A handy guide to recycling small metal items

A handy guide to recycling small metal items

Recycling can sometimes be confusing, especially as regulations can change between local councils, not to mention the changes between states and countries.

However, keeping up-to-date with current recycling processes is vital as it can mean the difference between an item being recycled, or contaminating a whole load of recyclable materials.

There are plenty of handy guides to help you recycle correctly, like the Recycle Right Search Engine and you should always contact your local council to double check anything you are unsure of.

Things like bottle cap recycling can sometimes slip through the cracks as it is assumed the processes wouldn’t change. Whether unsure of the recycling method, or it has transitioned over time here’s our guide to recycling metal items like bottle caps, can lids, jar lids and other small metals below.

Step 1. Clean and dry an empty metal can, like a soup can or tomato paste can.


Step 2. Gather all of the small metals you are trying to recycle, alongside the can.


Step 3. Find a small magnet to test all of your items; if the item is magnetic it is likely to be made of the same materials as the can. Pop all of the small magnetic items into the can (some may need to be reshaped to fit)


Step 4. Any non-magnetic items such as aluminum foil cannot be placed into the can as it is a different material and must be recycled separately (such as scrunching the foil into a fist sized ball and then recycling it).


Step 5. Once the can is full, squeeze the mouth closed so none of the loose items fall out. Then pop it into your kerbside recycling bin along with your other non-magnetic items separately.

Remember you CAN recycle small metal items.

Posted in Behaviour change, Community, Recycling, waste management

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6 comments on “A handy guide to recycling small metal items
  1. Joan says:

    This is a very helpful recycling tip.

    Please provide another recycling tip on a monthly basis.

    Thank you.

    • KESAB Team says:

      Hi Joan, thanks for your feedback and we’re glad you found this useful. We will endeavour to produce more tips and information about recycling for the community.

      We also share many tips on our social media pages weekly if you are on social media.

      Cheers, Maddie

  2. Jodie says:

    Great tips! With all the waste we produce, recycling and proper waste management has become a must and hopefully better and more efficient methods of dealing with wastes are discovered in the future.

  3. Jake Baddams says:

    Great to see the article about the recycling metal. Keep on sharing such great post.

  4. I like that you mentioned how determining if a piece of metal is magnetic can help you figure out which items can be recycled together. My brother has a lot of scrap metal sitting in the corner of his garage ever since he tried to repair our late uncle’s car last month, and he would like to find a way to get rid of the metal since most of it is too rusty to use. Maybe he should find a recycling service that will help him with his problem.

  5. Derek Swain says:

    I didn’t know that you could utilize a magnet in order to determine which metal objects can be recycled together. My brother is thinking about opening an auto repair service once he graduates from high school next year and needs to find a way to dispose of the corroded automotive parts that he replaces. Hopefully, he can find a service that can assist him.

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