The world of scrap metal and industrial recycling can be an eye opening experience. For many the jargon can be confusing, ‘ferrous’ and ’non-ferrous’ what do such words mean? We look at the key words used by waste metal management services and explain all you’ll need to know when dealing in scrap metal.

Ferrous
Any material that mainly consists of the metal iron.

Non-Ferrous
All metals other than iron.

Copper
Commonly found when old wiring is replaced with new instillations, copper comes in multiple grades; Romex wire, double insulated copper and bare bright copper.
Normally found in piping and on roofs, copper is extremely malleable and is used in domestic items such as hoovers which contain a copper dynamo which holds scrap value.

Romex Wire (can be known as household wire)
Found in homes- copper with two plastic jackets.

Double Insulated Copper
Can be found where high voltages are used such as factories.

Bare bright copper
Copper that is uncoated, unalloyed and free from attachments.

Environment Agency (EA)
The regulatory body for England and Wales, who ensure that certain standards are met, put in place for the protection of the environment.

Diversion Rate
The amount of waste that is diverted from traditional means of disposal and instead reused or recycled

Aluminium
One of the strongest and most lightweight metals, aluminium is used in many settings including construction. Typically used in cans, electric motors and engine blocks, run a magnet over the metal to test if it is aluminium or not – if it sticks it is a steel alternative.

Duty of Care
The legal responsibility to ensure that any waste produced, stored, disposed or transported is done in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

Lead
Extremely malleable and used for many purposes – Traditionally used in lead flashing and roofing, lead is a common weight in both wheels and industrial fishing. Lead batteries need to be saved and recycled whole to protect from potential damage to the environment and yourself.

Steel
Whether scrap contains iron or not, steel can fall into both the ferrous and non ferrous categories of waste. Heavy duty steel can include but is not limited to; automobiles and structural steel such as demolition scrap.

Brass
Due to its composite of copper and zinc, brass can look like copper. Normally used in radiators, taps and valves, brass is still accepted for scrapping with yellow brass having a greater amount of zinc.

Full Circle Economy
Responsibility for waste manufacturing at all stages as well as running resources for as long as possible to ensure efficient waste management.