Construction and Demolition Metal - Keep it Clean

An estimated eight percent of construction and demolition waste is metal. The markets for scrap metal are well established and make it worthwhile to separate out. Evraz's steel mill in Regina uses only scrap steel as its feedstock and must import scrap from out-of-province to meet its needs. Therefore, it is a ready consumer of all locally recovered scrap steel and iron. Local scrap metal dealers will purchase non-ferrous metals as well (e.g. copper, aluminum).

Small amounts of hazardous materials can jeopardize the acceptability of a metal shipment. It's necessary and worth the effort to remove (and separately dispose of or preferably reuse) all thermostats and mercury-containing electrical control switches prior to demolition. The mercury in these devices is toxic and can contaminate a load of scrap metal. Similarly, smoke detectors, which contain small amounts of radioactive materials, need to be taken out (and separately disposed of or preferably reused) prior to knocking a building down and salvaging it. Also, recyclers prefer scrap with minimal amounts of plastic and hydrocarbons. These simple procedures will help ensure that your construction and demolition metal is considered as the higher grade, and isn't rejected at the scrap dealer.

[Source: March 2001 WasteWatch ]