community by getting rid of these materials the right way.

What is all this BOPA stuff, anyway?

BOPA stands for Batteries, Oil, Paint, and Antifreeze. These are fairly common materials that many Dallas residents have, but cannot be disposed of safely through the city’s usual trash collection system.

On November 11th, though, residents of Dallas County—which includes most Garland residents—may bring their BOPA materials to the BOPA Mobile, which will be at 5639 Forest Lane. Waste collection will happen on this day between 8am and 11am.

Be sure to note that BOPA includes oil filters as well as liquid oil. Oil filters are also dangerous to throw in the regular trash—but they can also be picked up for free at this upcoming collection event!

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