Commercial and Industrial waste makes up a large proportion of the UK’s waste. Recent figures from Defra suggest that 48 million tonnes of Commercial & Industrial waste was generated in England, which was a decrease from 67.9 million tonnes from the previous figures. In 2002, 42% of Commercial and Industrial waste was reused or recycled, but in the recent figure it shows an increase by 10%, meaning more businesses are recycling.
To help keep the environment clean residents and businesses are encouraged to recycle waste if possible. As well as plastic and paper, metal can be recycled too. The great thing about office metal recycling is that certain metals can be melted down and reused over and over again without losing their resilience or strength.
There are two types of metals, Ferrous and Non-ferrous. Ferrous metals are those which contain iron and Non-ferrous metals don’t have any iron content.
Ferrous metals are:
- Mild Steel – used for engineering purposes and in general, non specialised metal products
- Carbon steel – used to make cutting tools such as drill bits
- Stainless Steel – resists staining and corrosion and is therefore used for the likes of cutlery and surgical instrumentation
- Cast Iron – Very strong but brittle, used to manufacture items such as engine blocks and manhole covers
- Wrought Iron – used to make items such as ornamental gates and fencing
Non-ferrous metals are:
- Aluminium – an alloy of aluminium, copper and manganese. Very lightweight and easily worked. Used in aircraft manufacture, window frames and some kitchen ware.
- Copper – copper is a natural occurring substance. The fact that it conducts heat and electricity means that it is used for wiring, tubing and pipe work.
- Brass – a combination of copper and zinc, usually in the proportions of 65% to 35% respectively. Is used for ornamental purposes and within electrical fittings.
- Silver – mainly a natural substance, but mixing with copper creates sterling silver. Used for decorative impact in jewellery and ornaments, and also to solder different metals together.
- Lead – lead is a naturally occurring substance. It is heavy and very soft and is often used in roofing, in batteries and to make pipes.