HOW does recycling work?
Scrap Metal Recycling Process
Curbside recycling of household products is vital to reducing the burden on landfills and our need for raw materials. But municipal recycling comprises less than half the products recycled in the United States every year. Scrap metal comprises the majority of recycling and turns old metal into new products. A pickup truck or refrigerator could end up as a beam supporting the bridge you drive across every day. Here’s how the scrap recycling process works:
- Metal converters or fabricators buy material from mills or foundries to convert into usable metal forms.
- Manufacturers purchase the metal to make a product – electronics, appliances, automobiles, steel girders, and more. Scrap is often generated as a byproduct of the manufacturing process (this is called prime or industrial scrap).
- Companies and consumers purchase the product. At the end of the product’s lifecycle, it becomes scrap.
- Cohen buys scrap from manufacturers, companies, and consumers and processes it to meet mill and foundry specifications (based on the size, shape, form, and chemistry of the metal).
- The mill or foundry buys the processed scrap and melts it down to make new steel or metal.
- The process begins again.
Electronics Recycling Process
Electronics go through several steps before they are completely recycled. When electronics arrive at our main processing facility they are categorized, inventoried, and stored in a secure, video monitored warehouse prior to processing. Each item is then assessed to determine if it has reuse value. Electronics that remain viable are refurbished in-house or via one of Cohen’s fully audited partnering companies. Remaining electronics are disassembled and separated into their various grades such as circuit boards, plastics, and metals. The metals are sold to a mill or foundry just like other scrap. Circuit boards are shredded then smelted or refined.
Our electronics recycling process adheres to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 and Department of Defense 5220.22 M standards for data and media sanitation. We are able to properly dispose of data storage devices from all sectors of business including banking, government, and healthcare – guaranteeing that no information is retrievable from any media. After electronically wiping the hard drive, we punch hole in it, cut it in half, and shred it.
Auto Parts Recycling Process
Most automobiles can be recycled for useable parts and components. After Cohen purchases a car, it is inventoried and added to an online parts database. The parts are removed from the vehicle – either by Cohen or the consumer at a pick & pull or pull & pay location – when they are sold. After the car has been stripped of all parts or the value of the scrap car exceeds the value of the remaining parts, the vehicle is crushed, shredded, and the resulting metals are sold to mills and foundries for melting.