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Nonferrous metals, including aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc and others, are among the few materials that do not degrade or lose their chemical or physical properties in the recycling process. As a result, nonferrous metals have the capacity to be recycled an infinite number of times. More than 9 million metric tons of nonferrous scrap was processed in the United States last year from a wide array of consumer, commercial and industrial sources: everything from copper and precious metal circuitry in electronic devices, to soft-drink containers, automobile batteries and radiators, aluminum siding, airplane parts and more.
Nonferrous scrap is then consumed by secondary smelters, refiners, ingot makers, foundries and other industrial consumers in the U.S. and in more than 90 countries worldwide. These consumers rely on nonferrous scrap as a competitive, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient input to make brand new products, continuing the nonferrous metal life cycle
Each year over $100 billion of recycled scrap commodities are traded in the U.S. and around the globe – including paper, plastics, steel, copper, and aluminum, as well as glass, tires, and electronics.