steel recycling process

Steel - Recycling Process

Via magnetic extraction

Magnetic recovery is the most efficient and cost effective way of extracting steel packaging from non-sorted domestic waste, achieving recovery rates of up to 55%.

Thanks to its magnetic properties, steel is one of the easiest packaging materials to recover from the waste stream. Steel packaging can be automatically extracted from non-sorted refuse or separated from other recyclable materials using efficient and low cost magnets.

The magnetic extraction technology can be used to recover steel cans from pulverization, baling and energy-from-waste plants.

Via energy from waste (EFW) plants

EFW plants in the UK handle more than 2 million tonnes of domestic waste each year!

Conventional magnetic extraction technology at EFW plants recovers steel packaging present in the domestic waste stream after the incineration process.

The recovery of the ferrous material is generally via a single pass suspended magnet - either an overband magnet or a drum magnet.

Via kerbside collection

The tonnage of steel cans recycled by kerbside collection is increasing by over 25% every year!

Kerbside collection is becoming an increasingly common practice in many Local Authorities across the UK. Householders contribute to the scheme by putting their recyclate material into their kerbside boxes / sacks or wheelie bins as issued by the council.

Collections can be made weekly or fortnightly by the council and do not have to be collected on the same day as other general waste. Steel cans, amongst other materials, are collected via this method.

When the material is collected from the doorstep it can be sorted in two different locations. Some collection schemes sort their recyclate material at the kerbside. This is where the bags or boxes which are taken from the properties and sorted into different compartments onto the vehicle. The advantage of this method is that material is kept 'clean' and free from contaminants. The other method of sorting is for all the recyclate material which is collected at the kerbside to be taken to a MRF (Material Recycling Facility) central depot where operatives would separate the material.

Steel cans collected in this way make excellent recyclable material, and Tata Steel, the major UK steel maker, wishes to encourage development of this method.

Via bring schemes

Bring schemes are easy to use and provide opportunities to increase recycling levels for all cans.

With can banks collecting steel cans right across the UK, 'bring' schemes continue to play an important role in the collection of steel drinks and food cans.

A wide variety of can banks can be included in so-called 'milk-round' collection schemes: Hiab, FEL (front-end loader), REL (rear end loader), mini, modular and wheeled bins.

The 14 cubic yard skip is a popular choice for bring schemes, as these large capacity banks are taken away to be emptied at a depot. To help minimize costs, an empty bank can be delivered and left on-site at the time of collecting a full skip for servicing, saving time and also reducing operational costs.

To locate your nearest Can Bank, please use the link to the Recycling Locator.