What are Some of the Most Commonly Recycled Metals?

By Adam Ioannidis

As scrap metal buyers in Melbourne, we receive all types of metal from various homes and businesses, but we often wonder what some of the most commonly recycled metals are in general. This article is going to explore that question and as a bonus, we’ll throw in some facts about each of the metals to boost your general knowledge; let’s dive in with one of the most recycled metal on the planet, steel.


Steel (and the corrosive resistant stainless steel) is 100% recyclable; it’s strong, durable and used excessively all over the world. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most recycled metals (if not the most) as there is just so much of it being used across countless industries; it also retains all its properties after being recycled. Steel is constantly evolving to meet the demand of modern requirements. There are over 3500 different grades of steel, and 75% of those have been created within the last two decades.

Recycling steel is considered a simple process because removing impurities is so easy. Even low-value steel can be recycled into high-value steel using metallurgy and the right processing methods. One tonne of recycled steel results in 1131 kg of iron ore, 633 kg of coal and 54 kg of limestone.

37% of steel on average contains recycled steel and half of the world’s steel production uses recycled scrap metal. These numbers are only bound to increase as the industry continues to thrive — especially considering the sustainable nature of forging steel from recycled varieties compared to creating it from virgin ore.


If there was ever a contender for steel as the most recycled metal on the planet, it would be iron. Iron is the most abundant metal on Earth (as well as the fourth most plentiful element found in the Earth’s crust). Iron is potentially the most important metal on the planet as it is the key ingredient in steel. This is why approximately 90% of all metal refined is iron; the steel demand is so high that it must be met with the appropriate supply.

Being a ferrous metal, iron is easily recycled and is done so in copious amounts. Metal Men Recycling are scrap metal buyers in Melbourne capable of recycling both ferrous and non-ferrous metals so be sure to bring down any scrap iron to earn a bit of extra cash.


Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and a metal that you are bound to come across daily — from aluminium cans housing food and drinks (you have probably noticed the dollar value of soft drink cans printed on them) to kitchen utensils and foil. Whilst iron is the fourth most abundant element found in the Earth’s crust, aluminium is the most abundant.

The process of creating new aluminium from recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy compared to forging it from virgin ore. It also does not lose any of its properties no matter how many times it is recycled. In fact, roughly 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still being used today and, impressively, there were two billion aluminium cans recycled by Australians in 2005. Looking to recycle more than just aluminium cans? Our scrap metal buyers have you covered with our article highlighting some scrap aluminium items that might be found around the home.


Similarly to the aforementioned metals, copper is completely recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without losing any of its properties. Highly common in electrical components and used for wiring and electrical cabling, copper is an extremely conductive metal with a reddish-brown appearance. 80% of all copper produced is still in use today; so not only is it entirely recyclable, but it’s quite popular to recycle. And, with so much technological hardware containing ample amounts of copper within them, the frequency is only bound to rise.

Are you looking for scrap metal buyers in Melbourne?

Metal Men Recycling are scrap metal buyers in Melbourne that buy and recycle an extensive range of scrap metal. Our organisation is dedicated to sustainable recycling methods and can pay you for any scrap metal you may bring in. Our large recycling site features a weighbridge suitable for large trucks; we also offer several bin sizes that can be dropped off at your location and later picked up by our friendly staff.

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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