Do you know something about recycling of metal?

We make metals by digging up minerals and then heating them in a hot fire or furnace.

Minerals like silver, copper and lead are hard to find. So, people do not usually throw them away. But we do throw away lots and lots of steel and aluminium cans.

Luckily, it is easy to recycle metals, which saves minerals and energy.

This hot furnace is making iron.

Iron is a tough metal made by melting iron ore, limestone and coke from coal in a furnace. By adding carbon and other minerals, iron can be made into even tougher steel. Steel is used to build ships, trains, bridges and buildings.

Valuable metals like iron and steel are often recycled. Most steel objects now contain some recycled metal.


This giant magnet picks up steel cans.

Cans to store food and drink are mostly made from steel or aluminium. At the recycling plant, a large magnet is often used to pick out the steel cans. These are reheated in a furnace to make new products. The steel in your empty drink can could end up in a steel support high on a skyscraper, or as a paper clip!




Mines spoil wild places.

Metals are found underground as ores. When ores are mined, wild places are destroyed and huge piles of waste rock are left behind. By recycling metals we can avoid new mines and reduce waste and pollution.




You can use a magnet to test metals.

A magnet can separate different metals because iron and steel are magnetic, so they stick to the magnet. Aluminium is not magnetic, so it does not stick.


At home, use a magnet to test cans, bottle tops, foil trays and tin foil to find out if they are magnetic. All of these metal items can be recycled.

Picture Credit : Google