Mining & Recycling of Natural Resources

Types of Metal

Why is metal important to recycle? Recycling metal rather than mining it will help save our worlds natural resources and reduce pollution. 

What are the most commonly recycled metals?


 A silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 50 being a ferrous metal making it magnetic. Tin is very thin and light compared to steel and used all over the place, in things like cars, computers, wheel  barrows, bicycles, food cans, swing sets, backyard sheds the list goes  on. 

Tin is found in many items around us only a daily basis. Tin being the most common metal found for recycling also pays by the ton which means you need a large volume in order to make anything worth making. ( Items like tin cans, dog crates, filing cabinets, cars, trucks, shelving the list goes on. 

Tin is everywhere and will continue to be a well used material with a high demand on the market. 


 A hard, strong, gray or bluish-gray alloy of  iron with carbon and usually other elements, being the atomic number  26, iron (steel) is the second most common metal element on Earth.  Steel is also a ferrous metal being magnetic as well.

Anything a quarter inch thick or more i would say is  considered steel in the scrap world. steel is used mainly in heavy  structural items, heavy machinery, bridges and much more. 

Steel is like Tin when it comes to being found. Steel is used in all commercial and industrial buildings, vehicles, heavy machinery, tools and much more. Steel is heavy and items that are steel are great items for recyclers to obtain knowing that steel can weigh up pretty fast and normally would pay more than Tin


A reddish brown metal, this chemical element  being atomic number 29. Copper is considered a non-ferrous metal making it non-magnetic.  

With copper being such a great conductor of  electricity, copper is mostly used in electrical generators &  motors, electrical wiring, and electronics such as radio, DVD players  and television sets. Copper also conducts heat well, so it is used in  motor vehicle radiators, air-conditioners and home heating systems. Copper has been used for plumbing but is now being phased out and replace with plastic piping.

When recycling scrap copper and batteries at the same time, for safe travels be sure to keep both separate as copper can start a fire instantly just by a battery tipping over in your truck or trailer and a copper wire touches both terminals.

Copper is known as one of the easier out of all hard but still hard to obtain metals with a great value. Fetching any wheres between $2 - $5 per pond


 A yellow alloy mixture of copper and zinc  elements also a non-ferrous metal being non magnetic. Brass is a mixture of two elements and does not have its own  atomic number. Brass is mainly used for decoration because its bright gold-like  appearance. 

Items where low friction is required for example locks,  gears, bearings, door handles, bullet casings as well as valves. 

They  are also used for plumbing and electrical and especially in brass  musical instruments such as trumpets, horns, bells, symbols etc..  

Brass is like cooper just hidden in disguise being silver plated or chrome plated brass. For example those old silver serving trays are not actually pure silver just plated underneath is brass. Brass fetching between $1 - $3 per pound.


 A light soft silvery-gray metal. This  chemical element being atomic number 13. This metal is a non-ferrous metal as well being non magnetic 

Aluminum is used in a wide  range of products across the world including pop & beer cans, a  variety of foils, pots & pans, window frames, beer kegs, restaurant  equipment as well as airplane parts. This is because of its particular  properties contributed into the making of these products. 

Aluminum is one of the more frequently found metal being a part of everyday recycling, fetching about .30cents - $2 per pound


Non-corrosive metal as well as non-ferrous being non magnetic.

Lead is the atomic number 82. Lead is a bluish-white lustrous metal. It is very soft heavy thick pieces can be bent by hand very easily. Its highly malleable. it is a relatively poor conductor of electricity.

Being  resistant to corrosion it still has its down falls. It tarnishes upon  exposure to air. Lead is naturally found in the earths crusts. Lead can  also be found in plants, animals, air, water, dust, and soil. Lead is also a highly toxic metal as well as being a very strong poison. Lead poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal condition.

Lead is used to protect wires and cables from corrosion. Lead absorbs vibrations and  sounds. Lead play a big part in manufacture of ammunition. Most of the lead used today is used in the production on lead-acid storage batteries, such as the batteries found in our everyday vehicles and is also used in dental buildings and hospitals for x ray rooms lining the walls and the vest the patient puts on.. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a shiny reflective  silver look to it with a very nice finish. Stainless steel is a form of  steel containing chromium, resistant to tarnishing and rust and does not  have its own atomic number but with steel being the dominate element  here 26 would be its best number. 

Due to the strength, flexibility and  resistance to corrosion, stainless steel is now  commonly used in modern construction, basically all restaurant  equipment, counter tops, backsplashes, cooking utensils, barbecues,  kitchen appliances, surgical equipment and more. 

Stainless steel can be both ferrous and non-ferrous metal depending on grade and process during manufacturing of the metal at the time. This means a magnet will stick and no stick to stainless steel.

This being a heavy metal and non-ferrous it can fetch you some serious coin in scrap metal recycling if cleaned properly. Fetching any wheres from .40 - $1.50 per pound.


Zinc is a silvery-white looking metal that  is a constituent of brass and is used for coating (galvanizing) iron and  steel to protect against corrosion. Zinc is the chemical element of  atomic number 30. Zinc is a non-corrosive metal also being non-ferrous and non magnetic.

More than half of all zinc that is mined from our earth is used for galvanizing other metals such as steel and iron. Galvanizing is when these other metals are coated with a thin coating of zinc for preventing them from corrosion and rust. Zinc is also used to form alloys with other metals such as brass, nickle, silver and aluminum solider.

Zinc  oxide is widely used in the manufacture of very many products such as  paints, rubber, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, inks, soaps,  batteries, textiles and electrical equipment. Zinc is pretty much found in our everyday lives and in every cell of the human body, in the earth, in the foods that we eat  as well as in products that we use regularly such as sunblock,  automobiles, cosmetics, airplanes, appliances, surgical tools, zinc lozenges. 

Children need zinc for growth. Adults need zinc for reproduction and good health its part of our body's balance to life's secret. 

What are the more precious recycled metals?


Gold is a yellow and soft precious looking  metal and being the chemical element of atomic number 79, gold has a  high electrical conductivity making it perfect for electronics. Also it  does not corrode or tarnish, unlike other highly conductive metals, such  as copper and silver. Gold is a non-ferrous metal being non magnetic.

Gold is just about everywhere now, only  most of it is hidden, in items like electronics, appearing on mother  boards, ram chips, CPU chips & sockets, your cell phone, newer  televisions, i pads, jewellery and much more.

There is more gold in the electronics  contained our homes, businesses, stores and manufactures than there is  found right now in actual mines right now!

Its also used in jewellery, but one of the more important attributes is gold holds and stores it's value in our currency!   

Gold is very valuable and can fetch you $1500+ per once


Silver is a shiny grayish-white precious looking metal and being  the chemical element of atomic number 47, silver has been know for being  soft.  Silver is also non-ferrous metal being non magnetic as well.

Because appearance is important, Silver is used to make many things like jewellery,  tableware and mirrors, as it is the best reflector of visible light  known to date. Silver does tarnish with time. Silver is used in dental  alloys, solder and brazing alloys, electrical contacts and batteries. 


Platinum is a precious silvery-white looking  metal. Platinum is the chemical element of atomic number 78. It was  first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century.  

Platinum is used in jewelry, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment,  and industrial catalysts, catalytic converter on vehicles for emissions  process.

Platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals and is  non-corrosive and does not tarnish making it great to mix with gold.  Platinum Does not wear and is very dense but its pretty looks can fetch a good  price with cats of of vehicles paying any wheres between $5 - $500 per unit.

Platinum is a non-ferrous metal and is non magnetic as well 


Nickle is a silvery-white looking metal and being the chemical  element of atomic number 28, nickle has been know to be resistant to  corrosion and is used to plate other metals to simulate the same resistant effect. Nickle is non-ferrous metal also being non magnetic.

Nickle is used in shower taps and faucets. With nickles ability to withstand high heat, nickel minimizes corrosion, allowing the metal to be used for several decades  without replacement. Nickle is also hazardous when inhaled and can result in death. 

What are the bit more rare types of metals?


Cobalt is a hard silvery-white magnetic looking metal and being  the chemical element of atomic number 27, cobalt is used in other types  of magnetic steels & stainless steels as well as in alloys used in  jet turbines and gas turbine generators.

Cobalt is used in electroplating because of its appearance,  hardness, and resistance to oxidation. Cobalt is also used as a tracer  element for finding things like cancers in the human body. Probably key  to finding a cure! Your body actually needs cobalt to survive and is  manufactured in vitamin b12. It is also found in ceramics and pottery.  


Mercury is a heavy silvery-white looking  metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures but being the chemical  element of atomic number 80, mercury is commonly used in batteries, fluorescent lights, felt production, thermometers and barometers. 

Most of these uses have been phased out by now in retail but are still around in the scrap metal world of recycling. Mercury easily forms alloys called "amalgams" with other metals such as gold, silver and tin. The inhalation of mercury vapor can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and  kidneys, and may be fatal or cause life time medical conditions! 


Tungsten is a hard steel-gray looking metal of the transition  series! Tungsten being the chemical element of atomic number 74, has a  very high melting point of 3410°C and is used to make electric light  filaments. Very tough metal and wear-resistant. Used in alloys such as  steel for strengthening and protection! 


Beryllium is a hard gray looking metal also the chemical element of atomic number 4. Beryllium is alloyed with copper or nickel to make springs, gyroscopes,  electrical contacts, spot-welding electrodes and non-sparking tools,  according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Other beryllium alloys are used in high-speed aircraft's and missiles, as well as spacecraft and  communication satellites.  Does to its rarity this metal is not easy to  get your hands on! 


Bismuth is a brittle reddish-gray looking metal as well as being the chemical element of atomic number 83. Pure bismuth is a white brittle metal with a slight pinkish color. Bismuth is usually mixed with other metals, such as lead, tin, iron or cadmium to form low-melting alloys.

Bismuth is used in fire sprinkler systems. This is because it does not melt easily. Bismuth alloys are used in ammunition and pyrotechnics, such as firework displays as well as some medicines!  


Cerium is a silvery-white looking metal also being the chemical element of atomic number 58, cerium is a component of misc metal. cerium is being used in the manufacture of alloys for cigarette lighters.

Cerium oxide is used in incandescent gas mantles as well as glass polishing agents and as a catalyst in self-cleaning ovens. Cerium reacts with oxygen and can be set on fire simply by scratching the surface with a knife. It also reacts with cold water (slowly), hot water (rapidly), acids, bases, hydrogen gas, and other metals. 


Cadmium is a silvery-white looking metal and is the chemical element of atomic number 48. To date the most important use of cadmium in the United States is in the production of Ni-cad ( nickel -cadmium), or rechargeable batteries.

It is also used in pigments, coatings and plating, manufacturing of plastic products,  and alloys. Any form of cadmium taken on a high level can result in  death. Low doses over long period of time can cause damage to kidneys,  lungs and bones.

As a result to cadmium low coefficient of friction and its high fatigue resistance, cadmium is used in alloys for bearings to help with the burning of metals. Cadmium is  also used in children's jewellery to create a shiny coating appearance.

Lots of foods contain trace amounts of cadmium like  rice, as well as seaweed, seafood, and some organ meats. Others like peanuts, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, potatoes, bread, and mushrooms contribute to dietary cadmium intake. all keeping in mind that low doses over time can result to medical conditions! 


Niobium is a silver-gray looking metal of  the transition series used in superconducting alloys. Niobium is the  chemical element of atomic number 41. The metal is used in super alloys  for jet engines and heat resistant equipment. It is often used in  pipeline construction due to its strength.

Niobium is used in rings for pierced ears, nose, and other body parts being in contact with the human body quite regularly.  


Indium is used to make transistors. Scrap indium metal is not something that scrappers typical obtain for recycling.  It is also used to make other electrical components such as rectifiers,  thermistors and photo-conductors. Indium can also be used to make mirrors  that are as reflective as silver mirrors but do not tarnish as quickly. 


Gallium is a soft silvery-white looking metal that melts at about 30°C, that's just above room temperature. Gallium is the chemical element of atomic number 31.

Low melting gallium alloys are used in some medical thermometers as non-toxic substitutes for mercury. Gallium arsenide is used in semi-conductor  production mainly for laser diodes, light-emitting diodes and solar  panels.