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Recycling Stainless Steel Cookware (How, Why and Where?)

By Hayley Tan

For those of us who love to cook, buying new cookware is always an exciting activity. Bringing home a shiny new pot or pan fills your journey home from the store with excitement. Everything feels great until you step into your kitchen and realize you need to throw your old ones out to make space for the new. The question now is, what do you do with your old cookware?

Something that most are not aware of is that a lot of used cookware can be recycled, especially if they are made from stainless steel. The best thing about used stainless steel cookware is that instead of just popping it in the recycling bin, you may be able to sell your scrap stainless steel for some cash!

Can stainless steel be recycled?

Yes, it can! Among all the great properties of stainless steel, one that often gets overlooked is the fact that stainless steel is 100% recyclable. Although there are various grades and finishes of stainless steel (each engineered for different purposes), the core elements of stainless steel are the same – iron, nickel, molybdenum, and chromium. When recycled, stainless steel products are melted down to enable the extraction of each element which can be reused with no degradation in performance. In other words, this means that cookware made from recycled stainless steel has the same quality and characteristics as any other new stainless-steel item.

How is stainless steel recycled?

Specialized expertise and sophisticated machinery are required in recycling stainless steel. Once collected by your local recycling facility, scrap stainless steel will be fed into a large shredder which breaks it up into smaller pieces. Using chemical analysis, these smaller chunks are then sorted and stored by type before being packaged and loaded into containers for shipping. These containers are then sent to stainless steel mills where they will be melted into valuable raw elements that are gathered, processed, and reused.

Benefits of Recycling Stainless Steel

Besides the usual benefits of recycling such as reducing your carbon footprint, a big part of recycling stainless steel is that it is cost-effective. As stainless steel can be recycled and reused to make products of the same quality, the ability to reduce the number of raw materials gathered, processed and used contributes to lower production expenses. Without the need to extract new raw materials, production facilities will also have reduced energy requirements and decreased contamination rates (and hence, lower pollution taxes). With all these factors combined, the costs for both producers and buyers can be reduced. It’s a win-win!

How much can I get from selling scrap stainless steel?

Similar to other metals, the prices of scrap stainless steel can fluctuate depending on the market and condition of your scrap. The good news, however, is that no matter the quality and grade of your stainless steel, there will always be demand. So, it is always a good idea to reach out to your local recycling facility for a quote.

While a specific price for your scrap stainless steel is hard to determine without a professional quote, there are some ways you can boost your earnings:

  • Prepare your scrap metal: While it’s easy to just gather used cookware and dump it in the scrapper’s hands, a good way to maximise your profits is by ensuring other materials such as plastic handles have been removed from your old cookware. This would make your scrap pile more attractive to your local recycling facility.
  • Understand different stainless-steel grades: Knowing the grade of your scrap stainless steel pile is key to ensuring you get a good payout. The higher the grade, the more valuable your scrap stainless steel will be.
  • Recycle a large pile: While you can recycle stainless steel in any quantity, it is often most cost-efficient to collect a large amount for a larger payday.

Where can I sell scrap stainless steel in Melbourne?

Selling your scrap stainless steel cookware is a great way to simultaneously get rid of your old pots and pans as well as make a positive impact on the environment. Metal Men Recycling are scrap metal buyers that buy and recycle an extensive range of scrap metals. We are dedicated to helping you recycle your scrap metal in a simple, quick, and sustainable way.

Give us a call on 03 5941 6677 if you would like to know more about our services. Alternatively, you may contact us via our website’s enquiry form.

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