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The Life of an Aluminum Can

November 5th, 2013

Almost everybody has taken the time to recycle old soda cans at one point or another, either while you were a kid, or with your kids to make a little additional cash. This makes you think, where have my aluminum cans been before I bought this six pack of coke? Follow the path of one aluminum can to find out where it has been, and where it is going.

The aluminum

Before a can is ever produced the aluminum must be extracted, refined, and then a part of a primary smelting process. If it wasn’t for the recycling process, the price of aluminum would rise considerably, making the price of everything that uses it for packaging such as soda to skyrocket. To prevent this from happening, be sure to recycle your cans. The process from the time you drop off a used can to when it can be reused takes about sixty days.

The cycle

The process as we know it starts after you purchase a can in the store. For anything to happen, you need to be proactive in getting it recycled. This could mean placing it in the recycling bin, or even collecting aluminum cans to be taken into the scrap yard yourself.

From this point the cans are organized, and transported to a smelting facility in mass proportions. The cans are sorted, tested for moisture content and quality, and then sent to be shredded. The shredded pieces of the cans are then sent to be melted down. During this process the cans are heated up to about 1,400 degrees, making a molten metal material.

This liquid is then placed into molds to make ingots. Each of these can weight right around 40,000 pounds. To make this material usable to manufacturers, an aluminum coil is made from this by flattening out the ingot. From here what was once an aluminum can doesn’t necessarily have to become just a can again, but instead can contribute to a number of things including aluminum foil, chair parts, or even car bodies. After this, it can start the process all over again.

Aluminum cans may be melted down to create more cans, or something else that is needed. To learn more about the recycling process, and how to bring in your own soda cans, contact us at Utah Metal Works. We can set you on the right path, and make sure you get the most from your recycled material.

By +Cassie Costner

Junk Around the House that is Surprisingly Recyclable

October 3rd, 2013

Before the cold weather has a chance to completely settle in, take a look around your yard to find the junk that is just sitting around wasting space, yet is actually recyclable. Instead of letting these items crowd your yard, building dust and dirt, consider bringing them in to be recycled. You would be surprised what you could get for these items at the scrap yard. Kill two birds with one stone in the process.

The best metals

Whether you have a ferrous or non-ferrous metal on your hands, still come bring it in to get recycled. Although non-ferrous metals bring in the highest price, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the other recyclables hanging around in your home. If you are looking to get the most for your metal, look for copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze. Products that have these in them will fetch a higher price than others.

Most of the broken appliances or other things around the home that contain these materials only have small amounts of them. If you have something that you are specifically wondering if it is recyclable, contact us for more information.

Items around the house

There are a few common items around the home that contain metal, and would be better recycled than thrown away. Some of the most common include:

  • Aluminum cans – some of the most valuable items because they are made of aluminum.
  • Paint cans – although these are recyclable, they are still considered hazardous waste. If you are going to recycle these, make sure to keep them separate from other metals, and label them as paint cans.
  • Older style metal railings that have been taken out and updated are often found rusting away in the yard. Rather than allowing this to happen, take this in to be recycled. It will be more valuable than you think.
  • Any appliances that have metal. Combine any appliances that have recently kicked the bucket and find out which ones have metal, and what types of metal they have.

Not only are you getting rid of your old junk, but you are getting paid to do so. This is much more convenient and productive than paying to take your junk to the dump.

If you have any questions about your recyclable materials, contact us at Utah Metal Works. We can help set you in the right recycling direction, and advise you on the best materials to recycle. Start a cleanup of your yard today to prepare for winter, and make a little extra cash along the way.

By Cassie Costner

Recycling Batteries: Why it is Important

August 1st, 2013

Batteries are highly toxic items that contain poisonous levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and highly caustic battery acid. Car batteries are of particular concern since improper disposal can be extremely harmful to the environment and even pose personal safety risks. All batteries contain heavy metals, however, car batteries can be particularly damaging due to their size and concentrations of toxic substances. Recycling car batteries is mandated by law in many states and the 1996 Battery Act passed by the EPA recognized the health and environmental damages of batteries and sought to promote recycling of batteries. Even in states where battery recycling is not legislated, it is still important to consider recycling as a responsible way to dispose of a battery.

Environmental and Health Concerns

One of the principle reasons why batteries should be properly recycled is because of their potential to harm the environment and risk to individual health. The acid and heavy metals contained in batteries can be released into the soil and groundwater if disposed in a landfill. These chemicals can permeate into the groundwater and end up in lakes and streams. Similarly, batteries that are incinerated can release metals into the air through smoke and ash. The same reasons why batteries are harmful to the environment apply to why batteries are harmful to human health. Exposure to toxic chemicals and metals can have detrimental effects on the entire body–not to mention risks of injury from exposure to battery acid or a battery that explodes.

Battery Recycling Programs

Most car batteries in the U.S are collected for recycling, This is done by requiring that the old car battery be turned in before purchasing a new battery. This is done by automotive parts retailers. Many waste agencies and metal recycling services also accept batteries for recycling. These services will properly dispose of the toxic substances and recycle the metal. Lead-acid car batteries should always be turned into an automotive shop upon purchasing a new battery and you should inquire about disposal methods. Also, consider looking into local metal recycling programs that accept batteries.

The 10 Most Expensive Minerals in the World

June 28th, 2013

In an examination of valuable natural occurring things in the world, minerals rank among the highest. Precious minerals are highly sought after for everything from jewelry to consumer electronics. Some of the most obvious, like gold and silver have retained their value as coveted minerals that maintain high monetary value and are seen as reliable financial security for many. Others, most people have never even heard of, but they are prized for their beauty or rarity. Here is a quick look at the top 10 most expensive minerals in the world.

10. Painite-

This is widely believed to be the rarest mineral on the planet. Painite is essentially invaluable because of its rarity. It is found in the southeast Asian country of Myanmar in only two states. To give an idea of how rare this mineral is, only 25 crystals have been uncovered in the world. The current market price per carat of painite is roughly $60,000.

9. Rubies-

Prized for their beauty from a stunning red color caused by the presence of chromium, rubies are one of the most valuable and conflicted minerals in the world. Over ninety percent of the world’s rubies are mined in Burma, often under oppressive conditions. In terms of monetary value as a more common mineral, rubies are often considered the most expensive with pure, clear, finely cut rubies valuing at over $200,000 per carat.

8. White Diamonds-

Well known as a highly valuable mineral, diamonds are also highly contentious and are often mined in conflict zones where exploitation is rampant. Like other precious minerals, the value of diamonds per carat is determined by their cut, clarity, shape, and weight, among other factors. The price per carat is calculated by considering these characteristics, but prices range from two thousand dollars and up.

7. Gold-

The value of this mineral is obvious–it has been valued by humans for thousands of years. Today, gold still retains considerable value and is a popular investment commodity. The price of gold per ounce routinely fluctuates on the market, but is valued at around $1200 per ounce.

6. Black Opal-

These are mined across Australia and in Brazil, Mexico, idaho, and Nevada. Black opals vary in color and clarity from deep black to degrees of red, green, and blue hues. Their market value comes from their color clarity and brightness. Depending on the size and quality, black opals can be priced from hundreds of dollars per carat to several thousand.

5. Blue Garnet-

With a blueish-green tone, the blue garnet is prized as one of the rarest and most expensive minerals in the world. They are famous for the way they change colors when exposed to light. The garnet family of minerals many colors, but the blue is by far the most prized. Its market price is an extraordinary $1.5 million per carat

4. Jadeite-

The stunning green of jadeite makes it a highly prized mineral. Mined primarily in California, Mexico, and Guatemala, jadeite is beautiful and very expensive. Like all valuable minerals, jadeite is valued based on color, clarity, size, cut, and perfection of the stones. To give an idea of commercial value, however, consider that a jadeite necklace of 27 beads sold for $9.3 million at a Christie’s auction. Jadeite is routinely valued at some $3 million per carat.

3. Red Beryl Emerald-

This is an exceedingly rare mineral that is only known to be found in the Wah Wah mountains of west-central Utah. The gem crystallizes under extreme heat and low pressure in the mineral rhyolite. Its value and rarity come from the fact that there exist very few cut samples of red beryl. It is valued at around $10,000 per carat.

2. Serendibite-

The sheer rarity of this mineral makes it one of the most expensive in the world. A complex combination of minerals, the stone is deep cyan color and is found in Sri Lanka. The only three cuts of this mineral are all extremely small–between 0.35 and 0.56 carats. The mineral can price at nearly $2 million per carat.

1. Red Diamonds-

Possibly the second rarest mineral on earth after painite, red diamonds have scarcely even been seen as a treated gem. With a deep purplish red tone, the red diamond is renowned as one of the most beautiful and expensive minerals ever at well over $2 million per carat. One mine in Australia produces a small number of treated red diamonds each year that routinely auction for millions of dollars each.

Recycling Auto Parts: What Can and Can’t Be Used

May 31st, 2013

After a car has gone out of use, often many parts of the car are still usable. Recycling car parts is a great way to both responsibly dispose of the parts, extend the life of the part by putting it to use again, and make a little cash. Likewise, if you’re doing some repairs or restorations on vehicles, recycled parts can be a great way to finish the job without spending tons of money.

At Utah Metal Works, we don’t recycle entire vehicles, but we do accept a lot of parts for recycling. Many people don’t realize how many auto parts can be recycled. Recycling metals and auto parts has huge benefits ranging from reducing energy to cutting carbon emissions and preserving natural resources. By choosing to recycle your auto parts you are doing your part to promote sustainability, reduce energy consumption, and keep overall material costs down. The best part, of course, is that you get paid to recycle auto parts with Utah Metal Works!

Here are some of the auto parts that we accept for recycling at Utah Metal Works:

  • Aluminium bumpers

  • Batteries

  • Radiators

  • Aluminium and Steel Wheels (without tires only)

  • Tailgates, Hoods, Rotors, Doors, and other steel parts

  • Motor Blocks (drained of fluids)

  • Transmissions (drained of fluids)

  • Harness Wire

  • Heads

  • Alternators and Starters

  • Aluminium Valve Covers

Whether you’re looking for a crucial component for your vehicle restoration job or just want to unload some of the old recyclables lying around, stop by Utah Metal Works today.

3 Reasons to Consider Reclaimed Building Materials

April 24th, 2013

Anyone looking to give an old space new life—or anyone who’d simply like to build something new at a lower price—might want to consider reclaimed building materials.

Just about any durable item can be reclaimed and sold affordably

It used to be that when an old building was demolished, all the remaining materials would be sent straight to the dump. However, people began to realize what a waste that was, since many of those leftover materials were still perfectly good.

Individuals and companies began to collect the reusable materials that were of particularly high quality, and then turned around and sold them for a significantly lower cost than brand new materials. Buying reclaimed doesn’t mean you’re settling for lower quality—in many cases, the quality is just as high as anything you could buy new.

Advantages of reclaimed materials

Here are three of the biggest advantages of reclaimed building materials:

  • They’re durable. Reclaimed building materials are just as durable and reliable as brand new materials. In fact, many older buildings used hardwoods and other long-lasting materials that are even more durable than a lot of the stuff you find on the market nowadays.
  • They’re affordable. In many cases, reclaimed materials will come at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
  • They’re environmentally friendly. The environmental cost of a single home or office building can be enormous. All that new lumber, metal, glass, and so on depletes the natural environment.  When you go with reclaimed materials, you’re helping preserve important natural resources.

Reclaimed building materials are a good investment—not only will you save money, you’ll also be helping the environment.  Another way to help the environment—and earn some money in the process—is to bring scrap metal to your Utah metal recyclers. We believe that recycling, in its many forms, is one of the best ways to preserve our resources for future generations.

By Tim Crain.

Celebrate Earth Day With Utah Metal Works!

April 13th, 2013

We at Utah Metal Works are committed to doing our part for the environment and hope you will join us.

Utah Metal Works will be offering 5 cents more per pound for all aluminum cans brought in for recycling on April 22, 2013 to celebrate Earth Day.

Interesting facts about aluminum and aluminum can recycling.

  • Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth.
  • Over 50 percent of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!
  • Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is in use today.
  • Every minute of every day, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy and 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
  • Last year 54 billion cans were recycled saving energy equivalent to 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day.
  • Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline.
  • In 1972, 24,000 metric tons of aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) were recycled. In 1998, the amount increased to over 879,000 metric tons.
  • In 1972, it took about 22 empty, aluminum cans to weigh one pound. Due to advanced technology to use less material and increase durability of aluminum cans, in 2002 it takes about 34 empty aluminum cans to weigh one pound.
  • The average employee consumes 2.5 beverages a day while at work.
  • The empty aluminum can is worth about 2 cents.

Along with metal recycling, Utah Metal Works has made an investment in Solar Panels which offsets 86% of the electrical load in our North Building.  The approximate energy production of this solar system is 35,121 kilowatt hours per year.  This is equivalent to one of the following:

  • Carbon offset 53,301 lbs.
  • Removing 4.7 passenger vehicles from the road annually.
  • Not consuming 2,715 gallons of gas.
  • Planting 621 trees.

Utah Metal Works will continue to do our part in protecting the environment and look forward to doing so with you.

Thank you earth911 for these awesome facts!

How to Reduce Waste

February 15th, 2013

Statistics show that Americans produce more waste per household per year than almost any other country. In fact, the average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash a day. If you consider that there are more than 300 million people living in the United States today, you’ll understand why all that waste can be a problem.

The trash we produce takes its toll on the environment. Landfills—particularly those around big cities—are overflowing.

Fortunately, the situation isn’t as dire as it may seem. People are beginning to understand the importance of responsible consumption, and alternative waste management solutions—such as recycling—are becoming more popular.

Small improvements can have a big impact

Recycling is a great way to reduce our impact on the environment. Here are some other ways to reduce your household’s consumption and waste:

  • Consider buying used items instead of new ones. When you’re looking to replace your furniture or other large items, check internet classifieds for sellers in your area. If you shop smart, you’ll often be able to find great quality items for considerably less than you’d pay in a store.
  • Donate unwanted items that are still in good, usable condition to your local Goodwill or donation center.
  • Research local hazardous waste regulations. There are usually special facilities that will either recycle or appropriately dispose of items like batteries, paint, and unused prescription pills.
  • Maintain and repair items rather than giving them away. Keeping your possessions in good condition will allow them to last longer. Many items that could easily be repaired are often thrown away.
  • Invest in reusable coffee filters, mugs, and lunch containers. Keeping your food in reusable containers rather than disposable baggies and cups can reduce your waste output significantly.

When it comes to reducing your impact on the environment, it’s the small things that make a difference. Scrap metal recycling can also have an extremely positive effect, so if you have any metals lying around, be sure to bring them to your Utah metal recycling experts!

By Tim Crain.

Get Creative with Recycling

December 28th, 2012

Recycling can be a lot more fun than you think; there are also several materials in your home that you probably didn’t even know are recyclable!

1.      Instead of getting rid of the item all together start a new arts and crafts project. An old mason jar or wine bottle is the perfect vase for some dried flowers.

2.      Old bricks and roof shingles can be recycled. No, that may not be the type that we take here but it is still an option at other locations that deal with materials aside from metal.

3.      Have you ever considered putting up your old tools or VHS tapes on eBay? Even if you don’t want them anymore someone else may. No need to throw them out! After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

4.      Kids will often grow out toys, reduce and reuse by giving them to a local thrift store or charity.

5.      Empty propane tanks are considered scrap metal! (as well as the BBQ it was in) get money for them at places like Utah Metal Works.

6.      Window treatments may start to lose their appeal after time but that doesn’t mean you have to waste the fabric. Use the fabric over to make a pillowcase or table cloth.

7.      Same goes for old jeans. Denim can be used to create a new purse, clothing item, or décor item.

8.      Old ink cartridges can be made to good use at office supply stores. Don’t go through a messy experience trying to throw them out!

9.      So… you dropped your cell phone… again… and it’s kinda dead. There are many stores that take old cell phones no matter what the condition, reuse and recycle!

10.  Shaving cream bottles, bread twist-ties, broken screen doors… there are so many things that are eligible for recycle. Think carefully about what you’re throwing away before you take it out to the trash.

What Is Frowned Upon

November 29th, 2012

Everything out there seems to be telling you what you are allowed to recycle, turn into us or make some money off of.  Well even with all of this information, there are still those of you out there who send in pieces that we are not able to take after we have thrown so much information at you.

Many a times we find things on our front lawn that do not enrage us but do make our day that much harder.  There are many of you out there who know exactly what you are doing and there are those of you who read what we accept before you bring anything down here and we appreciate you.  You are a large part of our business.

But for those of you who manage to be oblivious and not know what we do not take, here is a list.

We will fill out the complete list of everything that you cannot bring to Utah Metal Works to turn in.

  • Entire Cars- Do not leave an entire car on our front lawn.  It becomes costly for us to take apart and find the actual pieces we can use.  How much fun would you have if your job was to take apart a car on your Saturday?  If you wouldn’t do it, why should we?
  • Plastics- Really?  You think that we would want anything to do with plastic materials.  If you melt plastic down then it is less useful then when it was formed.  Read the sign outside that says Utah Metal Works next time you come in because you just took up more space in our dumpster that we now have to pay for.
  • Any part of a car that has had oil run over it is something we do not deal with.  Any piece of metal that has not had oil touch its virgin ore we will gladly take it off your hands.  But if it has been touched then we will call it a no go.

This is not a one way street by any means.  This is a two way street that benefits both parties and we want to keep it that way.  Let’s both keep costs down and keep the ball rolling.

Did you know?

Aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth