What Metal Can’t Be Recycled? A Guide to Prohibited Items at Inland Steel

What Metal Can’t Be Recycled? A Guide to Prohibited Items at Inland Steel

While many metals can be easily recycled, certain items pose significant risks and are therefore not accepted at metal recycling facilities.

At Inland Steel, we follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of our employees, customers, and the environment. This guide will help you understand which items are prohibited and why it’s essential to follow these guidelines when recycling your scrap metal.

Prohibited Items

1. Sealed Compressed Tanks

Sealed compressed tanks, such as propane tanks, gas tanks, oxyacetylene bottles, and fire extinguishers, cannot be accepted for recycling. These items are hazardous because they are under high pressure and can potentially cause serious safety risks if not handled properly.

2. Electronic Waste

Electronic waste (eg. household batteries and alkaline batteries) is also prohibited. Electronics often contain hazardous materials that require specialized recycling processes to prevent environmental contamination.

3. Chemicals and Liquids

Items such as oil-filled pipes, mercury switches, and materials containing PCBs fall into this category. These chemicals are highly toxic and need careful disposal to avoid harm to people and the environment.

4. Non-Metallic Materials

Since Inland Steel focuses solely on recycling metals, materials like rubber, wood, and concrete cannot be accepted.

5. Radioactive Materials

Items containing radioactive components, such as certain medical equipment, old smoke detectors, and industrial gauges, are strictly prohibited. These materials pose severe health risks and require specialized handling and disposal.

What to Do with Prohibited Items

Seek Specialized Disposal Services

For items like sealed tanks, electronics, and hazardous chemicals, seek out specialized disposal services. Some municipalities offer hazardous waste collection programs and electronic recycling events.

Contact Professional Services

If you are unsure how to dispose of a particular item, contact a professional waste disposal service. They can provide guidance on how to safely and legally dispose of hazardous materials.

Follow Local Guidelines

Always follow local guidelines for the disposal of hazardous waste. Regulations can vary by location, so it’s essential to be aware of the regulations in your area.

Properly recycling scrap metal is crucial for both environmental sustainability and personal safety. By understanding and adhering to the guidelines for prohibited items, you can ensure that your recycling efforts are safe, effective, and environmentally responsible.

If you have any questions about what metal can and cannot be recycled at our facilities, contact our friendly team for more information.


If you have scrap metal you’d like to recycle for cash contact our team today! We are open Monday to Friday and have six locations across Western Canada with convenient drive-in and drop-off facilities.