Category Archives: Blog

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Understanding The Need To Recycle Lithium-Ion Batteries

Today, lithium-ion batteries (or Li-ion batteries) are considered the battery technology of choice in a wide spectrum of electronics. For example, e-readers, laptops, smartphones, and more. Additionally, these batteries are also utilized to power various tools and even electric vehicles (EVs). Speaking of powering vehicles, industry analysts predict that China alone will generate approximately 500,000 metric tons of used lithium-ion batteries by 2020. A decade later, that number may reach two million metric tons per year.

Understanding Lithium-Ion Batteries

Before looking at how problematic used Li-ion batteries can be, we need to first understand their individual components. With that said, a single Li-ion battery may contain:

  • Carbon black and binder (e.g., PVDF—polyvinylidene fluoride.)
  • Separator plastics
  • Electrolyte solution
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Active cathode materials (e.g., cobalt, aluminum oxide, lithium nickel, and lithium cobalt oxide.)
  • Anode (e.g., graphite.)

Many recyclers currently recycle just the metals; all the battery’s components, however, have value and can be reused after their recovery.

Causes More Landfill Problems

Now that you have a basic understanding of the batteries’ contents, it’s time to focus on the landfill problems they can cause. If current trends for handling used batteries remain unchanged, they will continue to pile up in landfills. Because they contain manganese, nickel, and cobalt, these metals can leak from the casing of buried batteries and contaminate groundwater and soil. These events threaten the well-being of humans and ecosystems. So, how can we prevent these problems from becoming a reality? The answer: recycle and reuse.

The Importance of Recycling

Both environmentalists and battery specialists agree that materials recovered from recycling Li-ion batteries can be used to make new ones. Because these materials account for over half of a battery’s cost, doing the above can help lower manufacturing costs. Nickel and cobalt are the two most expensive cathode metals found in said batteries. Their current market prices stand at roughly $12,600 per metric ton and $90,000 per metric ton, respectively.

It is important to note that used Li-ion batteries can have negative environmental effects not just at the end of their service lifespan but long before they are manufactured as well. By recycling spent batteries, we essentially reduce the need to mine for more virgin materials, as well as the use of other harmful processing materials, e.g., metal-sulfide ore can contribute to acid rain.

Reality Check: It’s Not that Easy

If recycling is the solution, why are we not doing it? Unfortunately, regulatory gaps, logistic issues, economic barriers, and technical constraints haven’t made this option a universally well-established practice. Today, the Li-ion battery industry still lacks a clear path to economical recycling on a large-scale. That’s why less than five percent of used Li-ion batteries are recycled today.

Continuous Improvement Needed

That’s not to say that the industry isn’t making any attempts to resolve the pressing issues. Large pyrometallurgy facilities are being used to recycle Li-ion batteries. These units, which typically run near 1,500 °C, are capital intensive and emit toxic fluorine compounds during the smelting processes.

Hydrometallurgy processing methods are practiced commercially in China. Although this less energy-intensive alternative helps lower capital costs, it requires the use of caustic reagents such as hydrogen peroxide, as well as sulfuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acids.

All is not lost; researchers are pursuing direct recycling methods that shun costly processing. For example, removing electrolytes with supercritical carbon dioxide before crushing the batteries’ cells and separating the components physically. It goes without saying that more work is needed to efficiently employ this cost-saving approach.

scrap import restrictions

What You Need To Know About China’s Scrap Import Restrictions

Did you know that China planned to restrict imports of eight different scrap categories? Yes, the restrictions are real and were implemented on the first of July. These latest restrictions were the country’s way of cleaning up its environment and to form recycling as a domestically driven industry. In addition to that, the restrictions were birthed after a year of regulatory additions on recyclable material import bans. So far, the plastic and fiber sectors in the United States have been hit harder than metals by said restrictions.

Types of Restricted Waste

Below is a list of the main types of restricted waste:

  • Aluminum waste
  • Re-melted scrap ingots of steel and iron
  • Scrap of iron and steel from machining (e.g., stampings, trimmings, filings, sawdust, milling waste, chips, shavings, and turnings)
  • Alloy steel scrap
  • Copper scrap
  • Iron or steel scrap
  • Tinned iron or steel scrap
  • Cast iron scrap

Affected scrap metal exporters believe that China would only restrict mixed metal imports. Oftentimes, these are lower in quality and have higher contamination rates. China’s port such as Sanshan will still accept furnace-ready materials that do not require further processing and sorting.

Reduced Material Quotas

In June, China’s government listed their reduced material quotas that will take effect in the third quarter of the year. Details are as follows:

  • Ferrous scrap: 14,968 metric tons
  • Aluminum: 54,256 metric tons
  • Copper: 240,796 metric tons

Due to stricter contamination standards and the residual effect of other material bans, copper is expected to be affected the most by the new regulations. It is important to note that these numbers only apply to certain companies in northern China. The list of companies in the South will be finalized at a later time. Much of the metal materials flow through the latter.

It’s a Restriction, Not a Ban

Remember that the new regulations on copper, aluminum, and steel are merely restrictions. They are not bans! Even so, these import restrictions are likely to affect scrap metal pricing, demand, and supply as a whole. In fact, certain scrap metal markets have already experienced destabilization in 2019. For example, tariffs that were imposed in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Research has shown that China’s scrap metal imports dropped by 44 percent following the tariffs.

An Early Shutdown

Although the metal import regulations were slated to be in full force on July 1, Sanshan port rejected scrap metal imports three days before the actual date. The early shutdown seems to be caused by importers attempting to beat the deadline by bringing in considerable stockpiles of metal. With that said, no one knows when the port will reopen and start accepting scrap metals again. Other Chinese ports, on the other hand, do not appear to be affected.

How Far Will China Go?

It is currently too early to determine how far China will go with their metal quotas. Likewise, no one can accurately predict the long-term effects of the port closure. While these events will lead to commodity price volatility and market uncertainty, it is not the end of the story.

scrap metal prices

What Are the Factors That Can Affect Scrap Metal Prices?

Whether you are someone who sells scrap metal, or a business owner that purchases processed scrap metal, it’s important to understand scrap metal prices. In the United States, for example, there are certain criteria that affect the prices of scrap metal. Let’s make a closer examination of what factors influence scrap metal prices.

Supply and Demand

This economic theory drives not only the price of scrap metal, but most economic concerns were price is a factor. The price will be lower the greater the supply of a product. The price will be higher, particularly when supply is limited, the greater the demand. Therefore, scrap metal prices will be lower if it is in high supply and in low demand.

Price of Virgin/New Metals

The price of virgin metals is another element that can affect scrap metal prices. This applies to newly mined metals that have not been processed, recycled, or used. Supply and demand, production costs, and energy costs can drive the price of virgin metal up. When those prices are expensive (high), as an alternative to virgin products, scrap metal becomes more valuable. Alternately, scrap metal becomes less essential when virgin metal prices drop because industries can, instead, afford virgin metals.

Production and Energy Costs

The cost of production and the cost of energy will largely affect scrap metal prices. Here’s what’s included in energy costs: oil, gas, and other electricity sources. In order to make up the difference, the price being offered for scrap metal may be lower when the cost of processing is particularly high. That said however, scrap recycling and scrap metal can be a more valuable endeavor if the costs associated with the mining of new metal are sufficiently inflated.

Other things that may affect the price of recycled metal can be the following: new commodity market price, the time of year, location, the quality of the scrap, the quantity of the scrap, and international trade.

Scrapping Metals for Money

So, what are the best things to scrap if you’re looking for some extra spending money? Here are the top moneymakers were scrap metals are concerned (subject to constant change):

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Insulated copper wire
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Ferrous metals such as light iron

Go through your attic, route through the garage, brave that scary basement. It’s time to turn your garbage into gold – so to speak. If you’re part of a nonprofit organization, consider doing an aluminum can drive, or a collection of other trash/scrapped metals, electrical scrap, computer scrap, etc.

If, to make a little extra cash, you’re considering becoming a scrap collector, here’s your startup kit:

  • Basic knowledge of metals and their various types.
  • Cardboard box, barrel, or truck in which to keep your metal scrap.
  • A magnet, even if it’s just a pocket-sized one, is a must-have for all scrappers. A metal is most likely ferrous if it is drawn to your magnet (or vice versa).

H&C Metals offers competitive scrap metal prices for aluminum cans and other non-ferrous metals, computer scrap, ferrous metals, and some electrical scrap. In fact, for over 40 years, we have been offering not only competitive pricing but stellar service in Newark, New Jersey and the tri-state area. If you have a question about what materials we accept for recycling, or what are current prices are, contact us today.

Interested in information about non-ferrous materials? Watch our video here.

If you have questions about possible recyclable materials, our competitive prices, H&Cs’ Trucking and Hauling capabilities, or specific inquiries about metal recyclables, contact one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today.

recycle scrap aluminum cans

Why Should You Recycle Scrap Aluminum Cans?

Does anyone really recycle scrap aluminum cans? The answer to this question is an emphatic yes! So much so that today, we are still using some 75% of all the aluminum ever created. In the United States, it is one of the most commonly recycled metals in existence. Furthermore, because in the process of recycling, it loses none of its quality or its integrity, it is 100% recyclable.

Why Is Recycling So Important?

The reasons for recycling aluminum cans are many. One of the biggest reasons is the savings on emissions and energy that would usually be used to make aluminum from the raw material bauxite. When compared to the amount of energy needed to produce aluminum from raw materials, the energy used in recycling aluminum only amounts to approximately 5%. If you are concerned about the environment, one of the biggest steps you can take is to recycle aluminum cans.

Where landfills and emissions are concerned: landfills have been spared approximate 23 million tons of waste and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced considerably.

Those looking for ways to help local communities, the economy, and help out the planet at the same time can save precious money, time, energy, and natural resources by recycling aluminum cans. Recycling one ton of aluminum saves the following:

  • 10 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 32 million BTUs of energy
  • 40 barrels of oil
  • 14,000 kW hours of energy

Garbage Everywhere!

Times have changed – and not all for the better. While far more user-friendly, conveniences like disposable diapers and individually packaged food servings now, more than ever, create ton after ton of garbage. Every single day, approximately seven and a half pounds of garbage is discarded by the average American.

And while nonrecyclable garbage does go into landfills and eventually gets buried, how long before we run out of space for the landfills? Worse yet, some waste materials are shipped to incineration plants which only serve to further pollute our already questionable atmosphere.

Recycling Aluminum Cans – An Investment In Our Economy

Many of us are familiar with the fact that money can be made from the collecting and recycling of aluminum cans. School groups, Girl Scout/Boy Scout troops, and other charitable causes can benefit by collecting aluminum cans and turning them in for cash. But there is another investment factor to the recycling of aluminum cans.

The collection and recycling of aluminum cans supports a diverse and strong recycling manufacturing industry. Localities and states benefit from the wages and jobs provided by this industry. In the chain of economic activity, it is a critical link. What’s more, the money and energy saved by various companies and industries that rely on recycled materials weighs in as an important factor.

H&C Metals knows fully well how important the recycling of aluminum cans is to the economy and the planet. For over 40 years, we have been serving the tri-state and Newark, NJ areas with our recycling efforts. If you have questions about our prices, our hours, scrap that we don’t accept, specific metals, or other recyclable materials, contact one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today.

recycling scrap meals

Understanding The Fundamentals Of Recycling Scrap Metals

In this day and age where everyone is “going green”, the act of recycling scrap metals is a popular choice not only for its energy and materials saving capabilities but its lucrative possibilities as well. Let’s find out more about recycling scrap metals.

Metal Recycling

Since metal working’s early days, scrap metal has gone through salvaging and reuse. From both an economical and environmental standpoint, it is extremely effective to recycle metal. Because, with repeated melting and casting, the properties of the metal itself do not deteriorate, metals like copper, aluminum, iron, and steel can be recycled over and over again.

Why Recycle Metals?

Why is a specialty like the retrieval of metal from seemingly scrapped or garbage objects something that the metal recycling industry wanted to do in the first place? One big benefit is that landfills won’t be filled with discarded scrap metal. On the contrary, in fact, these once discarded metals are now used to create new products, after being converted into raw materials.

As an example of just what kind of coefficient, sustainable source of raw materials can be provided by recycling… without the use of recycled materials, the price of casting would increase by approximately 20 to 40%!

Types of Scrap Metal

The scrap metal industry refers to its scrap in several ways. These include the following:

  • Obsolete scrap
  • Prompt scrap
  • Home scrap

Metals Must Be Separated

Iron is contained in ferrous metals including gray iron, malleable iron, steel, etc. Using an electromagnet, nonferrous materials are separated from ferrous materials. This type of scrap is frequently used in cast steel and cast-iron products made by foundries and in steelworks.

Nonferrous metals do not contain iron. They are corrosion resistant, nonmagnetic, and, when compared to nonmetallic metals, are heavier. To separate nonmetallic pieces away from a large collection of scrap, a powerful cyclone or vacuum and metallic drum are used. To further separate problematic items out, “handpicking” by humans is required.

Purification and Refinement

A secondary refining is still needed even after separation. Certain specifications must be met before scrap can become usable raw material. Purification must be done.

To accomplish the refining process, pieces of scrap that have properties that are similar are heated to their melting point. Waste matter (or slag) is separated. For desired quality standards, even further refinement will still be needed.

Manufacturing

For use in foundries and mills, scrap metal is shipped throughout the world. Every year, worldwide scrap metal consumption ends up being in the hundreds of millions of tons.

Ferrous metal casters alone use their internal scrap for between 30 to 50% of their metal needs. Additional outside scrap sources account for approximately 40 to 50% of their needs.

In the steelmaking industry, thanks to the recycling of scrap metal, landfills have been spared some 235 million tons of waste. (This was reported by the Bureau of International Recycling in 2016.) Rather than using iron ore to produce steel, 56% less energy is required when recycling steel.

Your Recycling Experts

H&C Metals specializes in the recycling of metals including both ferrous and nonferrous metals, plus select computer scrap, and electronic scrap. For over 40 years, we have been experts in our field while providing the tri-state and Newark, New Jersey areas with stellar service. If you have questions about possible recyclable materials, our competitive prices, H&Cs’ Trucking and Hauling capabilities, or specific inquiries about metal recyclables, contact one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today.

And be sure to check out our video about nonferrous materials!

aluminum

Materials Spotlight: Aluminum

Most of us are familiar with the aluminum cans that hold our favorite soft drinks, carbonated alcoholic beverages, and etc. We see people along the roadside picking them up and putting them in plastic bags, while we are able to donate cans to charitable drives. But where do those collected cans go? More likely than not, they are taken to a recycling center and turned in for cash.

What Is Aluminum?

Scientifically speaking, aluminum is a light grayish-silver metal and atomic number 13 as a chemical element, with a symbol of Al. It is said that, by weight, 8% of the earth’s crust is made up of aluminum. Its abundance is part of the reason that, frequently, this material is taken for granted. At 660.32°C (1220.58°F) it melts. At 2519°C (4566°F), it boils. Like zinc, titanium, tin, nickel, lead, and copper, it is a nonferrous metal.

When you look at aluminum closely, its usefulness is rather surprising. The metal loses electrons (or oxidizes) very easily. In iron, this reaction causes rust. When that happens (with iron) degradation and flakiness occurs. Here’s the difference: with aluminum, that same reaction actually shields it from further decay because it sticks to the original metal. But the benefits of aluminum don’t stop there.

Top Material Features

Aluminum is preferable to other materials for numerous reasons. It is easy to recycle, fold, and mold. Yet, it stands up to repeated use and resists corrosion. When compared to copper or steel, it is exceptionally lightweight, making it perfect for applications that require metal that is not cumbersome and difficult to work with.

Aluminum is sometimes referred to as the “miracle metal”. Among other things, aluminum possesses high thermal conductivity and high electrical conductivity. It resists corrosion, it is highly reflective and resilient. When it comes to finishing options, aluminum offers a wide range of choices.

Fun fact: Aluminum was considered more valuable than even gold, for decades. Napoleon lll (circa 1848) not only had a rattle made for his son from aluminum but used aluminum cutlery and plates with which to serve his most honored guests!

What You Need to Know about Recycling Aluminum

One of the most recyclable materials in existence is aluminum. In the recycling bin outside your home, the aluminum cans you throw away are more valuable than any other item. Every year, over $700 million in aluminum cans are discarded by the American public.

Recycling aluminum helps save the planet as well as being lucrative. It saves money, time, energy, and precious natural resources. As an example, you can make 20 recycled aluminum cans with the same energy that it takes to take bauxite ore and create one single brand-new aluminum can.

Choose H&C Metals Inc. to Help You Recycle Aluminum

At H&C Metals, we can cover your recycling needs. We recycle, process, haul, and buy not only scrap metal, but electronic waste and select computer waste. We handle metals from not just the general public but also from schools, hospitals, public and municipal works, demolition, small and large businesses, corporations, manufacturers, industries, construction management, general contractors, and more in the tri-state region and Newark, New Jersey area. We are highly committed to stellar customer service and recycling performance for over 40 years. If you are in search of a facility where you can sell your scrap steel and iron, copper pipe, or aluminum cans, contact us today. We pay competitive prices and offer full scrap metal service.

Alternatively, if you have questions about possible recyclable materials, our competitive prices, H&Cs’ Trucking and Hauling capabilities, or specific inquiries about metal recyclables, contact one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today.

Benefits of Scrap Metal Recycling

Recycling scrap metal can be more helpful than you know. Since scrap metal can be continuously re-melted and reshaped, it’s ideally used for a number of products and applications.

Here are some of the benefits of bringing metal scrap to the recycling facility of your choice:

Conserve natural resources

Recycling metal means you can reuse the material for different purposes. That helps conserve the environment and natural resources because that’s one less metal mined and made. This reduces the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere too. So if you want to do your part in saving the environment and making the world a better place, you might want to give scrap metal recycling a try.

Less use of water

When facilities recycle metal, they make use of less resources needed than to mine and make metals in the first place. For instance, they’ll use about 40 percent less water. That matters. Because when you consider how many recycling plants out there, that 40 percent can amount to a lot. As more and more people learn and appreciate the benefits of using recycling shops, that’s more and more people saving at least 40 percent of the world’s water. In the grand scheme of things, that can amount to quite a lot.

Creates jobs

By supporting recycling facilities, you also help create jobs. Recycling facilities employ a lot of people and contractors. From the crew to all the equipment necessary to make the business run, there are plenty of people behind a successful recycling establishment. By supporting these establishments, you help them stay in business and give jobs to people. That’s a great economic benefit. After all, the more people have jobs, the more stable the economy is. That means more spending power for everyone. Considering how scary economic downturns are, we need all the help we can get.

Convenient service

A number of recycling facilities also offer loading and transportation services. They can remove the scrap from your property and transport it to the facility in a way that’s safe and efficient. No need to go through the hassle of hiring a different company for the scrap disposal and delivery. Just make sure you check with the company first. That way, you’ll know if they have this in their service lineup or not.

For questions about rates and services, call us at HCMetals. We’ll be happy to provide you with the recycling help and assistance you need.

5 Tips to Finding a Credible Recycling Facility

Living green doesn’t just benefit you, it benefits the environment too. So if you’ve got scrap metal in your backyard or storage and you’re looking to unload them, why not try out a recycling facility? Don’t know where to start looking? Here are a few helpful tips for you:

Make a list

List down all the materials you want to bring to the recycling service, whether that’s scrap metal, paper or something else. Once you know what these are, time to go around and look for recycling plants. Check out what materials they accept. Keep looking until you find a recycler that fits the bill.

Compare the costs

Along with the materials, list down how much the companies charge for their service. Listing down all those metal prices, for instance, should give you a good idea of the average cost for the materials you have. As a result, you’ll know which scrap prices are fair and which ones are not. This should make it easier for you to pick which recycling shop to go for. In addition, you won’t have to worry about being scammed or taken in by an unscrupulous recycling shop. Knowing what the average ballpark is for scrap metal prices, you’ll know enough to steer clear of those dodgy establishments. And if you’ve got fine negotiation skills, you can also argue for a fairer price.

Check for a license

However, not all recycling shops out there are licensed to safely and legally get rid of certain types of waste. So make sure you pick a recycling that’s been licensed for the materials you have. That’s one way to ensure they follow the right processing standards and restrictions for the best results.

Do your homework

You might want do a little bit of research about the recycling company. Is it under investigation? Was the company ever fined for violating several environmental laws in the past or recent months? Then that company might not be your best bet if you want your scrap materials to be handled andrecycled properly.

Ask about the process

A credible recycling shop or facility will have no trouble providing you with the answers you need. They’re sure to guide you through the process. So if you’re just getting vague answers in return, you might want to look for help elsewhere.

Finding a credible recycling facility might not be easy. But with these tips, your search should go much faster. For more information on recycling services in Newark, NJ, contact us at HCmetals.

Why You Should Consider Recycling Scrap Metal

Recycling steel scrap materials has evolved as the industry that is dedicated to transforming old materials to create new products has grown substantially. In fact, today, the scrap recycling industry employs more than 130,000 individuals.

There are a number of benefits offered by recycling scrap steel, including the fact that steel scrap prices are higher today than they have been in years.

Environmental Benefits

Each year, the scrap recycling industry transforms over 130 million metric tons of materials that are now obsolete. These materials are gathered from consumers, manufacturers, and businesses and repurposed into all-new, useful raw materials. If no one participated in scrap recycling, then more and more mining would have to be done and the natural, virgin resources would be depleted faster.

Recycling these materials also helps to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions and significantly saves energy thanks to the need for manufacturing all new products being reduced. This energy that is saved when you recycle is able to be used for other purposes, such as powering automobiles and heating homes.

Recycling Ferrous Scrap Materials

Steel is considered the most recycled material in the U.S. as well as all around the world. In the United States alone, over 74 million metric tons of the ferrous scrap materials are processed each year. This material is sourced from obsolete automobiles, household appliances, farm equipment, ships, railroad tracks, and steel structures. Also, scrap that is generated by manufacturing and industrial sources accounts for over half of all the ferrous supply of scrap materials.

Interesting Facts about this Recycling and Steel

Did you know that the United States recycles an amount of copper each year to create more than 26,000 Statues of Liberty? Also, if the aluminum scrap that was processed in the U.S. was used just for producing the standard soda can, the cans would be the same length as the distance from Earth to Venus, which is just over 25 million miles. Each year the U.S. creates more than 250 billion pounds of different scrap material. This is equivalent to the weight of more than 70 million average automobiles.

How to Recycle Your Scrap Metal for Money

There is no question that recycling and also reusing items, such as newspapers, clothing, and plastic bottles is important. After all, these small actions each day can help with the green movement. However, a section of the recycling industry that is not as popular, but that is just as important is recycling old metal. The fact is, exports of scrap metal are considered one of the biggest in the entire United States and when metals are recycled, the total amount of ore drilling in the world is able to be reduced.

Some of the scrap metal recycling items you can actually earn money for include iron, brass, aluminum, steel, and copper. However, many people often throw these items away, not realizing that the metal prices today for recycling are actually higher than they have been in years.

Make Money Recycling Scrap Metal

What many people simply don’t know is that the majority of scrap metal is able to be recycled for cash at the local scrap yard. If you are interested in recycling your scrap items, it is a good idea to get to know what the going price of scrap metal is right now. Since these yards see a large amount of scrap in some cases, you may not be able to get top dollar, but something is better than nothing when you were just going to throw it out anyway, right?

The Magnet Test

When you are ready to recycle your scrap metal, you need to start by separating your non-ferrous and ferrous metal. The best way to do this is by using a magnet. If the magnet will stick to the metal, then this is a ferrous metal and something common such as iron or steel. This is not worth as much as non-ferrous metal.

If the magnet doesn’t stick to the item, then this is non-ferrous. This includes items such as bronze, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and copper. These items are typically worth more.

Once you have your items sorted, head to the scrap yard. The more items you have, the more money you can earn, and you have the added bonus of doing something great for the environment.