Almost all metal is recyclable and is a really important material to reuse. But not everything that is made of metal can be recycled, like cookware and hand tools. Cookware and hand tools are often made of metals but may also be mixed with other materials, and therefore can’t be recycled.
We want to do the right thing and recycle metals, so we might (mistakenly) put our unwanted cookware and hand tools into the recycling bin, but these items can pose a hazard to the recycling process. Items that can’t be sorted mechanically have to be sorted by hand–a dangerous process. When recycling is sorted at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) thousands of items come down a fast moving belt. A metal tool coming down that belt can really put a wrench in the whole process if it gets stuck or goes someplace that it doesn’t belong.
But there is a way to recycle these hard-to-recycle items–and many others. Recycling the valuable material of metal can save many of our planet’s resources if it is recycled correctly. Larger metal pieces and dangerous ones can be recycled safely at scrap metal facilities and some can even be donated if they are still usable. Check out your city’s website to see where you can take these hard-to-recycle items.
The joy of cooking is made even better when we take responsibility for the next step in the life cycle of our much loved cookware. And hand tools, properly disposed of for recycling, can come back to you as new tools and so much more. Almost all metals are recyclable if recycled correctly. Do the right thing–recycle the right materials in the right ways. The Earth will thank you and so do we!