To many people, recycling means simply carrying recyclable materials to the curb or recycling facility, but collection is just the beginning of the recycling process. Do you know what actually happens to scrap metal once it reaches the metal recycling facility? After collection, scraps are sorted, processed, purified, cooled, and then reformed into other materials and alloys that give new life to scrap metal and reduce the impact on our environment.
For savvy recyclers, bringing recyclable metals to a metal recycling facility in Jacksonville can mean big bucks. Berman Bros. purchases scrap metal at competitive prices, and can provide roll-off containers, scrap dump trailers and flatbeds. It is best to have metals separated upon drop-off, but Berman accepts all recyclable metals, both ferrous (iron) and non-ferrous (non-iron items like aluminum, steel, copper and brass).
Metals need to be processed by type, so sorting is critical at a metal recycling facility. Non-metal pieces are removed from large objects, like appliances or vehicles, and sent to a waste facility. Ferrous items are separated from non-ferrous using large magnets, as a magnet will only attract ferrous items. Non-ferrous items are then further separated by weight and color using sensors and trained technicians.
Processing, Purification, and Cooling/Solidifying does not happen on Berman Brothers Property.
Once separated, metals must be processed before they can be transformed into new products. The metal is crushed, then shredded and melted down in large furnaces at extremely high temperatures. The melting process can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours, depending on the metal. While it takes a large amount of energy to generate enough heat to melt the metal, recycled steel still saves 60% of the production energy required for new ore. The molten metal is then sent for either production or additional purification.
Metals have a unique ability to preserve their properties throughout the recycling process. There is no reduction or degradation of the properties once it has been melted down and reformed. However, contaminants can interfere with that process, so it is important to ensure the metals are pure before being reused. Dirt and oils are removed prior to being melted down, and other contaminants can only be removed and separated after melting.
The purified, molten metal is then cooled into forms in the final step of the process. They can be kept as individual metals, or carefully mixed together to form alloys. An alloy is a mixture of metal with another element, either metal or non-metal. For example, copper can stand on its own, but is often mixed with other precious metals. When copper is mixed with silver, it creates sterling silver; when mixed with gold, it produces red/rose gold, and when it is mixed with zinc, brass is formed. Those metals or alloys are then cooled into blocks, sheets, or other forms like pipes and beams. While some metals are sold to outside sources, most of the metals processed by Berman Bros. go directly to their in-house metal fabrication facility, Rubin Iron Works. Berman Bros. partnered with Rubin Iron Works in 2005 to create a single-source company that could ensure the highest level of quality at every step of the metal fabrication process.
Despite the existence of metal recycling facilities in Jacksonville and across the U.S., only about half of the nation’s iron, steel and aluminum gets recycled. The EPA estimates that landfills still receive roughly 10.5 million tons of steel each year. It is critical to maximize the amount of recycled materials in order to better preserve our natural resources. The National Institute of Health’s Environmental Management System reported that using scrap steel instead of virgin ore to make new steel takes 40% less water and creates 97% less mining waste.
Please join Berman Bros. in increasing our community’s commitment to metal recycling in Jacksonville, FL and across the Southeast.